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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association June 2017 View in browser
UEA rowing club

League table success is an achievement to be proud of, but what is also remarkable about UEA is the impact that the University, our students and alumni have beyond the campus. Last week, during our annual Court event, we were able to celebrate two milestones for the University – the 10th anniversary of our first graduating cohort from the School of Medicine, and the 50th anniversary of the School of Environmental Sciences. The impact of doctors and healthcare providers trained through the Norwich Medical School will be felt at a very personal level by many needing their services. UEA is also rightly proud that the School of Environmental Sciences has led the way on climate change for 50 years, raising awareness of the issue and producing research that directly influences and impacts public policy, nationally and globally. 

This month there is also a fantastic example of the University’s cultural impact, as Naomi Alderman, a graduate of the Creative Writing programme is awarded the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction for her fourth novel The Power, the first science fiction novel to win the award.

And whilst our national politics may be in a period of uncertainty and debate, it was heartening to see the queue of students on campus waiting to vote last Thursday. Being engaged will hopefully be another way our students and graduates can continue to influence the world around them.

Featured Stories
Guardian University Guide

UEA league table success continues

UEA has reached 18th place in the Guardian University Guide 2018, rising six places into the top 20.

The result is the latest league table success for UEA, following a climb to 12th in the Complete University Guide earlier this year.

The Guardian University Guide ranks UK universities in a range of categories including teaching, student-staff ratios, entry tariffs and career prospects.

Six of the University’s subjects feature in their respective top ten, including American Studies in second, and Accounting and Finance in sixth. Nursing and Midwifery, History of Art and Law are all seventh in their categories, with Earth and Marine Science in 10th place.

Read More  
Naomi Alderman

Alumna Naomi Alderman wins the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

The 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction has been awarded to Naomi Alderman for her fourth novel The Power.

At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, London – hosted by novelist and Prize Co-Founder, Kate Mosse – the 2017 Chair of Judges, Tessa Ross presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine.

Alumna Ayòbámi Adébáyò’s was shortlisted for her debut novel Stay With Me

Naomi and Ayòbámi are both alumnae of the Creative Writing MA.

Read More  
2017 Honorary grads

Ed Balls, Peter Wilson and the charity Marie Curie amongst this year’s honorary graduates

Norfolk-born Ed Balls has been announced as one of UEA’s honorary degree recipients this summer, along with former Chief Executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, Peter Wilson MBE, journalist Matt Frei, actor Hugh Quarshie, and Marie Curie - the charity that provides support for people with terminal illness as well as for their families.

Other inspirational figures from the worlds of law, sciences, medicine and nursing will attend UEA’s week of graduation ceremonies, speaking about their own lives and careers, offering words of advice to the graduating students.

Of the 20 honorary degree recipients, three are alumni - James Vowles, who is chief strategist for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team; Mike Hammond, founding Chairman & CEO of Lockton International; and Alex Smith, who retired last year as CEO of Pier 1 Imports. Other recipients have strong ties to the region, including Caroline Jarrold, ambassador for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Chair of the Norwich Philharmonic Society and a director of The Forum Trust, and Patrick Peal, who was instrumental in establishing the first East Anglian Air Ambulance helicopter based at Norwich airport, in 2000.

UEA gig history 

UEA Gig History

UEA Gig History, the project celebrating 53 years of music hosted by the Union, focusses on Norwich and Punk this month. A Guest Blog by music journalist, singer-songwriter and ukulele player, alumna Sylvie Simmons recalls straight-laced fellow students at UEA at the time of the banned Sex Pistols gig in ‘76 and offers the stark contrast of seeing them play live on their swansong tour of the US, just a few weeks before the band broke up.

Lead singer, Baz, talks Orange Juice, Altered Images and the joys of multi-tasking with an ironing board, while performing with The Farmers Boys, in his Memory Box. Charlie Higson talks about Norwich in the ‘80s in the Related Media area while a new gallery of photos by Mark Hodgson can be seen in the Photo Booth, which includes the above photo of The Farmers Boys.
The UEA Memorabilia box has a “student bedroom wall” moment this month, with snapshots shared by followers from the @UEAgighistory Twitter feed. The project still welcomes anecdotes, memorabilia and photos from gigs attended at UEA and has also been contacted by the daughter of the former owner of the Gala Ballroom in Norwich. She would dearly love any snaps or scans of the venue from gigs in its ‘80s heyday for her family archive. As always please send anything through to

News in Brief
UEA pledges to become a dementia-friendly university

The University and the UEA Students’ Union are both signing up to the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance and working towards the aim of a dementia-friendly city.

Benefits of jaguar tourism far outweigh costs to local farmers

The financial benefits of jaguar tourism in South America outweigh the costs to livestock farms, according to new research from the University.

Director returns to relive TV hoax that shocked the world

UEA and East Anglian Film Archive show the TV hoax that shocked the world in 1977.

More Stories
Doctors for a decade

Calling all 2007, 2008 and 2009 MED graduates!

Norwich Medical School are holding a dinner on Saturday 15 July to mark the ten year anniversary of the graduation of their founding cohort, and the event is now also open to those who graduated in 2008 and 2009.

Booking closes at midnight on Thursday 22 June.

Read More AND BOOK  
Beijing 2017

Alumni group thriving in Beijing

Last month the recently-formed alumni group met in Beijing for another popular event.

Led by alumnus Haobo Lu, the group has already met several times this year and more events are planned for the future. If you want to get involved with the group, please contact Haobo Lu by email at or by Wechat: ccbb77.

Japan June 17

Japanese alumni provide warm welcome for Vice-Chancellor

At the end of May Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson visited Japan, with academics from UEA and Simon Kaner of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC).

Amongst the events were an afternoon of talks at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Ueno Park, Tokyo celebrating scientific collaboration between UEA and Japan, focusing on the science of agriculture. There was also a reception at the International House of Japan which brought together alumni and supporters of UEA and SISJAC.

#GetOutside champion

Essex adventurer becomes Ordnance Survey #GetOutside champion

Alumnus Andy Browning is one of 30 people selected for Ordnance Survey’s exciting new project to help make Great Britain a more outdoorsy and adventurous nation.

Andy and his fellow OS GetOutside champions were announced at an event in the New Forest where they were joined by TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle and endurance adventurer Sean Conway. The champions, chosen for their ability to communicate their love for being outside, include journalists, bloggers and authors who all write about their adventures in Britain.  

As part of the challenge Andy plans to cycle the length of National Cycle Route 1 from Shetland to Dover along a route following the east coast, and will cycle through Norwich. He is hoping to complete the route with a friend he met at UEA as a fresher. In addition to the cycling and the GetOutside Champion role, Andy is also travelling to the Amazon this summer as an expedition leader for the British Exploring Society.

Dwayne Stallings

Alumnus receives industry recognition

Alumnus Dwayne Stallings has been named as one of Bank Investment Consultant magazine’s Top 100 Bank Advisors for 2016. 

Dwayne is a Raymond James financial advisor for Liberty Bank in the US, based in Connecticut. “I’m humbled and honoured to be included on this prestigious list” he responded.

The magazine evaluated the honourees on six variables, including assets under management, production, asset growth, percentage of fee business, growth in production and production per assets.

Stuart Ramsay

Journalist’s award-winning career

Alumnus Stuart Ramsay is Sky News’ Chief Correspondent reporting on major global news stories and world events, and he is the channel’s longest serving foreign correspondent.

Stuart’s recent assignments include an investigation into an unofficial, illegal jail run by vigilantes fighting Mexico's drug cartels, the uprisings in Ukraine and reporting from the MH17 crash site. Stuart reported on the dramatic scenes in Tahrir Square during the uprisings in Egypt, for which he and his team were nominated for a BAFTA, and awarded a Golden Nymph at the Monte-Carlo Television awards. He has received many awards including playing a vital role in securing a Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year award for Sky News’ Pakistan Swat Valley coverage, winning Broadcast’s award for best news programme, and receiving a BAFTA nomination and Emmy award for reports on the Taliban in Pakistan.

Prof Hugh Young, who Dean of the School of Maths and Physics when Stuart was at UEA in the mid-1980’s and who is uncle to Stuart’s wife, has written a profile of his career.


What advice could you give to this summer's graduates?

What is the one piece of advice about post-university life you would give to graduating UEA students? 

This year we want to be able to share your advice and inspiring ideas with students during the fun of graduation week, so please share your words of wisdom with us on our Facebook page or just email us at

Climate Change and Global Decarbonisation

Climate Change London Lecture available online

This year's London Lecture series concluded last month with Prof Corinne Le Quéré's talk on Climate Change and Global Decarbonisation.

The event was part of the School of Environmental Science’s 50th anniversary celebrations and was livestreamed to a lecture theatre on campus as well as on social media. The lecture was followed by receptions in both London and Norwich.

Watch the lecture  
Erasmus 30 years

Happy birthday Erasmus!

UEA will be celebrating 30 years of Erasmus and European mobility in October.

As part of the festivities, the Study Abroad team want to hear from you. Did you venture overseas to Europe while you were studying at UEA? Were you a pioneer of the Erasmus programme’s early days at UEA?
If you would be interested to share your Erasmus experiences, how it may have assisted you to landing your dream job, or inspired you to relocate to another country - the team would love to hear from you.

Contributions can be simply a quote or a short video message, or you may want to submit a blog post, or even a longer testimonial. Please get in touch with the Study Abroad Team to take part in this milestone project.

Fiona Lettice

Interview with new Pro-Vice-Chancellor Fiona Lettice

Alongside teaching, research is a university’s core purpose and it’s the role of Fiona Lettice, UEA’s newly-appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, to ensure that our research portfolio continues to thrive while meeting the challenges of an ever-changing world.

“University research can be seen as a rarefied academic pursuit, but it underpins our understanding of the world and delivers solutions to problems and innovations that improve our lives,” she said. “Without our own and other universities’ research, not only would many questions remain unanswered, they might not even be asked in the first place!”

“We work closely with our Norwich Research Park colleagues as well as other universities in the region, and have formed networks, such as Eastern ARC with Kent and Essex universities, to establish more collaborative research and to bid for funding for joint projects. These relationships extend abroad through partnerships like our European network Aurora and with the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China.”

Read the full interview  
After English

New website provides careers inspiration with alumni stories

The exciting new UEA-led website After English shares stories from those who have graduated with English-related degrees.

From teaching, marketing, publishing, to media – the blogs on the UEA After English website promote the experiences of university graduates, and show what’s possible with an English-related degree. 

After English is looking for more content, whether that be in the form of blog writing by alumni of an English-related degree, or in the form of an interview. Email any ideas or questions you have to

Student fundraising

Students head to Mongolia for charity

Five UEA students are combining raising money for charity with taking the trip of a lifetime when they graduate this summer.

Hot on the heels of finishing their exams, they set off at the weekend in Mildred the Micra, Petunia the Polo and Herbert the Honda motorcycle. They will be travelling 9,000 miles across 13 countries to Mongolia, raising money for the mental health charity Mind as they go.

Details of the team’s journey is on their website and donations can be made via their fundraising site They will also write a blog with updates on their challenges along the way.

Athena SWAN silver award

BIO achieves Athena SWAN Silver Award

The School of Biological Sciences has been awarded Athena SWAN Silver status.

The Athena SWAN Charter, created by the Equality Challenge Unit, promotes the advancement of gender equality in higher education and research.

Alzeimer's Research UK

The UEA Dementia Research Collaborative Alzheimer’s Research UK Public Event

This series of bi-monthly free events at UEA aims to create an exchange of knowledge between researchers, clinicians, people with dementia and their carers, and the general public.

The events will give an overview of dementia, its symptoms and challenges, with a mix of speakers from research and clinical backgrounds who are currently working in dementia. Speakers include Psychiatrist Dr George Savva, Senior Lecturer at the School of Health Sciences; Dr Yasir Hameed, Honorary Lecturer from the Medical School; and Professor John O’Brien, Foundation Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. There will be opportunities for questions to experts in the field as well as socialising with other attendees. There will also be information available from Alzheimer’s Research UK and a chance to find out about current research studies at UEA.

The next event in this series will be held on Wednesday 14 June. To book or for more information about the event please email or call 01603 593540.

PG conversion

Postgraduate opportunities

UEA has a range of postgraduate scholarships available for entry in September 2017 across all subject areas.

With a reputation for world-leading research, dedicated teaching that challenges you to reach your full potential, and supportive funding including tuition fee-reduction scholarships for alumni, there are some excellent opportunities to take your learning further.

A Master's or research degree can provide you with an enhanced professional skillset and experience to help you stand out in a highly competitive job market.

What's On

Rana Begum: Space Light Colour

From Friday 12 May
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Rana Begum is one of the most exciting artists working in Britain today. She has completed commissions in Dubai, Cambridge, and King’s Cross in London. Her use of space, colour and form will transform the mezzanine gallery of the Sainsbury Centre with wall-mounted reliefs and an immersive installation, taking advantage of the light and space of Norman Foster’s architecture. This will be her first museum show anywhere in the world.

An Audience with Graham Linehan

Friday 30 June, 6pm - 7.30pm
The Forum Auditorium, Norwich

Later this month The Forum in Norwich is holding a special event with honorary graduate, comedy writer, and director Graham Linehan, marking the opening of BBC Faces of Comedy exhibition.

Graham (Father Ted, IT Crowd, Count Arthur Strong) will be in conversation with Tim FitzHigham (BBC Radio 4) and preview the exhibition before it opens to the public on Monday 3 July.

RSVP by Monday 26 June to

CAPTeaM free event: Inclusion of deaf learners in mathematics lessons

Saturday 15 July, 11am - 3pm
The Enterprise Centre, UEA

In this first workshop of what will be a three-year study, participants and CAPTeaM members will work together on tasks which draw on realistic situations that reflect the challenges of mathematics teaching in classrooms that include learners who are deaf or with a hearing impairment. There will also be discussion on findings from CAPTeaM's analysis of trials of these tasks in the UK, Brazil and elsewhere, followed by a conclusion with insights on and recommendations for practice.


In the past month the University has sadly been informed of the death of following alumni:

Hilary Carruthers (DEV78)

Rodney Furze (ART94)

Joan Grimmer (EUR83)

Mary Kerslake (EDU87)

Daniel Limon (EUR68)

Nicholas Pollard (EAS64)

Douglas Smart (AHM74)

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