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November 2016 View in browser
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While it has been a tumultuous year in politics and world events, it is important to keep focussed on the future. The installation of new Chancellor Karen Jones CBE gives UEA a fresh approach in a changing world; and the launch of the Aurora research network, with its emphasis on international cooperation and working together, reiterates this positive outlook.

UEA was founded with an international outlook and our international students, staff and alumni will continue to be key to our success. The global gatherings that have taken place over the past few months show how alumni still feel connected to the University and to each other. This connection is as important to the University’s future as it is for our graduates. And there is plenty of the past to celebrate, with more reunions and anniversaries coming up over the next few months.

Featured Stories
Karen Jones CBE

New Chancellor outlines vision to students and staff

As she takes on her new role as Chancellor, Karen Jones CBE wants to encourage students to embrace entrepreneurship and innovation, no matter what subject they’re studying.

“University should be a place where new ideas are born, opportunities discussed and potential business partnerships are forged,” she said, addressing staff and students at her installation dinner last month. “I think UEA, which has always taken ‘do different’ as its motto, really can do different – and do better. Giving our students and faculty the encouragement and culture to develop their ideas and some structured help to accelerate such ideas and plans has to be beneficial. Their hallmark will be an ability to think and plan, and develop their ideas with confidence and clarity.”

As co-founder of both the Café Rouge restaurant chain and the Food and Fuel gastro pubs, and former chief executive of the Spirit pub group, she is well-positioned to lead by example.

Read More  
Bangalore Global Gathering

Global celebrations

Thanks to the fantastic efforts and enthusiasm of the volunteer hosts, this year there have been 32 reunion events held all around the world - and there are still more planned!

Later this month alumni will get together in Perth, while the last event of the year will take place in Vienna early in December. With events held in new locations like Bangalore (pictured above), Kenya and Abuja, and more established reunions held in San Francisco, Nepal, Cameroon, London and Japan, this year has been a great success.

Host Beryl Addae sent in this fantastic video made at the Ghana reunion – if this doesn’t make you want to host your own event next year, nothing will!

Aurora network

International outlook for founding of new network

UEA has always welcomed students and staff from around the world and always will. As part of this continuing outward looking attitude, the University has announced the launch of the Aurora research network, and is proud to be one of the founding institutions.

Aurora is a network of nine European universities with similar philosophies and a shared mission to make a real difference to society as well as being leaders in academic research.

Aurora is a different kind of network, comprising research-intensive universities that can learn from each other and are all committed to helping solve society’s problems. The Universities in the network excel in producing internationally relevant research as well as first-class teaching and student experience.

Read the Vice-Chancellor’s blog  
Christmas LCR

We've got your Christmas plans sorted

It's getting closer to that time of year again and we're already starting to get into the festive spirit.

Why not get your friends together and come back to campus to celebrate on Saturday 12 December at the Christmas LCR?

Concrete archive

From the archives

In November 2008, Concrete Features Editor Grace Simpson watched Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election overnight, along with enthusiastic Democratic supporters in The Blue Bar on campus

Concrete founding members

Concrete25: Save the date

“Modular mess up” were the words that began the life of what would grow to become the Student Publication Awards' best publication in the UK.

Founded in 1992, Concrete is about to celebrate its 25th birthday and they want you to be a part of the celebration. Whether you were a writer, photographer, or wore the Editor's crown you are all invited to Concrete25, a canapé reception at UEA's Sainsbury Centre on 28th April 2017, 7pm-9.30pm. More details will follow in the new year, but make sure to save the date. 

If you have memories to share and want to be featured in the 25th anniversary issue get in touch with Megan Baynes, current Editor-in-Chief, by emailing

News in Brief
New technology helps improve TV viewers’ sleep

Finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep after watching the television or using a computer could be a thing of the past, thanks to new technology.

Species speed up adaptation to beat effects of warmer oceans

Some fish species are adapting to survive environmental changes without significant genetic evolution, according to research from UEA and Dalhousie University, Canada.

Extreme weather effects may explain recent butterfly decline

Increasingly frequent extreme weather events could threaten butterfly populations in the UK and could be the cause of recently reported butterfly population crashes, according to research from the University.

More Stories
Nepal walk

Alumnus walking to Nepal for charity 

Alumnus Henry Dunham and his friend Sam Crimp are currently walking 6,000 miles from the UK to Nepal to raise money for brain tumour research.

Their walk will be raising funds for Annie’s Challenge, a charity set up by Henry's family in 2015 to provide funds to help support sufferers of brain cancer. They've already raised £5,000, but are aiming much higher! 

They have already made it to Turkey, and you can follow their epic challenge on their website or their Facebook page.

Go to their fundraising page  
Film still

Local film hoping to make an impact

Positive is a short film, set in Norfolk and made on a zero budget, and the team responsible are now looking to raise funds to be able to submit the film to festivals around the world.

The film was edited by 2016 CMP graduate and former Head of Editing at UEA:TV Michal Zak, who spent over a year working on Positive alongside his final year studies. 

Take a look at the project and their aims on their crowdfunding page.

Read More  
ENV70 alumni reunion

Reunion for ENV70 alumni

A group of ENV70 alumni and spouses have been holding an annual reunion since 2004. What started simply with a Sunday lunch and afternoon stroll around Oxford became a weekend event, and four years ago evolved into a week-long holiday.

The 2016 reunion was held in September, on the Ceredigion coast. The group has booked a property in north Norfolk for next year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations that the School of Environmental Sciences are planning.

Acsys UEA interns

Acsys internships

Alumnus David Meganck provided an amazing opportunity for four UEA students to take up internships in China over the summer.

As well as being great experience for the students, David’s company also benefitted from the experience. “Overall the students were great… and brought up a few operational issues that we are looking at right now, so the experience overall was very beneficial for us.”

Quoddy Tides

Eastern tides

Edited and published by alumnus Edward French, The Quoddy Tides bills itself as the “Most Easterly Newspaper Published in the United States.” 

“I was supposed to be a doctor, but I’ve always loved writing,” Edward said by way of explaining his presence at the paper. He majored in English at Middlebury College in Vermont, and then earned a Master's degree in modern literature at UEA, but the family business drew him back.

The paper publishes on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. There are six full-timers on staff, including French’s wife, Lora Whelan, who is a reporter. In all, about 30 writers contribute to the paper.

Eastport is a small city (consisting entirely of islands) in Washington County, Maine, and is the easternmost city in the United States. The Quoddy Tides is a family enterprise and was established in 1968 by Edward’s parents as a voice for the people who lived in the Quoddy area in Maine.

Washington DC office

UEA office opens in Washington DC

UEA is opening the new north America office right in the heart of Washington DC, just a few blocks from the White House.

Led by Pete Ryan, the team will primarily be focussed on raising awareness of the University, and facilitating recruitment and exchange partnerships with institutions across the US and Canada. 

But they’d love to hear from alumni, so if you want to know more about their plans, or just want to get in touch, the office is at 1307 New York Ave NW, Washington DC 20005 or you can email Pete at

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

If you choose to study abroad as part of your degree, the experience often turns out to be highly formative. We are keen to hear from our alumni, to find out how you feel about your experience and any impact it may have had on you. 

Whether you studied at UEA as a visiting student, or came from UEA to one a partner institution, please complete this short survey

The answers we receive will help us to encourage, prepare and support current and future students to take part in study abroad programmes and take advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to them.

You will need to fill in your UEA student ID number.

Take the survey  
London Lectures

London Lecture series 2017

The University is delighted to announce the programme for the 2017 London Lecture series. Talks will cover UK water security, dementia, and climate change, and will begin on Thursday 26 January with What the Victorians Threw Away by Dr Tom Licence. 

In this lecture, Tom will use items excavated from rubbish dumps to show how our throwaway habits developed. He will explore Victorian ideas about re-use and re-cycling, and link emerging patterns of waste-creation to the growth of western consumerism. Tom is Senior Lecturer in History at UEA and is the author of the book What the Victorians Threw Away. His archaeological work has featured on BBC's Inside Out, the BBC World Service, US National Public Radio, and in various other media outlets nationally and globally.

Read more about the series  
W G Sebald

WG Sebald commemorative archive

UEA is looking to establish a commemorative archive for Max (WG) Sebald, writer and teacher whom the University is proud to have had as a member of staff.

The bulk of his papers are now housed in the German Literary Archive at Marbach. But the University is looking to develop the assorted body of materials in its own collection, which includes interviews, teaching materials and a collection of the negatives and prints that became images in his books.

If you know of any items which we might look to acquire for the archive please contact Emeritus Prof Clive Scott, who would be very grateful to hear about them


Could you mentor a UEA student entrepreneur?

Setting up a business might not be the first activity people would associate with being an undergraduate, but it’s a growing phenomenon amongst students. Last year 113 UEA graduates became self-employed and 19 started up their own businesses. With an increasing demand from students and graduates, UEA is seeking help from like-minded entrepreneurs.

There are currently 90 mentors across the programme working with students and graduates, and the team are looking to increase the range of mentors to reflect the backgrounds of their students, particularly in the fields of product development, technology, retail, catering and art. The mentoring can be one-off or ongoing over six months and can be in person, over the phone, by email or Skype. You would get to choose how much time you would commit and what kinds of topics you would like to discuss.

Difference Campaign video

The Difference Campaign extends its target to £100m

Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of the University, The Difference Campaign has now reached its target of raising £50m in philanthropic income by 2016.

The Campaign has raised over £53m, including over £2.5m for the state-of-the-art Bob Champion Research and Education Building, and £329,350 awarded annually to students in the form of scholarships.

Following this incredible success, UEA is pleased to announce that The Difference Campaign will be extending its target to £100m by 2021. The Campaign is now setting its sights higher and broadening its scope to raise funds for the UEA Enterprise Fund, Creative Writing Scholarships and new laboratories for science students.

The University would like to say a huge thank to every one of the 3,066 alumni donors to The Difference Campaign who has made this, and so much more, possible.

Athena Swan

Athena SWAN success

The University is delighted to announce that Schools of Chemistry and Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies have achieved Bronze awards in the latest round of Athena SWAN results. 

This brings the number of Bronze awards at UEA to 11, as well as the University’s institutional Bronze and Bronze Renewal awards, and its first Silver, which is held by Norwich Medical School. 

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine employment in higher education and research.

SISJAC newsletter

SISJAC autumn newsletter

The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture's autumn 2016 newsletter is out now, full of news and events. Explore the Institute’s innovative programme of fellowships, exhibitions, lectures, and more.

Research website

Lens cultures, calpains and a potential cure for cataracts

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that, worldwide, some 20 million individuals have been made blind due to cataracts in one or both eyes, and hundreds of millions more people are likely to be living with a cataract that causes a degree of vision loss. 

This visual impairment has social, cultural and developmental effects the world over. Thankfully, recent discoveries into the condition could mean that cataracts are treated much less intrusively, and before vision has been significantly degraded.

Dr Julie Sanderson, senior lecturer at the University’s School of Pharmacy, is at the forefront of this research and the new research pages on the website look at her work in more detail. Through building on a laudable body of research developed over the past few decades, she may soon be able to present the world with a definitive answer to the problem of cataracts.

UEA Choir at Christmas

UEA Choir perform a feast of festive favourites

UEA Choir will perform their ever-popular Christmas Carol concert on Wednesday 14 December, at 7.30pm, at St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral, Norwich. 

Under the direction of UEA Choirmaster, Tom Primrose, the 170-strong choir will perform music by Vaughan Williams, Rutter and Willcocks, as well as a host of well-loved Christmas carols for the audience to join in.


New alumni-funded scholarships at UEA

The University is pleased to announce that scholarships for 2017 entry are now open for applications. The majority of the 45 donor-funded scholarships at UEA are supported by over 2,000 members of the alumni community who are choosing to give current students the same opportunities they had whilst they studied here. 

The Monica Malik Scholarship, which will support a refugee in their studies at UEA, is the newest scholarship and offers full fees to the winning student. The University also offers new study abroad scholarships supported by Santander Universities, which aim to fund students as they travel across the globe to countries such as Uruguay, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

With 64 new scholars beginning their UEA journey this year, there’ll be updates about their first few months at UEA coming soon.


EnvEast Innovation Award

Led by UEA’s world-renowned School of Environmental Sciences, EnvEast has been awarded funding for an exciting programme of innovation activity.

Drawing expertise from three universities and ten research centres, the EnvEast partnership aims to address some of the grand challenges facing contemporary society by providing multidisciplinary training to a new generation of science and business leaders working in the broad field of environmental science. 

The innovation programme offers employers and researchers a range of opportunities: fixed term co-funded internships; funds to lead sandpit events aimed at developing new research studentships in line with business needs; and the first national touring Infohackit, communicating science through infographics. The innovation programme will culminate in envEXPO, a three day enterprise and innovation showcase, from Monday 27 February to Wednesday 1 March.

Adult nursing

Looking to make a difference?

Adult Nursing is a challenging yet highly rewarding career choice which allows you to work with adults of all ages with a range of health conditions. Our degree is ideal if you want to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

UEA is sixth in the UK for Nursing (Complete University Guide and The Guardian, 2017) and the School’s nursing academics are at the forefront of innovative new teaching methods. You’ll learn about the responsibilities of an Adult Nurse, essential nursing practice and specialist areas such as long term health conditions and complex needs.

Throughout your degree, you will gain the knowledge, skills and experience to meet the needs of a diverse adult population.

What's On

“Brexit means Brexit”: The UK’s future after the referendum

Thursday 17 November 6.30pm
Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre

This series of public lectures brings together academics and practitioners to discuss issues of key economic, political and social importance to the UK in negotiating its future outside the EU. It asks what is at stake? What are the options? What kind of Britain do we want?

Speakers include alumnus Iain Dale, (Political commentator, LBC radio presenter, and visiting professor at UEA) along with Chris Hanretty, Alan Finlayson and Marina Prentoulis from the University.

Free to attend and open to all.

Masters of Japanese Photography

Friday 11 November 2016 - Sunday 19 March 2017
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

This new exhibition explores the work of three of the most prominent Japanese photographers of the second half of the 20th century: Nobuyoshi Araki, Eikoh Hosoe, and Kikuji Kawada.

This will be the first exhibition of contemporary Japanese photography at the Sainsbury Centre offering visitors a unique opportunity to engage with a remarkable generation of photographers who transformed the genre.

Inaugural Lectures: What is international history? (And why should we study it?)

Tuesday 29 November, 6.30pm
Julian Study Centre lecture theatre
Prof Thomas Otte, School of History

International History, as a separate field of historical endeavour, is of relatively recent vintage, becoming an established academic discipline in the 1970s. And today, its scope and nature – even indeed, its name – are still contested. This talk will aim to outline the territory occupied by international historians, and to sketch out their customs and practices. It will also try to show how and why an understanding of international history is relevant to the present-day world.


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

Prof Clifford Attfield

Gina Stephenson (EAS78)

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