Highlights from 2022

  • Date

    Fri 16 Dec 22

Two graduating students celebrating

This was a remarkable year for so many reasons. Our campuses came back fully to life after so many disruptions caused by the pandemic and thousands came to our spring and summer graduations at our Colchester Campuses to celebrate their achievements.

Here are some highlights from our news pages.

We celebrated graduation together again

For the first-time we held graduations in the spring and summer. Take a look back at all the photos from our summer graduation and discover the remarkable Class of 2022 plus the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020, who all had to rise to the challenge of studying under the shadow of COVID-19.

A Year of Awards

As the number one university for working with business through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships we were delighted to be nominated for three awards at the prestigious Innovate UK Awards with Dr Faiyaz Doctor receiving the KTP Academic of the Year Award. We were also proud to recognise outstanding researchers and partner businesses at our Celebration of Innovation[]

Essex graduate Qais Altoubi won a Study UK Alumni Award after establishing the largest online learning platform in Oman, while innovative linguist Dr Faisal Al-Homoud won the culture and creativity category of the Study UK Alumni Awards in Saudi Arabia.

Fellow Essex alumni Davide Valeriani and Sead Alihodzic were also shortlisted in the global Study UK Alumni Awards – with Davide up for the Business and Innovation Award and Sead for the Social Action Award. Promoting ‘green finance’ to combat the impact of climate change led to Essex graduate Nagima Ayubayeva being named as a finalist in the Science and Sustainability category of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2022 in Kazakhstan.

Our whole community was delighted to see Wivenhoe Park, home to our Colchester Campus, receive the Green Flag 2022 People’s Choice Award once again . The historic parkland retained its place among the UK’s most popular green spaces for the fifth year running after a public vote.

An innovative partnership that provides sixth form students across six schools with a greater range of subjects won a top national award.  The VI6 Partnership is celebrating after picking up a Pearson National Teaching Award in recognition of the collaboration between five schools and the University of Essex.

Many individual academics also received awards for their work. The Distinguished Service to British Sociology Award from the British Sociological Association was posthumously conferred on Professor Ken Plummer. Professor Nigel South was awarded the British Society of Criminology’s Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of half a century of work in academic and real-world criminology. Professor Ileana Steccolini, of Essex Business School, was awarded the 2022 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal’s Research Hall of Fame award. Professor Lucy Noakes was awarded the 2022 Social History Society Book Prize for her book Dying for the Nation: Death, Grief and Bereavement in Second World War Britain,

Our professional services teams were also recognised on the national stage with our Planning and Data Insight (PDI) team winning the Best Planning Collaboration at a Higher Education Institute category at the national Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) awards.

Essex Rebels were back bigger and better

Our Essex Rebels returned to the court this year and reignited the passionate crowds of the Essex Sport Arena for the first time since the pandemic.

Our women’s side has reached the WBBL Cup Semi Finals for the first time with their incredible support. 

Away from the sporting success, our Rebels family grew this year with the franchise expanding to a brand-new sport – Volleyball. 

We also unveiled an exciting new Rebels kit which was inspired by Colchester’s incredible Roman and tribal traditions.

The power of our research grew

The Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) highlighted our world-leading profile in the social sciences with further research strengths across science, health, arts and the humanities.

Essex is in the UK top 10 for five subjects based on Times Higher Education’s ‘research power’ measure which takes into account the key areas of REF2021 – research outputs, impact and environment – plus the size of the research community in each unit of assessment.

For research power, Essex is 2nd for sociology, 3rd for law, 4th for economics and econometrics, 6th for politics and international studies, and 6th for computer science. Psychology, philosophy, and business and management are also in the top 20 in the UK. For ‘research quality’ based on grade point average in REF2021, Essex is ranked 3rd in the UK for modern languages and linguistics.

We brought our community together for our Celebrating Excellence in Research and Impact Awards and we launched the new Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing.

Our alumni community reunited on our campuses

Alumni from every decade of Essex’s history - stretching across seven decades - met for a special Alumni Reunion Weekend in the summer. Read the blog and see all the photos.

We launched our Essex Futures Appeal

We need to make sure talented students with the potential to change the world get the support they need to overcome any financial barriers they face – that is where our £1m Essex Futures Appeal comes in.

As part of our commitment to investing in our students, we launched the most ambitious scholarships appeal in our history to invite our community to support the next generation.

Edge Hotel School celebrates 10th anniversary

Staff, students, graduates and industry partners have been reflecting on the achievements of Edge Hotel School as it prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Since welcoming its first students in 2012 Edge Hotel School (EHS) has racked up a string of achievements including a top ranking for student satisfaction; helping a graduate reach the semi-finals of The Apprentice; a hotel of the year award shortlisting; and sending students to The Brits.

THE Impact Rankings underlines our commitment to sustainability

The University of Essex is in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which recognise universities for making a difference in society and working towards a more sustainable future.

Essex is ranked 76th out of more than 1,400 institutions across the world assessed in the highly prestigious annual rankings which show how the global higher education sector is working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our commitment to sustainability has supported our progress to 31st in the People and Planet University rankings.

The People and Planet University rankings focus on exploring the progress of universities on ethical careers, managing carbon, waste and recycling and staff and student engagement. Essex is ranked joint first in the UK for 'Education for Sustainable Development' and joint 17th for our approach to carbon reduction.

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