17 March 2016

THINK seminar series wins Guardian University Award for Student Experience

THINK wins Guardian Award

Tessa Bartlett, Fay Wilson and Dr Carlos Gigoux with the Guardian University Award for Student experience.

The University of Essex’s popular THINK seminar series has won the Student Experience category in the Guardian University Awards 2016.

The highly-successful series creates a perfect space for students to debate controversial and thought-provoking subjects and broaden their views on a wide range of issues including political violence, decriminalisation of sex work, surveillance, the death penalty and the refugee crisis.

Delighted THINK co-ordinator Dr Carlos Gigoux said after last night’s ceremony in London: “We are very happy that the THINK series won the Guardian University Award for Student Experience. The award belongs to all of us, but especially to all the students who have made the THINK seminars a lively space for debate, dialogue and action.”

At the ceremony, THINK was praised for allowing students from different departments to come together regularly to discuss major moral and political issues we face as 21st century citizens. It has been an overwhelming success, with students coming together to challenge, discuss and reflect in an environment of tolerance and respect while being the catalyst for solidarity and action.

Professor Aletta Norval, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), said: “The THINK series embodies the core of an Essex education: it encourages critical debate and provides a supportive environment in which students can explore controversial and important issues that affect their lives and develop the skills to engage effectively with these issues. We are delighted that the excellent work done by the THINK seminar series has been recognised in this way.”

President of Essex Students’ Union Adrian Chira added: “Our Essex manifesto ends with the words ‘If you are brave enough to have ideas and generous enough to share them, welcome home’. The THINK series encompasses this phrase so well. It challenges our thinking, encouraging us to put forward rational arguments and listen to the ones with whom we disagree, so that we can widen our knowledge and develop our intellect. We are very proud and very grateful to have our innovative THINK seminar series awarded and recognised.”

The Student Experience category of the Guardian Awards honours an innovative project or initiative that has positively enhanced the student experience – in their academic lives and personal wellbeing.

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