Students Staff

13 October 2020

Food, help and support – whenever you need it

Filed under: Campus news, Student experience — Communications, CER @ 11:25 am

We’re doing everything we can to make sure you can get help, support and access to affordable, nutritious food if you need to self-isolate.

If you are quarantining, self-isolating or need urgent support

We have a dedicated webpage with all the help and support you need if you are self-isolating or quarantining with us.

We’ll ask you to fill in our self-isolation form to help us ensure you have what you need and that you are well supported during your isolation period.  Once we have all your details, a member of our wellbeing team will make contact with you to discuss the support you need and arrange for your ongoing support – all at the pace that’s right for you.

We’ll also make sure your department knows you’re isolating and will support you in your study needs both during and after your isolation period.

Any questions can be sent directly to our wellbeing team on and we are running daily wellbeing self-isolation drop-in sessions, too.

Take a look at our self-isolation support webpage for everything from how to self-isolate safely, to ordering food and groceries and seeking medical advice.


If you are arriving from overseas and need to go straight into a quarantine period, we’re providing free quarantine arrivals packs including a bedding pack, a kitchen pack and a food box.

You can also order an essential food box online before you arrive. The boxes contain a range of basic food supplies, from tea, coffee and sugar to pasta and a range of tinned goods all designed to provide you with the basics while you settle in over your first few days.

If you urgently need support our food services will also issue complimentary emergency food packs.

Full details are available on the Essex Essentials website.

Meal Service Plans

We are also offering seven and ten-day meal service plans, delivering either breakfast and lunch, or breakfast, lunch and dinner directly to rooms on campus. The meal plan includes a continental breakfast, cold sandwich lunch and ready meal for dinner. They start at £70 for a seven-day breakfast and lunch plan.

Just Eat at Essex

Our partnership with Just Eat means you can order food from Fusion between 5pm and 10pm Wednesday-Saturday, delivered to your door. Beef burgers start at £3.50 and pizzas at £5.

More about our Just Eat/Fusion delivery service on our website.

Our restaurants and cafes

Some of our campus food outlets are offering take away services and some eat-in spaces are also available. We are operating with social distancing and with enhanced cleaning regimes, signage and hand sanitising stations. Find out more about our Colchester Campus eateries, our Southend Campus food offer, and food on campus at Loughton.

Our Essex Food Rewards offers multi-buy deals on a selected range of products bought in store as well as our multi buy deal on hot drinks. Buy nine get one free.

Linking with supermarkets

We have worked closely with our local supermarkets to ensure a smooth ordering and delivery service is available. We’ve simplified the ordering process and have arranged for a wide range of delivery slots to be made available along with multiple drop-off points and delivery to the door for any self-isolating students.

Contact details for all our local supermarkets are listed on our self-isolation support webpage.

Online information

Check out our food and drink webpage for up-to-date information on all catering outlets and food delivery options. Our Students’ Union also have a range of shops and food and drink on offer, find out more on their eat, drink, shop webpage.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

8 October 2020

Parking at our Colchester Campus

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 10:02 am

Iain Farquharson is our Sustainability (Energy and Transport) Manager.  We caught up with him to find out more about the changes that we’re making to parking and parking permits at our Colchester Campus.

Iain Farquharson

Iain Farquharson

What changes can we expect to the way we park this year?

Parking on campus should look and feel fairly normal. We’re going to be closely monitoring demand in the autumn term and we may close some car parks if they’re not required, but we’ll let people know before we do take the decision to close any car parks.

If you’re already coming onto campus, you will have noticed that our Overflow Car Park is already closed and is currently being used as the COVID-19 testing centre at our Colchester Campus.

However, we have made some changes to take into account the impact of COVID-19 on the way we’re working and to simplify our permits so we can keep things as flexible as possible

Can you tell us a bit more about the new permits you’ve introduced and how they work?

Our aim this year is to make sure people feel they have simple options to choose from, so we’ve given people two different options to pay for their parking with our new permits. The first option is an annual permit which is designed for people who are going to be on campus regularly, and the second is a general permit for people who are unsure about how often they’ll need to park.

You’ll still need to pay a registration fee which is calculated at 0.16% of your salary, so it’s different for everyone according to how much they earn. Annual permit holders will then pay a fixed amount of £62.31 for parking for the year, or a pro-rata amount if your contract is part-time, which will be deducted from your salary monthly. General permit holders will pay a daily charge each time they park. The minimum stay is 4 hours, which will cost you 32p and longer stays are available in one hour increments.

Permit fees, excluding registration fees, are being discounted by 33% for this academic year, in acknowledgement of the uncertainties we all face in our work patterns. We’ve also removed our occasional user permit as part of simplification improvements.

What’s the cheapest option for someone who used to pay as an “occasional user”?

Our general permit offers flexibility for those that are unsure how many days they are going to be on campus. It offers drivers the same flexibility to select which days they park and for how long. To take up the general permit, you’ll also need to pay a registration fee. For most people this equates to around £3 to £7 per month. On top of this, they’d pay 8p an hour to park with a minimum charge of 4 hours at 32p. To stay for a full day it’s just 56p.

Using an example of an occasional user driving on to campus 5 days over a month, they would have paid £10.50 with the Occasional Permit. The General Permit this year equates to somewhere between £5.80 to £9.80 depending on salary.

What about the way we pay for our parking? Is that changing at all?

 Staff can still register their vehicles and pay for their permits on our staff directory.

However, for the new academic year we are introducing a cashless payment system for those who choose to pay each time they visit, which will mean no queuing at pay stations and no touch screens. This was always something we wanted to do, but considerations around COVID-19 meant it was important to introduce it this year.  Staff and students can now pay directly though our new payment app, which means they can pay while walking to their office or place of study, or when they reach their desk or computer.

To use our cashless parking system, you will either need to download the app or log on via a web browser to make your payment. You can also create an account if you want to.

Have you got any update for people who paid for parking last year, but found themselves unable to come onto campus?

Yes. Because the majority of staff and students could not visit campus during the Advanced Protection measures, we’re really happy to be able to refund parking permit charges, excluding registration fees, for the period from April to September

Refunds will be processed by the end of November and payments will be made back into the accounts from which payments were made.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

1 October 2020

Coming back to campus – securely

Filed under: Campus news — Communications, CER @ 4:44 pm

As some of us return to campus working, Darren Baker, Campus Services Head of Customer Services, tells us more about the changes we can expect to see and the new behaviours we need to observe to help keep campus COVID secure.

Look out for floor signage reminding you to socially distance and indicating one way systems.

As the University moves into the Sustained Protection Phase of operation some of you will be returning to campus working, where this is deemed essential for the delivery of services. Where possible colleagues should continue to work from home.

For those returning, a number of COVID-19 related safety measures have been put in place which will change the way we work and travel around our campuses.

Here is what you can expect to see and what you’ll need to do when you return. Full details are available on the how to come onto our campuses page of our website.

New signage

When returning to campus you will see exterior signage providing information on how to use our campuses.

There is also directional floor signage to promote social distancing and indicate how to travel around exterior spaces.

Upon entering buildings, you will also notice directional signage asking you to walk on the left, to maintain social distance and wear face coverings inside buildings.

Movement and behaviour inside buildings

Signage will be displayed on doors and floors reminding you to wear a face covering.

Travel within buildings should be limited to going straight to your final location. Please do not congregate in corridors or enter the working spaces and offices of other staff.

When you are in your specific working environment the number of staff in the space at any one time will be limited as per your departmental risk assessment to allow for social distancing and the removal of face coverings for working.

Meetings via zoom to continue

It has been agreed that all meetings should be conducted remotely during Academic Year 2020-21. This decision applies to all non-teaching events, e.g. induction and networking events; team meetings; catch-ups and 1:1s, formal committee meetings; Away Days; staff, section and departmental conferences and training that would otherwise be delivered in person.

It is recommended that all meetings take place via Zoom, the University’s chosen video and audio-conferencing solution. Technical guidance on the use of Zoom is available on the ITS webpages.

Managers of teams – Before bringing your teams on to our campuses you must

  • Have completed a departmental risk assessment which indicates the controls in place in relation to reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. This must be shared and explained to all staff returning to on-site working and must indicate how social distancing is being managed, especially within shared working environments.
  • Have completed a work activity grid with the staff member who is returning for their work activities
  • a poster with covid-19 information

    Look out for notices outside rooms with key info like maximum room occupancy.

    Ensure all returning staff have completed the Moodle course “Keeping safe on campus (COVID-19)” and have completed an individual health risk assessment (and, where necessary, received occupational health advice.

  • Ensure that returning staff have been authorised to do so by the Head of Department or Head of Section.
  • Ensure that all staff have a full understanding of the control measures in place across the University and specifically in their workplace including the days and times they are able to attend campus.

Managers – keeping teams and offices COVID-secure   

If you are managing a team back onto campus, as part of your departmental/ workplace risk assessment(s), please ensure that office spaces are used in a manner that ensures returning staff can comply with the required social distancing.

Should you need to have multiple cohorts (or bubbles) in order to ensure business continuity, please ensure that desks are not shared. Moving furniture or PCs is not possible at this time so please ensure that within your plans you are utilising the current office layouts.

Colleagues – before returning to campus you must

  • Be authorised by your Head of Department or Head of Section to return to campus.
  • Have completed the Moodle course Keeping safe on campus (COVID-19).
  • Be aware of the policies and procedures in place to protect you from COVID-19 and have understood the requirements of the departmental risk assessment provided by your line manager.
  • Have completed your individual health risk assessment and, with your manager, a work activity grid and signed the staff agreement.
  • Have a full understanding of the control measures in place in your workplace including the days and times you are able to attend campus and your specific workstation/area.

The day nursery have markings on their entrance route to help you keep distanced from others.

On your return to campus you must

  • Follow social distancing rules on University premises.
  • Wear face masks/coverings in all indoor University premises (with the exception of staff in individual offices or office bubbles).
  • Attend Occupational Health if you have been referred, to receive advice and guidance to ensure your own, and others, safety and contact if you are medically exempt from wearing a face covering to obtain an exemption lanyard from them which you are required to wear whilst on Campus.
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser where available
  • Only use your own crockery, cutlery, cups (except when provided in catering outlets) whiteboard markers and pens etc.
  • Clean your uniform each day if you wear a uniform for work.

If you or someone you live with develops symptoms you must

  • Leave campus immediately and inform your line manager and occupational health.
  • Self-isolate at home for ten days or until you receive a negative test results.
  • Call NHS 111 to arrange to get tested (testing must take place between day 1 and day 7 of becoming symptomatic).
  • Only return to work in accordance with the self-isolation guidelines  if experiencing symptoms or testing positive for coronavirus.

Engage, explain, encourage, enforce

All students will be expected to wear face coverings in all lectures and face to face teaching events. Take a look our new covid behaviours booklet on moodle which includes guidance on what to do if someone is not complying.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.