The University of Essex was granted its Royal Charter in 1965 and is now one of the UK's leading academic institutions with top-quality research, teaching and an international reputation.
Essex offers one of the best student experiences in the UK, with more than 12,000 students coming from across the globe to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere across our campuses in Colchester, Loughton and Southend.
The latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008 ranked Essex ninth in the UK for the quality of our research with more than 90% of research recognised internationally for its quality and 22% of research rated as 'world leading'.
The 2011 National Student Survey ranked Essex 20th in England for overall student satisfaction in with 88% of students expressing overall satisfaction with their course. Art History and Theory, Philosophy and Psychoanalytic Studies achieved 95% or more satisfaction ratings. Essex was also ranked in the top 20 for a number of science, social science and humanities subjects. The University exhibits diversity and a strongly international character with 132 countries represented in our student body. Essex also has over 12,000 students with 3,349 postgraduates, and 8,891 undergraduates studying at all three of our campuses.
Colchester Campus is set in 200 acres of parkland on the outskirts of Colchester and has good road, rail, and airport links with London only a 40 minute train journey away. The Albert Sloman Library has more than 580 workstations and is open 24 hours during exam term and there is also a 24 hour reading room. The library holds over 1 million volumes and many collections of national and international importance. Colchester Campus provides students with a number of open access laboratories across campus, alongside many facilities including diverse food outlets, banks, shops, a Post Office, hairdressing salon and Waterstones book shop. The University nightclub, Sub Zero, won Best Student Venue in the UK in 2006 and the Students Union put on a full calendar of events each term for students, ranging from current music acts to themed nights to buffets. There are also over 150 different clubs and societies for students to be part of. In 2011, Essex opened a £1.4-million sports centre at Colchester Campus with Evolve gym featuring state-of-the-art fitness technology, 20 acres devoted to sport and extensive indoor, including a climbing wall, and outdoor facilities including disc golf course and synthetic pitch.
Southend Campus, adjacent to the Southend Central railway station and Southend High Street, is a new multi-million pound campus providing state-of-the-art teaching, business and study facilities. It is also home to the Clifftown Theatre and Studio which offers unique rehearsal and performance space and our student accommodation, University Square, has become an iconic building in the town centre and home to our new state-of-the art Evolve gym and fitness studio. The campus also has more than 70 workstations for students to study at and is just 50 minutes from central London.
Loughton Campus is home to the world-renowned East 15 Acting School which is a five-minute walk from the nearest London Underground station, Debden. The campus is also home to the Corbett Theatre and is a compact and friendly and offers students state-of-the-art studios, technical equipment and theatre space.
As part of the University’s £200-million plus capital development plan to improve facilities for students, numerous developments have been taking place at all three of our campuses:
- Clifftown Studios at the Southend Campus has been refurbished to include new theatrical space large enough to accommodate work by East 15 Acting School students. Opened January 2010.
- New £5-million pound Tony Rich Teaching Centre at the Colchester Campus, offering high quality, modern teaching space. Opened October 2010
- Newly opened Southend student accommodation; University Square featuring 561 rooms with many green and sustainable features. Opened October 2010.
- The new £7-million infrastructure development, Knowledge Gateway is currently being developed at the Colchester Campus which will provide research and development and office space for start-up businesses through to major blue-chip companies, as well as associated hotel, and leisure facilities.
- Wivenhoe House Hotel is home to the £10-miilion development, Edge Hotel School which is the first of its kind in the UK housed at the Colchester Campus, staffed by students, supervised and mentored by industry professionals is designed to prepare the future leaders of the hotel and hospitality industry.
- Student facilities at the Colchester Campus have been improved with the development of the Limehouse; state-of-the-art space with PC-equipped learning group pods and two new seminar rooms. Also Fusion; open wok-style Southeast Asian eatery, offering good value, tasty and authentic snacks or larger meals. Opened January 2012.
- £21-million Student Centre and library extension at Colchester Campus including an integrated learning centre, 24-hour reading room, Students’ Union media centre and a one-stop-shop for student services. The library extension will include a dedicated 24-hour postgraduate study area plus additional reader spaces and library shelving. Opening October 2013.
- Southend’s Elmer Square will be built to create an integrated municipal and academic public library, alongside a stimulating research and learning environment for the University and a modern teaching facility for South Essex College of Further and Higher Education. (Autumn 2013).
- £22 million complex of town houses called The Meadows at Colchester Campus, accommodating 228 students in groups of 12, plus en-suite flat clusters for a further 420 students, and a social pavilion. Opening autumn 2013.
Essex will be celebrating its 50th birthday in 2014, since its establishment in 1964.