Updated: Friday 14 June 2013
Useful information for staff and students on developments across our three campuses at Colchester, Southend and Loughton,
updated regularly. Staff can also read more in the
Top Lines term-time briefing, plus back issues. Bookmark this page now
and check for updated items where you see this
New Student Centre construction underway
Preparatory work is now underway to construct the new Student Centre and Albert Sloman Library extension at our Colchester Campus.
Scaffolding is in place so contractors can put up the large 'acoustic duvet' that will considerably reduce building noise during construction. Building work noise
will also be significantly reduced during revision and exam time in May and June 2013 and 2014, and work will cease during Graduation in July 2013 and 2014. Other measures
in place to ensure quiet study space remains available, include ongoing open use of our 32 PC labs across campus, and an acoustic partition next to the 200 Library workstations in the
west side reading room of the Library is also now in place.
Further information during the project
This major two-year project is at the heart of our commitment to offer excellence in education, by providing the best possible facilities to
current and future Essex students. The project has an expected completion date of late 2014.
What the new centre and extension will offer
- IT learning hub for creative and group working
- New IT facilities including touchdown access and new helpdesk
- A new state-of-the-art media centre for the Students’ Union
- New reception area to serve the whole campus
- An extensive ‘one stop shop’ for accommodation, payments, registration and student welfare
- Second floor
- A 24-hour reading room
- Bright new bookable meeting space
- Additional space for storage and consultation of Special Collections books
- Consolidation of the Student Collection of books on the first floor to reach 42,000 extra copies by 2015-16
- A 24-hour postgraduate study area
- Additional study spaces and library shelving
- An additional 388 study places, including spaces on each floor for group and informal study
- Wireless networking throughout with most study places in the extension to have electrical outlets for laptop use
- Two areas for library and information skills training
- 24/7 study area for research postgraduate students
- Total capacity in the extended library for 1.4 million books
- Reconfiguration of entrance floor, providing informal study space
A year of success at Essex - watch our video
The University’s achievements over the past year are highlighted in a new seven-minute video, first shown at the University's Annual
Meeting of Court on Thursday 18 April. Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster introduced the video,
'A year of success at Essex' - watch it on our Vimeo channel, which showcases the full range
of student and academic successes from celebrations, events and remembrance, through to Holocaust Memorial Week, and capturing the essence of
Essex in a memorable year. Please note: this video contains flashing images.
E-payslips and the HR Organiser for staff coming soon
Following the rollout of phase one in 2011, phase two, and subsequent phases of the iHR system, will be going live from 1 August 2013 onwards,
with a pilot system running from April. The system – called the HR Organiser – offers University of Essex staff
online self-service access to view and amend employment data, via a link to a portal on the University’s website. The same system, including
e-payslips, is now successfully used by a number of other UK universities. Once launched, the HR Organiser will work in a similar way to online banking.
Printed payslips will no longer be the University’s preferred method of payment advice, they will become electronic payslips (e-payslips) with an option
for staff to request a printed payslip or to have their e-payslip e-mailed to them in PDF format. Later phases, planned to roll out
from autumn 2013, will enable line managers to view and authorise electronic absence management and annual leave requests of staff
who report to them.
The Forum Southend-on-Sea opening September 2013
Our new partnership building, The Forum Southend-on-Sea, opens its doors to students on Monday 30 September 2013. This impressive
new building provides an academic library for students at our Southend Campus and substantial additional facilities to enhance
excellence in education for our Southend Campus students. Built in partnership with Southend Borough Council and South Essex College,
the second floor will be completely dedicated to the University, and accessible 24 hours a day.
Morten's time-lapse video goes viral
Morten Rustad, a first year BSc Business Management student within our Essex Business School, has spent five months
painstakingly capturing the dramatically changing face of our Colchester Campus in time-lapsed video. Morten spent five months on the project,
using 15,000 pictures which capture the iconic buildings of the campus and its historic parkland in ever-changing weather from sun to snow.
In doing so, he has created an internet hit that has attracted coverage from BBC Look East, the Times Higher Education magazine and BBC Essex online.
View the full version on our Vimeo channel and read
the full story.
Staff and student car parking at our Colchester Campus
The new multi-decked car park, on the south side of our Colchester Campus, is now open for use by staff (with registered vehicles)
and for visitors. Two parking bays along Valley Road have been reserved for student parking only. Staff
who do not need to park on the north side of campus are encouraged to please use the new car park, as you will
easily be able to find a space - enter the new car park by taking the second turning on the right along Boundary Road,
passing the traffic island. The new payment system goes live from the end of April 2013 and it will know you are a season ticket holder and will not double-charge you.
The car park has LED motion-sensor lighting, and CCTV cameras for personal safety. Season ticket holders may also use the new car park,
as there are no barriers. As the new payment system for the multi-decked car park is not yet ready for use, as an interim measure
car parking assistants will be issuing tickets with handheld machines at the normal daily rate for those parking in the new car
park. Full details about the new payment system and fees for 2013-14 academic year.
If you are currently registered and do not want to be included in the ANPR system and wish for your vehicle registration number to be withdrawn from
the system please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This will mean you will not be able to received discounted parking in the new car park should you
wish to park there and the full visitor tariff charge will be made. If you have any general questions about car parking, please e-mail: email@example.com.
FindYourWay@Essex app gets an upgrade
Let getting lost around our Colchester Campus be a thing of the past! The
popular Find-your-way electronic campus map
is now live online
plus a mobile app is available and has had a recent upgrade, so it now
includes nearby toilets, restaurants, and notifications of routes or lifts that
are out of use, as well as the full room-finding service for our Colchester
Campus. You can view it online or use the app on your smartphone. If you need
any help, just ask for more details at the IT helpdesk off Square 4. The app is
also now available for use on iPhones.
New building to house Essex Business School underway
Following the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the new building that will
house Essex Business School on our Colchester Campus, work is now underway, with
a planned completion date of May 2014.
View images of the new building on Flickr. Installation of an electrical
supply is now underway until the end of February, that involves digging a trench
past Swaynes House leading down to William Morris Tower. Safety notices will be
in place and pathways will remain open, we would ask that students and staff
take extra care when in this area. Part of the University’s major capital
investment programme, the new three-storey 5,500m2 building is being constructed
by Morgan Sindall, is designed by leading architects BDP, and will contain a
200-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, learning and teaching areas, common
rooms and social space. It will feature sustainable design throughout such as
low and zero carbon technology, an interior winter garden, a ground source heat
pump and photovoltaic panels. The project is being managed by the University’s
Estate Management team and any questions may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information
read the news release.
Recycling bins at our Colchester Campus
Our scheme to improve recycling and reduce carbon continues to be rolled-out
since the pilot in 2010, with the addition of more centrally-located recycling
bins across our Colchester Campus. All the new bins are now in use, and follow
many other new recycling facilities that have already been installed and are in
regular use by staff and students at our Colchester Campus. Feedback so far has
generally been positive following an initial settling-in period. Importantly,
staff are recycling more, and finding it easier to recycle. Please also
read the FAQs for further information.
Vice-Chancellor’s staff blog and briefings
The Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster updates his blog for University
of Essex staff monthly, via his
dedicated University webpages. The
latest blog post is titled ‘Research and
scholarship that matters’. To access the page, staff need to enter their
University log-in details, and bookmark the page to revisit it regularly.
Professor Forster has also published a new external blog, and the first issue
asks 'What is the regional role for an international university?'
which you can read online now.
Southend town trail - blow away the cobwebs with a walk
If you're studying, visiting or working at our Southend Campus, then why not
download this town trail walking tour and accompanying map to help you find your
feet around town, visit some interesting places right on our doorstep, and blow
away the cobwebs with a bracing seaside walk? Second and third year students,
and our University staff, may also discover a new place or two!
Keep the latest Student News in your pocket
Excellence in education is our ethos, and if you're a current Essex student,
there's a new Facebook page that already more than 550 followers, where you can
find all the useful guidance and support you need to help you achieve your full
potential during your time at Essex. And if you use the Facebook smartphone app
you can carry it around in your pocket. This information is also included in the
start and end-of-term student e-bulletins, containing information from right
across our University.
'Like' the new University of
Essex student news page for more about help and support as you continue your
studies at Essex.
Improve your writing with help from the professionals
Any Essex student looking for help to improve their writing skills need look
no further. Because our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies is
hosting two Royal Literary Fund Fellows - both of whom are professional writers.
Gillian Richmond is a dramatist for TV, radio and stage and Jim Kelly is a crime
novelist (pictured). Gillian and Jim can help with all aspects of improving your
writing - from getting multiple ideas into essay form in a clear, accessible
style, to developing writing strategies and reviewing feedback on marked work.
Gillian will is now on our Colchester Campus on Mondays and Tuesdays from
10am-5pm, and Jim on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am–5pm. Both are based in room
5A.334. and to make an appointment, please visit the Department of Literature,
Film, and Theatre Studies administrative office in room 5A.201, or e-mail
Gillian at: email@example.com or Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meadows student accommodation takes shape
October 2012 saw the 'ground-breaking' ceremony for The Meadows - the vibrant
new student accommodation set to open at our Colchester Campus in autumn 2013.
When finished the new development will offer an additional 648 student bedrooms,
and a social pavilion, which will house a common room, launderette and a 'grab
and go' shop. Pictured at the ceremony are - from left to right - David Pannells
from Derwent Living, Arnaud Bekaert from construction company Bouygues UK, Bryn
Morris, the University's Registrar, and Nicolas Guerin of the Uliving@Essex
partnership, that has overall responsibility for managing the project.
Essex Offers - the new benefits scheme for our staff
The University of Essex has teamed-up with employee benefits company Reward
Compass to offer staff everyday savings and discounts in an extensive new staff
benefits scheme, called Essex Offers. It provides easy, online access to
benefits available to staff working for the University and our wholly-owned
companies, and offline deals are also available. Money-saving schemes include
medical insurance to dental care plans, alongside salary sacrifice options such
as childcare vouchers and mobile phones, good local deals, disocunted shopping
cards and exclusive privileges. If you're a member of University staff,
join Essex Offers now and
find out more.
Maths support for all
A free Maths Drop-in Centre is now open at the University to offer help and
advice to students and staff on a range of maths problems. Providing a
one-stop-shop for any maths issues, the service is part of an on-going scheme by
the Department of Mathematical Sciences to improve the employability of
students. The new helpdesk, run by trained frontrunner Plus student advisors,
will offer support to students and staff on maths issues on all levels. The aim
is to provide the opportunity for staff and students to chat through their maths
problem and be given guidance on how it can be solved. All questions will remain
confidential. To contact the Maths Drop-in Centre e-mail:
The Drop-in Centre is open from 2-3pm Monday to Wednesday and 12 noon to 1pm on
Thursdays and Fridays. Local businesses are also invited to use the service,
although their problem may be dealt with on a consultancy basis.
New Essex timetabling and scheduler app
The new Essex Scheduler app makes it easier than ever for our students to
keep track of schedule and coursework deadlines. Created by Computer Science
students Vegard Polden and Jonny Baker, for students at the University of Essex,
it lets you quickly access your timetable and online Essex resources at the
touch of a fingertip. Please note: this is a student showcase app, created by
students, and is not an official University of Essex product.
- Personalised timetable – check your schedule for the next day, week or two
- Deadlines – view your coursework deadlines by module or date
- Useful links – instant access to the most visited online resources on the
- Personal events – easily add your own events to the schedule
- Widget – display your timetables in a compact format on the home screen of
Find and download this useful new student-created app on Google play here!
Please note: This is a student showcase app, created by students, and is
not an official University of Essex product.
Helping us park safely
Five car parking helpers will be helping out in the car parks, assisting
Joe Preston, our Traffic Officer, over the next few months while the
multi-decked car park is constructed on the south side of our Colchester
Campus. Recruited by Estate Management to help ease the situation, the five
helpers will help car users find a space, where possible, and make car
parking as stress-free as possible each morning. They will direct you to a
vacant parking bay, following an operational plan. We would ask staff and
students to please understand the job they are here to do, which is to help.
Please also note that the temporary car parks on the Sports field, the
extended overflow area by the tennis courts, and Capon Road car parks (on
the Knowledge Gateway) have a temporary and uneven surface, so please wear
appropriate footwear if you use these areas. Left to right: Colin Paris,
Michael Lynch, Christopher Alexander, Joe Preston, Rosemarie Moore, Steven
Buses, bikes and trains
There are a number of ways you can get to our Colchester Campus – and great
discounts on offer for students and staff. Working with First Essex Buses and
the Student’s Union, we have negotiated a special discount that saves students
more than £300 off zone 1 annual bus tickets. These tickets will be available
from the First Bus stall on our Colchester Campus during and after Freshers’
Week, from the Burrow – the Students’ Union ticket office, on Square 3. For
train travel, staff can get a 10 per cent discount on a monthly season ticket,
and 15 per cent off quarterly, six monthly and annually for travelling to campus
by Greater Anglia trains. Students may wish to purchase a
16-25 Railcard which enables discounts of up at a third off rail fares.
Research Excellent Framework website goes live
The Research Excellence Framework (REF)
website is now live, to provide staff with the latest news about the
development of the REF by higher education funding bodies, and the steps being
taken by the University to prepare for its submission in 2013.
The REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research at
universities in the UK, and replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) last
conducted in 2008.
The website includes resources for departments to help them in the
development of their REF submissions and easy access to previously circulated
documents used to collect data from academic staff.
Boost for books in the Albert Sloman Library
Following the allocation in 2010 of an additional £300,000 to develop the
student book collection within the Albert Sloman Library, the redevelopment of
the first floor of the library is now underway to house the expanded collection.
The student book collection refers to text books and other reading material
typically used on degree course reading lists. The revamped space is planned to
open in time for the start of the 2012-13 academic year, and will hold some
45,000 books in total. This work is in addition to the new extension to the
library. Find out more about the new
Student Centre and extension to the Albert Sloman Library.
Discover the benefits of car sharing
Did you know the University of Essex's online car-sharing database now has
more than 300 members of University staff, and students, who are looking to
share their journey onto our Colchester Campus? Colleagues from across Essex,
Suffolk and beyond have now signed up and are waiting to hook up with a car
share buddy who lives nearby. The easy-to-use online database uses
liftshare.com’s proven IT system which brings together potential car sharers,
and is totally free to use. When you register your details, the system supplies
you with a number of suitable matches, and a useful map will help you pinpoint
different locations - so you can find a car sharer near to where you live. Why
not give it a go - and see the benefits of saving the environment, saving on
fuel, reducing wear and tear on your car, and making it easier for all car users
to park at the University. Signing up is quick and easy -
join the scheme today here.
Our research repository is now online
The University of Essex Research Repository is now live online with some
1,800-plus academic research papers already uploaded – boosting the visibility
and impact of our research. The repository hosts publication details and full
text of published research, and all material uploaded is open access – anyone
can view it – and it is available free of charge. If you’re a member of
University research staff, by uploading your research to the repository you will
join academic colleagues in making it available to the global scholarly
community on a scale that is impossible with paper. Visit the University of
Essex research repository at
In 2014 the University will be 50
The University of Essex's 50th Anniversary campaign has now been
launched. The University will be 50 years old in 2014 - and a short
film has been produced to start the campaign, which charts the
University's growing reputation locally, nationally and globally.
Watch it on the 50th
Campus Updates is updated daily by the