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14 Financial Statements 2011-12

For 2012 entry, we reviewed our financial support packages in partnership with our Students’ Union to ensure students identified as having the greatest financial need could come to the University of Essex and benefit from the excellent student experience we provide.

Through the National Scholarship Programme (NSP), 200 first-year students, who met the NSP eligibility criteria and are from low income households with a household income of up to £10,000, could access an accommodation subsidy of £3,000. This supports our aim to help students from under-represented groups to come to Essex no matter where they live and provide local students, regardless of background, with access to the complete student experience.

Our bursary scheme also supports students with a household income of up to £25,000. If they met the conditions of their offer and made the University their firm choice by the relevant UCAS deadline, they were eligible for a contribution from the University of £1,500 per year for every year of their undergraduate study.

We also provided scholarships of £2,000 for each year for UK students who achieved academic excellence in their studies. Due to the nature of our intake we anticipated that a significant number of these scholarships would be awarded to students from low income households.

We also have targeted bursary schemes including support for care leavers and those who are facing significant costs in accessing study abroad opportunities.

For the 2013-14, we have reviewed our whole scholarship and bursary programme to provide further targeted support to meet our strategic aims.

We believe widening participation also involves offering the right support to make sure our students succeed and get the most out of their time at Essex.

We are now expanding the support we offer including study skills programmes and the Residents’ Support Network. Increasing employability and helping under- represented groups to get the experience they need to secure graduate-level jobs is being targeted through our frontrunners work placement scheme, our internships programme and our senior student ambassador scheme.

We fund a significant number of outreach activities to target students from low income backgrounds, students from low participation neighbourhoods, mature students, students with disabilities and young people in care. We also support parents, carers, teachers and advisers.

We have expanded the number of outreach activities we undertake and the number of staff in our Outreach team. As a result, in 2011-12 our Outreach team took part in 250 activities involving 143 schools across Essex, Suffolk and London with a total of 12,012 beneficiaries.

This work helps us consistently exceed our HESA (Higher Education Statistical Agency) Widening Participation Performance Indicator benchmarks for students from under-represented groups.

The latest figures available, for 2010-11, show 34.1 per cent of our intake of young full-time first degree students, including partner institutions, were from social classes 4, 5, 6 and 7 and 16.9 per cent were from low participation neighbourhoods. Out of our intake of young full-time first degree students, 95 per cent were from state schools.

The University is also a member of Realising Opportunities (RO), a unique collaboration of twelve research intensive universities working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from under-represented groups. The programme provides support for students through interventions designed to raise aspirations and enable them to demonstrate their potential for success at a research intensive university. The programme won a Times Higher Education award in 2011.

Knowledge Exchange and Community Engagement

The University is committed to stimulating economic, cultural and social development, and knowledge exchange activity is valued and encouraged.

Our Research and Enterprise Office supports companies to access our expertise, including Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and co-ordinates a programme of training informed by our research.

Groundbreaking research by Professor Hani Hagras from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering was named as the Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership for London and the South-East region by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s national innovation agency. The project saw Professor Hagras work with private sector and fellow scientists to develop a patented multi-purpose data analysis and decision support system. The project is being used in a whole range of situations including identifying behavioural tendencies of customers, improving energy efficiency of buildings and offering an early warning system for oil refineries.

We are also helping build the future low-carbon economy through knowledge exchange projects supported by the Low Carbon KEEP (Knowledge – East of England – Partners) scheme. Essex Business School has worked with Fisher Jones Greenwood (FSG) to improve efficiency and with Software in Partnership to promote a web-based carbon efficient Human Resources system.

The Research and Enterprise Office coordinates briefings and discussion forums for regional businesses and organisations to share our expertise on issues directly affecting them. This year events have ranged from the Budget through to the Olympics.

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