Updated: Wednesday 2 October 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
Employability-Fest 8-10 October
Calling all first years, second years, third years and postgrads! Our Employability-Fest takes place next week on Tuesday 8,
Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 October from 11am-2pm on Square 2 at our Colchester Campus and you're all welcome! There's a jobs
tent, careers tent, chill-out area, music and free food on offer. Come and say hello to our helpful careers staff, find out more about the opportunities open to you,
and what you can do right now to boost your employability and set your future career on the right track.
You can also find out more on the
Employability and Careers Facebook page and website.
Welcome to all new students
If you're arriving at any time throughout the academic year as a new student member of the University of Essex community,
a warm welcome awaits you at Essex. An Essex education means excellence: you'll have the experience of a lifetime in living
and learning, with research-led teaching by our world-class academics, at one of the UK’s top ten universities for research
excellence. We have a friendly, welcoming student community, with more than 130 nationalities represented across the University
on our three campuses, and the full range of student activities, clubs and societies awaits you. We hope you find all the
information on our Welcome website useful. This includes pre-arrival
publications and videos to help you and your family prepare before you arrive, alongside the many social activities organised
by our Students' Union you can get involved with.
Keep up-to-date with Student News
At Essex, we're all about Excellence in Education - so if you're a new student, a second or third year, or a Postgrad, make sure you follow our
Student News Facebook page, where you can find all the useful guidance and support you need to help you achieve your full
potential during your time at Essex. Updates include the latest on news from around our three campuses, employability and careers initiatives and events,
the latest form clubs and societies and updates form our student support team. 'Like' the new University of
Essex student news page for more about help and support as you continue your Essex journey!
Download our information on The Forum Southend-on-Sea
As our new partnership building, The Forum Southend-on-Sea, gets set to open its doors to
students on Monday 30 September 2013, we've produced a new information leaflet illustrating everything you need to know about the new building and its layout.
You can also see all the work that has gone into creating this state-of-the-art building on our timelapse video on
The Forum webpages for staff and students. 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.
Nominations open for Chancellor
Following the decision of Lord Phillips of Sudbury to stand down as our Chancellor at the end of July, after presiding over his eleventh Graduation,
we are now starting the process of appointing a new Chancellor. The new Chancellor will take up the office as we embark on the celebrations to mark our 50th anniversary in 2014. It is a ceremonial
and ambassadorial role and we wish to consider the widest possible field of candidates who share our values, our ethos, and our commitment
to excellence in research and excellence in education.
All members of the University community – students, staff and alumni – are invited to consider putting forward suggestions for
consideration. Please e-mail email@example.com with a short paragraph about your
suggested candidate explaining who they are and why you feel they are worthy of consideration.
Please observe confidentiality and do not ask or inform the person you suggest. Nominations will be considered by a
joint committee of Senate and Council to enable a shortlist to be drawn up.
Our Chancellor will typically visit the University at least four times a year and will preside
over Graduation and the Annual Meeting of Court. He or she will hold office for five years,
although this may be extended to a maximum of ten years. Please submit your suggestions by no later than Friday 25 October.
Wireless network upgrade
Work is underway to upgrade wireless network coverage across Colchester,
Southend and Loughton campuses.
The main benefits are:
- Expanded wireless coverage
- Improved connectivity and speed
The upgrade will cover all University buildings occupied by members of staff
- this is not an upgrade to the student accommodation network.
Around 400 new wireless access points will be installed across all three
campuses. The work will involve some noise, and require access to many rooms. As
a result of this, work will take place outside of normal working hours to
minimise disruption. Work is scheduled to finish by the end of October.
Over the coming weeks ISS will be releasing regular updates as and when
wireless coverage has been upgraded for whole buildings via
Twitter and Facebook.
For more information please contact ISS
Systems Group Queries.
Don’t forget to check the IT@Essex
blog for regular updates and information about projects, developments and
work on-going within our IT teams that may be relevant to you.
Car parking fees 2013-14
The planned car parking fee increases for 2013-14 have been reduced from the
previously advertised rates in recognition of the current economic pressures
being felt by staff and students.
In response to requests from users to simplify the car registration process
the University is introducing an online car registration system to make it more
accessible and less time consuming to apply for car registration.
The online system will go live from 16 September. Staff without access to a
PC can use the computers in the Estate Management corridor and staff will be on
hand to assist.
Paper application forms are also available from the
Estate Management Helpdesk, room 6.003, or a form can be downloaded from the
car parking website. No applications will be processed before 16 September
and postal applications are welcome.
Helping you get a job
The University has launched
Essex Application, a pack specially designed for Essex students equipping
them with key advice and skills to ensure their job applications stand out to
employers. Produced by the Employability and Careers Centre and Learning and
Development, the pack has been developed in consultation with students, staff
and employers and is aimed at helping students recognise their skills and
experience and to write good application forms, all of which will ensure they
make a positive first impression when applying for a job after university.
Available both online and in hard-copy, Essex Application accompanies the
Essex CV pack and is free for all current and former University students.
Free Wi-Fi in all student accommodation at Colchester and Southend
Free free wireless internet is being installed within all student
accommodation at Colchester and Southend, in time for the beginning of the new
academic year. The project, led by Campus Services with support from the
Students’ Union, will ensure a seamless Wi-Fi service throughout University
accommodation, including individual bedrooms and communal areas. As an important
part of this upgrade, the bandwidth available is being doubled up to speeds of
20mb. The Wi-Fi service will run alongside the current wired service provided by
StudentCom, allowing a single registration and log-in for both wired and
wireless internet access.
Name change for Online Submission System (OCS) as part of Making
Electronic Feedback Effective (MEFE) project
Our Online Coursework Submission System (OCS) is changing with plans to
improve e-submission, e-feedback and e-marking services.
The changes are part of the Making Electronic Feedback Effective project
(MEFE) within our wider Assessment and Feedback step change programme.
As part of this change the existing OCS name will be changing to Feedback,
Assessment, Submission electronic repository (FASer) - pronounced faser or
Construction update for building to house Essex Business School
Our brand new building to house Essex Business School is starting to take
shape and those of us on campus over the summer will see some exciting
development happening before our eyes. The unique timber frame with its curving
beams is clearly visible now and the lift shaft, the plant room and the main
lecture theatre have all been started.
A crew of around 20 have been working on the timber frame itself, along with
others who have been working on the foundations using the plant and other
machinery. The main timber frame is made of spruce which is a yellow coloured
type of pine. The arches are made from larch which is a weather resistant, much
denser type of timber which grows at higher altitude and has a red tinge to it.
More than 20 weeks were spent preparing the detailed design for the building
and the exact timber sizes are a fine balance between the aesthetic and the
technical. More updates will follow as this exciting project progresses.
Closure of footpaths next to student accommodation at The Meadows
Another section of The Quays footpath linking the Quays Bridge to our
Colchester Campus will be closed to pedestrians from Friday 5 July. This is in
addition to the section of Capon Road footpath that is next to the new student
accommodation at The Meadows. The closures will allow the contractor to remove
the hoarding and commence landscaping in that area. For safety reasons fencing
will be installed so only contractor personnel will be able to access this area.
You will still be able to use the Quays Bridge via a footpath diversion
route. Pedestrians travelling from the University are advised to use the
footpath running along Boundary Road and Capon Road and then walk along Annan
Road. Please see the attached plan.
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 ceased during Graduation in July 2013 and will
do the same for 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
- 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
- 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
Gearing up to our 50th in 2014
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 and several podcasts have been produced to start the campaign,
charting the University's growing reputation locally, nationally and
globally. Visit the 50th
Anniversary website for full details.
E-payslips and the HR Organiser for staff
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, and a
pilot system has been 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.
Southend town trail - print out the map and get walking!
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!
Essex Offers scheme for staff members
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.
Campus Updates is updated by the