Students Staff

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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19 November 2019

Disability History Month

Filed under: Colchester, News — Laura Mathias @ 10.34 am

Disability History Month starts this Friday (22 November 2019). This year will focus on Leadership, Resistance and Culture. Our Inclusion Manager, Erkan Ibrahim, explains what you can do to mark the awareness month.

Throughout the month, we are encouraging staff and students to display posters that promote important historical figures that have demonstrated leadership in challenging outdated perceptions of disability, fighting to resist discrimination and prejudice in order to change the culture.

The ‘social model’ of disability states that an individual is disabled by their surroundings and the perceptions of others, not by their impairments. It puts the onus on society to ensure that services are accessible, and on people to ensure that they address their own bias and challenge discrimination towards disabled people.

“An individual is disabled by their surroundings and the perceptions of others, not by their impairments”

Historically, the term ‘disabled’ has often implied that a person is less-able than others because they have a hidden or visible impairment or a long term medical condition. This is in keeping with the ‘medical model’ of disability which sees the disabled person as the problem that needs to be addressed or fixed by healthcare professionals.

Disability Awareness Month

Disability has been, and often still is, seen as a charitable issue that requires sympathy. Many disabled people now feel that these models and perceptions are outdated, as they align with the ‘social model’ of disability.

Not everyone will feel confident starting a conversation about disability with others, as they may be afraid of causing offence by saying or doing the wrong thing. The Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service will be running informal ‘brown-bag lunch sessions’ to discuss what we can do to build an inclusive environment for our disabled students and staff:

  • Friday 29 November, 12-1pm, Lakeview Room (Silberrad Floor 1), Colchester Campus
  • Friday 13 December, 12-1pm – Lakeview Room (Silberrad Floor 1), Colchester Campus

Everyone is welcome. Please contact Shirley Dow (Inclusion Officer) if you have any accessibility requirements via or 01206 87 3952.

The library team will also be holding events throughout the month, keep an eye on their website for updates.

Want to talk about disability?

  • Students can contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service on 01206 87 4000 or
  • Staff can contact Occupational Health on 01206 87 2399 or
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22 October 2019

Sustainable Transport around the University

Filed under: Colchester, News — Laura Mathias @ 4.14 pm

We ran a competition during Welcome Week offering students the chance to win a bike. Our Sustainability Team wanted you to think about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, recognising that little choices can lead to big changes and the winner didn’t disappoint…

Sylwia Strzelecka is a first year student studying Modern Languages and here’s her pledge:“I will continue to use my reusable water bottle, try to transition into vegan (from currently being vegetarian), buy less and from sustainable brands where i can, walk rather than taking the bus if possible, donate to offset travel related emissions when flying with Ryanair to my home country, do my best to spread the message and raise awareness among my friends and encourage them to ditch plastic straws at least! I will always carry a reusable bag and make every endeavour to be nicer to our planet.”

Sylwia told us she will use her new bike to cycle to Colchester where she is hoping to get a part time job. She said everyone should give cycling a go, the more people that cycle the better it is for the environment and also it’s great for saving money.

Student with her bike

Sylwia Strzelecka, winner of the competiition

Here are some of the other pledges the team liked:

  • “I pledge to only buy clothes from charity shops or second-hand vintage shops – fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to environmental issues.”
  • “I pledge to use a menstrual cup and to not use pads or tampons.”
  • “I pledge to choose one day a week in which I reduce all my impact. For example, I would not watch TV and walking everywhere rather than take the bus.”

At Essex, we are continuing to work on our sustainable transport initiatives. We would love more staff and students to cycle to and from the University.

Take a look at the cycling provisions in place at our Colchester campus:

  • 32 cycle lockers and more on the way.
  • Cycle park adjacent to Rayleigh Tower at the end of the cycle path between Boundary Road and the North Towers causeway.
  • CCTV and lighting covers the park and there are places for 272 bicycles.
  • Cycle racks in 15 following locations
  • We have two fixing stations and pumps where cyclists can undertake minor repairs and pump up tyres.

If you would like to get your bike serviced, or perhaps you want to buy a bike, come and visit Dr Bike Service on Square 5 at our Colchester Campus every Wednesday during term time (8.30am – 2.30pm).

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8 October 2019

Yom Tov to all our Jewish students

Filed under: Colchester, Loughton, News, Southend, What's on — Communications, CER @ 4.04 pm

Yom Kippur, is the holiest day of the year for our Jewish students and starts at dusk on Tuesday 8 October, until after nightfall on Wednesday 9 October. If you’re unable to attend any teaching event because of religious observances, like Yom Kippur, we understand.

Information for students on the Colchester campus

The postcode of the nearest synagogue to the campus is CO1 2QG.  The easiest route for most students is to take the 62 bus to the top of East Hill (ask for the Castle or Hollytrees Museum) then walk down the hill and take a right-hand turn into Priory Street. Fennings Chase is a short distance on your left.

The Kol Nidre service starts at 6.30pm on Tuesday 8 October and there are services on Wednesday 9 October at 9.30am to 1.00pm and 4.30 to 8pm.

Information for students on the Southend campus

Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation:   There is a kosher grocery next door.

Southend and District Reform Synagogue:

If you are unable to attend a teaching event due to Yom Kippur

If you have or will miss one or more teaching events due to religious observances, you should report your absence in your MyEssex portal.

Support on-campus, search: 

Support off-campus, search:

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26 September 2019

New laptop loans at Southend

Filed under: Southend — Laura Mathias @ 2.08 pm

We’re introducing a new laptop loan service for students at Southend Campus.

There are 36 laptops available for loan, which you can access 24/7, 365 days a year from our new self-service laptop kiosk located in the Forum Learning Hub.

You will be able to use the laptops in The Learning Hub, at Clifftown Studios and The Gateway Building.

Staff introduce new library loan service

Southend library staff with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony.

To take out a laptop:
• Go to the laptop kiosk and select ‘Borrow’ using the touch screen.
• Scan your student card on the card reader below.
• Scan your student card on the flashing tower.
• Take the laptop.
• Voila, the laptop is yours for the next 3 hours to work on campus.

Find out more
The laptops run like Lab PCs, and you’ll be able to access your University drive from them. You can access your e-mails, create Word, Powerpoint, and Excel documents, and even print.

If you would like any information on borrowing, using and returning the laptops, our staff at the Info Point in the learning hub are on hand to help.

Send us your feedback
What do you like about laptop loans? What do you think we could do better? Let us know, and we can continue to improve the service.

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19 September 2019

Rosh Hashanah and Welcome Week 2019

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 3.45 pm

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts at sunset on Sunday 29 September and coincides with the first couple of days of Welcome Week on Monday 30 September and Tuesday 1 October.

Attending your induction events is compulsory, but if you’re unable to attend any event because of religious observances, like Rosh Hashanah, we understand.

It is important that our Jewish students are able to observe this important religious event, and we appreciate that some students may have a compulsory registration or departmental induction event which clashes with Rosh Hashanah.

If you do not attend your induction events, someone from your department will be in touch with you. However, if you can, please let your department know in advance.

If you are unable to attend your registration:

If you do not attend your allocated registration slot due to religious observances, you will be allowed to attend registration throughout Welcome Week on the following dates and times:

Colchester students:

Southend students:

Loughton students:

Registration at East 15 takes place on Friday 4 October and doesn’t clash with Rosh Hashanah

Support on-campus

Support off-campus

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22 July 2019

Showcase your campus photos

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Laura Mathias @ 3.29 pm

We are running a photo competition to showcase the biodiversity of our campuses.

Students at Colchester campus

Students at Colchester Campus

We want you to submit a photo taken on our Colchester, Southend or Loughton Campus that captures the nature and environment.

The winning photos will be included in the team’s welcome week wildlife photo gallery.

What you need to know:

  • This competition is open to all staff and students.
  • Photos must be over 1MB in size.
  • Submissions should be titled and include a short description in the email to provide context to the photograph.
  • If your photo is chosen you will be notified.

How to enter:

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14 June 2019

Studio X sees first entrepreneurial bootcamp for students

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.31 pm

Essex Startups annual bootcamp focusing on business ideas, the business model canvas and branding strategies, took place in Studio X, our brand new creative and collaborative working space for student entrepreneurs on 8 and 9 June.

Students in their early morning wake up session at the bootcamp.

Students in their early morning wake up session at the bootcamp.

The bootcamp is a chance for student entrepreneurs to gain valuable guidance and advice on developing their ideas and starting their own business. It also gives them a great opportunity to work on building relationships and networks with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Students who attended the bootcamp will have the chance to enter the Big Pitch this October, where they will pitch their business idea to a panel of judges for the chance to win up to £3,000 worth of funding. The students will work with the Essex Startups team over the summer on their business plan and they will automatically be entered in for a chance to pitch.

For any advice on starting your own business please contact the Essex Startups team:

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15 May 2019

Make sure your bike is tagged before our annual cycle removal

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.47 pm
A cyclist at our Colchester Campus.

A cyclist at our Colchester Campus.

Our security team are preparing to remove all abandoned bicycles and bicycle locks on campus. To prevent yours from being removed you need to display a blue tag.

These tags are available from the Information Centre on Square 3 or the Estate Management Helpdesk (room 6.003). Please secure the blue tag around your bicycle frame or lock to indicate to the Security Team that it should not be removed.  All bicycles and locks being left over the summer must have a blue tag and should be located in a cycle rack. The Security Team will be inspecting all bicycles and locks on campus during the first week of September.

Any bicycles or locks not displaying a blue tag will be deemed abandoned and removed. Removed bicycles will be donated to Re-Cycle.

Locks will be cut to remove any untagged bikes and the cost will not be reimbursed.

Staff and students wanting to continue using their bicycle on campus over the summer are advised to continue to display a blue tag to ensure their bike is not removed.

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9 May 2019

A week of celebrating the cultures and traditions of European Countries

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 8.44 am

Monica Illsley, our Chief of Staff, and Chair of the joint staff and student One Essex Inclusivity Group tells us more about Europe Week and why we’re so proud of our diversity and our inclusive spirit.

Europe Week

Europe Week

Last week students and staff came together for a week-long programme of events to celebrate what it means to us to be a European community. The idea came from our Students’ Union and it felt like the right thing to do as part of our ongoing joint University and Students’ Union One World, One Spirit, One Essex campaign.

As a University we’re proud of our diversity, our people and our inclusive spirit. We value being in an environment where students and staff from across Europe live and work and we aim to respect and support each other, no matter who we are or where we come from. It’s one of the reasons that we, as staff, work here, and why many of our students choose to study here.

Students at our flag parade

Students at our flag parade

I myself was born and grew up in London, but my parents and my family are Spanish. I first came to Essex (more years ago than I care to remember) to study for a European Law degree which included a year abroad, having chosen Essex because it felt international and welcoming and like the right fit for me. I’m now fortunate to work here and that my work brings me into contact with people from all over the world on a daily basis. I am proud to feel British, Spanish, and European.

In these times of political turmoil, we will each have our own identities and strongly held views and beliefs. Whilst these have the potential to divide us, they are also part of what makes us a diverse and, I think, really interesting, open and tolerant learning community.

A stall at our street party

A stall at our street party

Europe Week, led by Asha Ali our wonderful VP International and Students’ Union President (Elect), saw students and staff come together through events and activities, to share cultures and traditions, the things that make us who we are as individuals and that together make us the rich and vibrant University community that we’re so proud of. And from the Opening Flag Parade on Monday to the Street Party event that closed the week in style on Friday (despite the less than ideal weather), I think we did just that.

Useful links
Impact of European Union referendum vote for staff
Brexit support and advice for our students
Reaffirming our position as an international University community

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