Students Staff

24 January 2020

Refurbishing our paternoster lift

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 11.26 am
Two people on the paternoster lift

The paternoster lift in the 1960s

We’re starting work on refurbishing our paternoster lift. We’ll be completely restoring the lift and taking the opportunity to introduce some new safety features, before it re-opens in September 2020.

The paternoster has been an important part of our library since it first opened in 1967.  It is one of just two lifts like it which are now left in the UK, so we’ve been planning the best way to make sure it can remain open and accessible for visitors to the Albert Sloman Library.

Work to refurbish the paternoster has already begun and over the next nine months we’ll be working with them to restore and update the lift.

These works will include:

  • Completely replacing the lifts drive gears and chain
  • Replacing the main control system with a modern high efficiency system
  • Installing a new vari-speed drive system, so the lift can easily be slowed down.
  • Updating all of the lift cars
  • Upgrading the lighting in the lift shaft
  • New safety features, like a traffic light system to help you get onto the lift

We’re working with ILECS, a specialist lift consultant, to manage this project. ILECS are one of the few companies who’ve previously worked on paternosters, including the one at the University of Sheffield. Updating our paternoster is a complex project and to undertake these works ILECS are working with a variety of specialist engineers, from specialist chain manufactures to steam engine engineers to make and cut the drive wheels.

The lift was originally built over fifty years ago by J&E Hall Ltd of Dartford, who manufactured paternosters from 1880 to 1968. Since then it’s been refurbished twice before in 1975 and 1995. Our lift is a chain of 14 open compartments that move in a loop up and down the library without stopping at about 20cm per second. Each compartment can carry two people and you can get on or off at any floor.

See the paternoster in action.

Keep up to date with all the works on the Library website.

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22 January 2020

We’re here to help you

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 4.33 pm

We chat with the newest member of the Student Support team, Fee Boon, to find out how she can support you.

You’ve just moved from your wellbeing role at East 15 to the Colchester Campus. What’s your new title?
Wellbeing Assessor

How many members are there in your team?
I am one of four Wellbeing Assessors and we have a whole host of other brilliant and supportive people behind the scenes.

How can you help students in your role?
I will support students with their mental health, wellbeing and disability and empower them to look after their wellbeing whilst making the most of University life.

I will be making referrals for in-house support and signposting to external services.

If you have any queries regarding consent or relationship issues then please pop and see me. I can also advise further on using our Report and Support system.

You will find me through our drop-in service at the Silberrad Student Centre which is open from 9am – 4pm.

Fee Boon, Student Support Team

Fee Boon, Student Support Team

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
How about three things?

1) I sing constantly. If it’s not coming out of my mouth, it’s happening in my head.

2) Outside of the University, I run a small business, as a way of supporting my own wellbeing as well as others.

3) I spend a lot of time drinking coffee with my in-laws as my family are all in Scotland. I’m very lucky, they’re great!

Are you excited to work with a new team?
I’ve worked for the University for a wee while so I know my team but, in my new role at Colchester Campus, I’ll be working more closely with them.

I’m excited to learn from them – to know their stories and find ways to develop my skills and hopefully share a few too. I’m also excited to find out who makes the best coffee and if they like quizzes. I love a quiz. By the time you read this, I’ll be learning all these vital things!

How did you get into this sort of role?
I’m moving to the Student Wellbeing team from Loughton Campus. I’ve always looked for supporting roles and I’ve been very lucky to work for some amazing organisations: Taunton Association for the Homeless, BUPA, National Youth Advocacy Service, The Mighty Creatives and most recently the University, working closely with East 15 students and staff to provide a support service.

I’ve worked with people who showed me how important a single interaction can be and how meaningful relationships can change everything.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone wondering whether they should ask for help what would you say?

Come and sit with us, decide what to say when you get here and don’t spend any more time wondering.

If you need information, advice or support to succeed here at Essex, please get in touch with the Student Support Team.


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17 January 2020

Our zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and sexual violence

Filed under: Colchester, Loughton, News, Southend — Communications, CER @ 2.10 pm

We are committed to ensuring our University is a welcoming and inclusive place, where everyone is safe and treated with respect. Here is an update on our ongoing work in this area. 

If you experience any behaviour that does not uphold our values, report it online. Search Essex, Report and Support.

The University of Essex has a zero tolerance approach to all sexual harassment and sexual violence. We do not and will not tolerate such behaviour and, together with our Students’ Union, we are committed to making our University an inclusive and welcoming environment, where everyone is safe and treated with respect.

As a result of concern about how we have handled some of the complaints made by our students in the past, particularly the length of time these had taken to be completed, last academic year we undertook a full review of our policy and processes. This has resulted in a number of changes to our disciplinary and support processes.

The most important change has been the substantial revision of the Code of Student Conduct, which we strengthened to ensure we have the tools and policies in place to improve our handling of such cases. You will now be aware of the revised Code of Student Conduct and our expectations of behaviour, and this remains at the heart of us all making our University a welcoming and safe environment.

We have also enhanced our reporting platform Report and Support, which allows you to report any event or concern you have, and you can report anonymously if you feel you need to.

Alongside improving reporting and disciplinary processes, we have also introduced consent training; bystander training; additional security patrols at night and CCTV coverage across all our campuses; and have provided additional resources for our conduct team to ensure we manage complaints as quickly as possible.

Importantly, University Senate now receives a termly assurance report on the implementation of the Code of Student Conduct 2019-20. This report will be considered by Senate next week, with the information then shared with students through the SU.

We have taken independent external advice to ensure we are creating a fair and transparent process that supports students who make complaints and ensures their wellbeing is monitored, and will continue to do so, on an ongoing basis.

If you are the victim of, or witness to, an incident that you feel is a breach of the Code of Student Conduct; you should report the incident through Report and Support. The University’s conduct procedures are not intended to replace criminal proceedings and if the allegation you have made might be an offence under criminal law, you are expected to report the matter to the Police. More information about reporting a crime is on our student directory and support is available through the Student Services Hubs at each of our campuses.

This area remains a priority for our whole community, and we all need to play our part in ensuring we are a safe and inclusive environment. We are a community of supportive and courageous people who, working together can and will instigate change.

If you have any suggestions or feedback or if you need support with any of the issues raised above please contact our Student Services Hub.

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15 January 2020

Could your research win you £5,000?

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 12.37 pm

Our Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education, Professor Sanja Bahun, tells us more about the Interdisciplinary Conference Fund and explains how you can apply.

Have you:

  • been excited about doing research that stretches across disciplines?
  • wondered how your research would be viewed from the perspective of someone working in a completely different research area?
  • wished you could network with researchers in other fields?
  • aspired to publish your research?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we are delighted to invite you to apply for our PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund.

Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education

Professor Sanja Bahun, Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education

What is it?

To enhance research collaboration and networking at postgraduate level, last year, we launched an award fund of £5000 for the best proposal for an interdisciplinary research conference organised by postgraduate researchers.

The successful candidates delivered a wonderful conference which enabled bold thinking across disciplines, meeting the requirement to have PGR researchers from at least two different faculties and three different departments on the organising committee.

Due to its success, we’ve launched the fund again this year.

Why should I apply?

This is an opportunity for you to explore a research question or a research methodology that stretches across disciplines.

You can think about big overarching themes and challenges faced by the contemporary world or conference topics linked to specific methodologies used across disciplines. We want you to be courageous and innovative in choosing the most pressing subject and the most suitable model for your conference.

You may deploy different methods of presentation – from traditional panels and displays through visual presentations, performances, an exhibition, or any combination of these.

You may decide to invest the funds into bringing exciting external speakers – academics or non-academics – to campus, or gathering similar-minded researchers with the aim of producing a conference publication such as a book or a Special Issue. You may use it as a springboard to international research relevance and visibility through the use of research social media.

When is the deadline?

The deadline for your grant proposal is Tuesday 21 January at 5pm.

How/when will the winner be chosen?

The PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Selection Committee will evaluate proposals and announce the winner for this year on 30 January 2019. Every proposal will receive feedback from the Selection Committee. Your conference must take place and all funds be spent by 31 July 2020.

You can find more information on our website.

You can also email the PGRE team at To enable us to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible, please include the heading “PGR Interdisciplinary Conference”.

Good luck with your applications!

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14 January 2020

Student fraud alert – beware third parties offering discounted fees

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 10.23 am

We’ve been made aware of fraudulent activity targeting students. We speak to Carol Saward, Head of Income and Payments, to find out more about how you can protect yourself from fraud.

Carol Saward, Head of Income

Carol Saward, Head of Income and Payments

How are fraudsters tricking students?

The fraud involves a third party offering to pay a student’s fees on their behalf at a discounted rate.

The third-party uses stolen credit cards to make payments to the University. These fraudulent card payments will eventually be rejected, leaving fees unpaid and the money in the hands of the fraudster.

How can I protect myself from this fraud?

  • Never share your account access details with anyone, even someone you know.
  • Be wary of anyone offering to make a payment on your behalf or promising a discount on a payment. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
  • If the other party’s actions are proven to be illegal you could still be liable for payment of your fees.

Where can I find out more?

Head to our how to pay your fees web pages for advice on paying your tuition fees.

You can also find information on spam and phishing emails on the website.

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