Campus improvements set to continue
Over the past couple of years, the University has
seen great changes in its physical environment through an extensive building programme.
The start of the Autumn term sees the completion of some of the building projects, while
design work on new projects moves rapidly forward. These projects form a key part of the
Universitys strategy to cater for a 20 per cent increase in student numbers by 2005
and to ensure it remains at the forefront of education and research provision. These
improvements range from new teaching and research facilities to student accommodation,
catering outlets and office space.
The past 12 months have seen the University
commit more than £500,00 to the rationalisation of redundant laboratory space in the
former Physics building. Former laboratories have been converted into a boardroom and
offices for the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar and to enable the total relocation of the
This month saw the handover of the third and
final phase of the Universitys South Courts accommodation. An additional 512 study
bedrooms have been added enabling the University to accommodate half of its students on
campus. At £9.5million this was the largest single construction contract ever
commissioned by the University.
A design brief is currently being proposed for
the new Student Street which will house the Students Union and associated welfare
and support services in one main area instead of dispersed around the campus. Construction
will commence at the end of this academic year. The space freed up by this will allow
Departments to expand and see new state-of-the-art seminar rooms.
The catering facilities on campus have also
undergone extensive changes. The new S X Express Café opened during May in Square 4 and
last month the new Take 3 take away outlet and Café Vert
opened. The former Square 3 Café has now become Food on 3.
The new Café Vert
in Square 3
Academic departments across the University will
benefit from a £2.5million office and teaching building to be completed by early 2002.
This will mainly be used for the departments of History and Accounting, Finance and
Management. The space vacated by these two Departments will be used by other academic
disciplines. This month, the Building Sub Committee approved sketch design plans for the
building and an application for planning permission will be made by the end of the year.
During the summer, a masterplan for the Sports
Centre has been developed and work on the first phase, to support the expansion of Sports
Science, will be undertaken next summer.
The second phase of the refurbishment of the
research laboratories for the Department of Biological Sciences, which began last year,
will also be completed shortly. In September 1999 a new suite of laboratories for
microbiology research were opened as part of a £400,000 project jointly funded by the
University and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Further grants
from HEFCE have been obtained which will fund an extension to the Biological Sciences
building. A second grant will see the conversion of a large part of the science workshop
into a learning and resource centre equipped with video conferencing and data links. The
Estate Management Section will begin design work on this project in conjunction with
Information Systems Services later in the year.
More immediately the installation of two units of
temporary offices, which was delayed by the petrol crisis, will be complete by the end of
Week 1. Work to provide new accommodation for the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the John
Tabor Laboratories is almost complete, and further conversion works in the Physics
building to provide offices for the Business Development and Research Office is just
commencing. In addition to these projects more than £500,000 of maintenance and
refurbishment works in student residences was undertaken this summer.
The Director of Estate Management, Andrew
Nightingale, said he was delighted that the residential projects had all been delivered on
time and paid tribute to the efforts of contractors and staff of the Accommodation and
Estate Management Sections.
Multi-million company launched
ilotron, the multi-million pound start-up
company based at the University, was officially launched over the summer by Baroness
Warwick, Chief Executive of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (CVCP).
Baroness Warwick opened ilotrons new £1million electronic and research
centre based in the John Tabor Laboratories.
ilotron ilotron is the second and most successful
spin-out company to emerge from the research excellence at the University. The campus
location of the electronic and research centre will enable the company to maintain its
close links with the University and, in particular, with the ESE Department where it is
supporting two academic projects and a PhD student.
The ilotron team
pictured with Baroness Diana Warwich (fourth from right)
At the launch the Registrar, Dr Tony Rich, spoke
about how important ilotron is to the development of the University. He said:
It gives physical embodiment to the progress we have made in developing our links
with industry and in working with the commercial and industrial sector in our efforts to
commercialise the application of University research.
Our aim is to encourage academic
researchers to seek opportunities to bring their research closer to the market place. This
process is supported by our Business Development and Regional Office, led by Bill Huston.
The next phase of the Universitys growing interaction with business and industry
will see the development of a Research Park on the University campus providing the
opportunity for companies such as ilotron to establish themselves.
ilotron was set up in January this year as
a result of the ground-breaking research carried out by telecommunications engineers in
the Photonics Research Centre in the Department of Electronics Systems Engineering
(ESE).It aims to launch the worlds first all optical core network router for
telecommunications networks, a field set for rapid expansion as telecom operators gear up
for heavy investment in optical circuits to meet demand from internet traffic. The first
product to be developed by ilotron will be evaluated later this month with British
Telecom at their Adastral Park Technology Centre which is designed to evaluate network
performance of innovative optical products.
Third Latin American Month
The third annual Latin American month will be
held between October and November. This year the focus will be Brazil, to commemorate the
500 years of Brazils discovery by the Portuguese Empire. The month is organised by
the centre of Latin American Studies, the University of Essex Collection of Latin American
Art (UECLAA) and the Latin American Society.
Cristina Salgado (Brazil),
'Anjo' angel cast in bronze
As in previous years, there
will be a number of events going on including a Brazilian party in the Underground and a
number of seminars which will cover topics such as slavery and citizenship in 19th century
Brazil, and Gilberto Freyre and the English in Brazil. Speakers will include Dr Maria
Lucia Pallares-Burke from the University of Sao Paulo and Hebe Mattos from the
UECLAA will be holding a special exhibition of
its Brazilian holdings in the Albert Sloman Library. The exhibition will be accompanied by
a one-day seminar hosted by the UECLAA. The seminar will be centred around Brazilian
Avantgardes covering the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Guest speakers attending the seminar will
include Oriana Badderley and Michael Asbury from Camberwell School of Art and artists
Cristina Pape and Milton Machado from Brazil whose work is part of the UECLAA collection.
A booklet featuring the selected works will be available.
Artists family help to launch exhibition
The Universitys Millennium
exhibition, Constable and Wivenhoe Park: Reality and Vision, was officially
launched last month by two descendants of the artist John Constable.
The great-great-great-grandson and three-year-old
great-great-great-great-grandson of Constable, both of whom bear the name John Constable,
attended a special preview of the exhibition.
They were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of
Colchester, friends and supporters of the University and representatives of the
individuals and galleries who have donated valuable works of art to the exhibition.
The Rt Rev John Waine, Pro Chancellor and Chair
of the University Council, opened the exhibition and remarked on its importance to the
University and wider community.
John Constable- The
- displays his own artistic talents.
He said: This is a very momentous occasion
in the life of the University and we are deeply indebted to all that have brought this
exhibition together. To have this opportunity to see the centrepiece painting here in
Wivenhoe Park speaks volumes.
Thousands of people will visit the
exhibition including sixth form students, degree students in eighteenth century art,
participants in family days with picnics and tours of the gallery as well as art lovers
from far and wide.
The launch of the exhibition attracted a great
deal of media attention locally, nationally and internationally in various publications
and on radio and television.
Election of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley to Human Rights Committee
Professor Sir Nigel Rodley (pictured below) has
just been elected as an independent expert to the Human Rights Committee.
The Human Rights Committee was established by the
United Nations (UN) to hear applications brought against states for violations of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) - it is the international
equivalent of the European Court of Human Rights.
Previous UK incumbents include Dame Rosalyn
Higgins, now a judge on the International Court of Justice. Professor Rodley, currently UN
Special Rapporteur on Torture, succeeds Lord Colville as the British member on the
Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain welcomed the
election saying: I am particularly pleased that Sir Nigel won the support of more
states party than any other candidate. The UK attaches great importance to the work of the
HRC, which needs independent, high calibre members, with extensive human rights and legal
I am sure the Committee will benefit
greatly from Professor Rodleys substantial experience as UN Special Rapporteur on
Torture, Amnesty Internationals Legal Adviser and as Professor of Law at Essex
Universitys Human Rights Centre.
Sports Bursaries Scheme for Elite Athletes
The Sports Centre, in conjunction with Sports Fed
and the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, will be launching a Sports Bursary Scheme
this year. The demands on national and international athletes are ever increasing and the
Scheme aims to assist such athletes in maintaining a balance between their academic and
sporting careers, and assist the athlete to continue competing at the international level.
The athletes will receive a wide ranging package
of support including financial support, sports science testing and access to sports
facilities both on site and within the Borough. In addition each athlete will have a
mentor to act as liason between their department, coach and National Governing Body,
assisting them in maintaining a balanced lifestyle throughout their period of study.
It is hoped that the scheme as well as providing
excellent support for athletes currently studying at the University, will also be a
positive recruiter in attracting athletes of an international calibre to the University.
Currently there are plans to tie in with local sports Clubs and offer a Sports Scholarship
tier to the scheme.
If anyone would like further information about
the scheme or is interested in applying, please contact Dan Tilley (Assistant Director of
Record number of students
At the time of going to press, the University
looks set to register more students than ever before. Registrations in all categories
-undergraduate and postgraduate, home and overseas - are likely to be up on previous
years. However the intense competition for new Home and EU undergraduates, made worse by
all universities being allowed at a late stage to increase intakes, means that the
Universitys ambitious expansion targets will not quite be met. Postgraduate
acceptances are currently up by seven per cent however and increases in overseas student
numbers (both undergraduate and postgraduate) are likely.
The successful recruitment season means that the
University has had no difficulty in filling all places in South Courts 3 which was
completed on time for students to move in at the start of the academic year.