Essex, University of
Sunday 01 July 2012
University of Essex
University of Essex
History: One of nine new universities founded in the early 1960s, Essex opened in 1964 with 122 students, 28 teaching staff and seven departments. The vision of its founding vice-chancellor Sir Albert Sloman was to develop a small number of large internationally-renowned departments with an interdisciplinary, contemporary and international outlook. Sir Albert's 1963 BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of 'A University in the Making' give an insight into the university's history.
Address: Main site is two miles from Colchester. East 15 Acting School has three sites in Loughton on the outskirts of London and there is also a site in Southend.
Ambience: Set in Constable country, Essex was put up in the sixties, built of concrete but on a greenfield site, set in 200 acres of parkland with three lakes. Main features of the skyline are six brick-built residential towers each divided into 14-16 flats. Recent investment at Colchester and at the Southend campus, and a new campus in Suffolk in partnership with the University of East Anglia.
Vital statistics: A small, friendly university with over 10,000 students across three campuses. Hefty contingent of international students, plus large graduate school. Essex had a wild and woolly youth. It has grown respectable and academic. Still a centre for the social sciences.
Added value: Encourages overseas study. Houses the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) incorporating the ESRC Centre of Micro-Social Change. ISER co-ordinates the UK Household Longitudinal Study, Understanding Society. Also home to an astonishing collection of modern Latin American art. Recently opened £1.4m sports centre with the state-of-the-art Evolve gym featuring cutting-edge fitness technology. Facilities at the Colchester Campus have been improved with the development of the PC-equipped Limehouse learning space. A £21m Student Centre and library extension will be opening in October 2013, along with a £22m complex of town houses called The Meadows that will accommodate up to 650 students.
Easy to get into? Pretty competitive. Between BBC and ABB at A-level (280-320 UCAS points) for most honours degrees.
Glittering alumni: David Yates, director of Harry Potter films Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince; Daniel Libeskind, world-renowned architect who has been commissioned to design the flagship building for New York’s former World Trade Centre site; Dr Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize Winner; Rudolfo Neri Vela, Mexico's only astronaut; late diplomatic broadcast journalist Brian Hanrahan; Ben Okri, Booker prize-winner; Nick Broomfield, documentary film maker.
Transport links: Good, if you want to get to the Continent, the rest of East Anglia and London. Less than an hour from London by train. Not so good for the rest of the UK. Stansted Airport is less than an hour away and there is a coach service to and from the airport.
Who's the boss? Professor Colin Riordan is Vice-Chancellor.
Research: Ranked 9th out of 115 in the Research Assessment Exercise.
Overall ranking: Came 39th out of 116 in the Complete University Guide.
Nightlife: Several bars and venues on campus plus the award-winning Student Union club Sub Zero which is open late for club nights and live music. The Student Union bar has undergone a £400,000 refurbishment, while the annual summer ball is the highlight of the year.
How green is it? Came 75th out of 145 universities ranked by People and Planet in their ‘Green League 2012’. Has launched a Green Task Force to develop a far-reaching sustainability policy and help reduce the University’s overall carbon footprint.
Any accommodation? Plenty. Standard rooms start at £70 per week and en-suites at £100.
Cheap to live there? Certainly, by the standards of the south-east.
Sports ranking: 37th in the BUCS league.
Fees: As of September 2012, Essex will charge home and EU undergraduates the maximum fee of £9000, with overseas students paying between £9000 and £12,950.
Bursaries: The university pays a bursary of £1500 per year to students with a household income below £25,000. For those with a family income lower than £20,000, 200 accommodation subsidies of £3000 each are available to cover the first year of study. Students studying on some NHS-funded courses within the School of Health and Human Sciences may be entitled to NHS financial support which can cover the full cost of tuition fees.
Prospectus: 01206 873 333 / www.essex.ac.uk
UCAS code: E70
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