About us

How we use your fees

Your tuition fees are invested to provide you with a transformational education. They help us to create the stimulating and cutting-edge environment that supports the world-class research and education we offer at Essex. We are ranked 4th in the country for facilities spend per student in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.

Your fees contribute to the teaching costs of seminars and lectures, and all aspects of your student experience, from our wide range of sporting activities to our employability services and our leading Students' Union.

In recent years student fees have helped us make some significant improvements, including:
  • the Silberrad Student Centre at our Colchester Campus, bringing all our student services together in one dedicated hub
  • extending the Albert Sloman Library at our Colchester Campus so it now holds nearly 1.2 million items
  • enhanced sports facilities including new tennis courts, a new sports hall and new sport study space at our Colchester Campus
  • a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) building at our Colchester Campus
  • open access group study spaces at our Colchester and Southend Campuses
  • The Forum building at our Southend Campus which provides a modern library as well as teaching and research facilities
  • new student facilities at our East 15 Loughton Campus
  • increasing the money we provide to our Students' Union
  • introducing new courses, like journalism
  • Listen Again – our lecture recording system which enables you to listen to lectures again later, online
  • developing the Pocket Essex mobile app, giving you access to your course information, timetable, coursework feedback and marks, and your library record

We’ll continue to invest in our campuses and our students and we have some exciting plans, including:

  • new student accommodation at our Colchester Campus
  • expanding our outreach programme
  • more support to help our students achieve their potential
  • continuing to introduce new courses
  • continuing to increase the money we provide to our Students’ Union

The breakdown of how your fees are spent is listed below:

  • Direct teaching costs: 45%
  • Student welfare, employability and academic services: 11%
  • Teaching buildings: 11%
  • IT services and libraries: 9%
  • Administrative support: 7%
  • Outreach and communications: 6%
  • Scholarships and bursaries: 5%
  • Other expenses: 3%
  • Students' Union: 2%
  • Campus services: 1%

The value we offer

We're in the UK top 10 for research power across the social sciences, arts and humanities, and science and health – sociology, law, economics and econometrics, politics and international studies and computer science. universities for research excellence and Essex is a centre of world-leading excellence for the social sciences. (REF 2021).

To support your future career, we have embedded research and workplace skills in your Essex education. We also offer language tuition at no extra cost, and a Big Essex Employability Award, which takes account of your work experience, volunteering and student society participation.

How are fees are set

Fees for UK and EU students

Fees for Home and EU students are set by the UK Government. In previous years, the tuition fee has increased for each academic year of study. The 2018 fee was frozen but we do not know yet if, or when, this will change. Previous increases were limited to the annual increase in the RPI-X index.

The fee status of EU students may be subject to review should the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union change the legal status of EU students, but we will do all we can to mitigate this.

Fees for international students

Universities still get some government funding for UK and EU students but none for international students from outside the EU. International student fees are therefore higher to reflect the full cost of your education. We also provide extra regulatory and support services for international students (for example, help with immigration and English language support), and these costs are reflected in the fees we charge.

Our financial aims

Essex is a statutory charity so we don't have shareholders asking us to make a profit. We do aim to generate a small cash surplus each year that we can directly reinvest in the University, to continue to improve your experience through new buildings, IT equipment, and better services.