I want to mark Academic Year 2021-22 drawing to a close by saying a very big thank you for your support throughout the year. It has been challenging in so many different ways, but it has been a year with some notable successes, despite an unpredictable external environment. Our success has only been possible because of your hard work and support – so thank you.

We have had a wonderful week of 15 graduation ceremonies and next week we will be hosting five additional ceremonies, to ensure that graduands who were not able to come to our Colchester Campus to celebrate over the last two years can do so this month, if they would like to. For me this is the happiest time of our academic year and the culmination of a great deal of hard work by our staff and students. It is the best of Essex and Essex at our very best. So a very big thank you to all staff and in particular to the Graduation team and all the additional volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make sure that graduation runs so smoothly – especially in the exceptionally hot weather.

You can see all the photos from a wonderful Graduation on Flickr.

I know that our focus is already on preparing for the start of the new academic year – and in particular confirming offers of admission and putting in place plans for welcoming our new and returning students. Teams across our University community are now working together, in partnership with our Students’ Union, to plan a full programme of Welcome activities. By doing all that we can to welcome our new and returning students, we hope to create the sense of belonging that we know is so important to the Essex experience.

I hope that you will be able to take some well-earned holiday over the summer period so we are ready for all the excitement of a new autumn term.

 Thank you and best wishes.