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University of East Anglia
Uea Shield Without Moto.png
University of East Anglia Shield
Motto Do Different[1]
Established 1963
Type Public research university
Endowment £7.6 million (2013/14)[2]
Chancellor Rose Tremain CBE[3]
Vice-Chancellor David Richardson[4]
Visitor The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
As Lord President of the Council
Administrative staff
Students 17,290[6]
Undergraduates 12,780[6]
Postgraduates 4,515[6]
Location Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom
52°37′18″N 1°14′30″E / 52.62167°N 1.24167°E / 52.62167; 1.24167Coordinates: 52°37′18″N 1°14′30″E / 52.62167°N 1.24167°E / 52.62167; 1.24167
Campus 320 acres [7]
Pro-Chancellor Richard Jewson
Colours           Blue & yellow[8]
Affiliations ACU
Eastern ARC
Universities UK
Website www.uea.ac.uk
Uea horizontal logo.png

The University of East Anglia (abbreviated as UEA) is an English public research university located in the city of Norwich.[9] Established in 1963, the university comprises 4 faculties and 28 schools of study.[10] Situated to the south-west of the city of Norwich, the university campus is approximately 320 acres (1.3 km2) in size.

In 2012 the University was named the 10th best university in the world under 50 years old, and 3rd within the United Kingdom.[11] In national league tables the university has most recently been ranked 14th in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times, 20th by The Guardian and 16th by The Complete University Guide.[12][13][14] The university also ranked 1st for student satisfaction by the Times Higher Education magazine in 2013.[15]


Earlham Hall, childhood home of Elizabeth Fry, is now home to UEA Law School

Attempts had been made to establish a university in Norwich in 1919 and 1947, but due to a lack of government funding on both occasions the plans had to be postponed. The University of East Anglia was eventually given the green-light in April 1960, and opened its doors in October 1963. Initially, teaching took place in the temporary "University Village". Sited on the opposite side of the Earlham Road to the present campus, this was a collection of prefabricated structures designed for 1200 students, laid out by the local architectural firm Feilden and Mawson. There were no residences. The Vice-Chancellor and administration were based in nearby Earlham Hall.[16]

In 1961, the first vice-chancellor, Frank Thistlethwaite, had approached Denys Lasdun, an adherent of the "New Brutalist" trend in architecture, who was at that time building Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, to produce designs for the permanent campus.[16] The site chosen was on the western edge of the city, on the south side of Earlham Road. The land, formerly part of the Earlham Hall estate was at that time occupied by a golf course.[17] Lasdun unveiled a model and an outline plan at a press conference in April 1963, but it took another year to produce detailed plans, which diverged considerably from the model. The first buildings did not open until late 1966.[16]

Lasdun put all the teaching and research functions into the "teaching wall", a single block 460 metres long following the contour of the site. Alongside this he built a walkway, giving access to the various entrances of the wall, with access roads beneath. Attached to the other, southern, side of the walkway he added the groups of terraced residences that became known as "Ziggurats". In 1968, Lasdun was replaced as architect by Bernard Feilden, who completed the teaching wall and library and created an arena-shaped square as a social space of a kind not envisioned in his predecessor's plans.[16] Many of the original buildings now have Grade II* listed status,[18] reflecting the importance of the architecture and the history of the campus.

Constable Terrace hall of residence

In the mid-1970s, extraction of gravel in the valley of the River Yare, which runs to the south of the campus, resulted in the university acquiring its own lake or "Broad" as it is often referred to. At more or less the same time, the gift of a collection of tribal art and 20th-century painting and sculpture, by artists such as Francis Bacon and Henry Moore, from Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury resulted in the construction of the striking Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the western end of the main teaching wall, one of the first major works of architect Lord Foster.

In 2005 the university, in partnership with the University of Essex and with the support of Suffolk County Council, the East of England Development Agency, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk College, and the Learning and Skills Council, secured £15 million funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England for the creation of a new campus in the Waterfront area of Ipswich, called University Campus Suffolk or UCS.[19] The campus opened in September 2007.[19]

In November 2009, computer servers at the university's Climatic Research Unit were hacked (Climatic Research Unit email controversy) and the stolen information made public. Over 1,000 emails, 2,000 documents, and source code were released. Because the Climate Research Unit is a major repository for data regarding man-made global warming, the release (which occurred directly prior to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference) attracted international attention and led to calls for an inquiry.[20] As a result, no fewer than eight investigations were launched in the both the UK and US, but none found evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.[21]

The university celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.[22]


The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts was designed by Lord Foster to house the art collection of Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury, whose daughter attended UEA

Features of the UEA campus include Earlham Hall, childhood home of Elizabeth Fry, which is now home to UEA Law School; the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the western end of the main teaching wall designed by Lord Foster to house the art collection of Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury; and "Sportspark", a multi-sports facilities built in 2001 thanks to a £14.5 million grant from Sport England Lottery Fund.[23]

Other features include the large university lake or "broad" at the southern edge of campus and "The Square", a central outdoor meeting place flanked by concrete steps.

Accommodation on the university campus include Constable Terrace, Nelson Court, and Britten, Paston, Colman, Victory, Kett and Browne Houses. These residences are named after Horatio Nelson, John Constable, Benjamin Britten, Jeremiah Colman, Horatio Nelson's ship HMS Victory, Robert Kett, Sir Thomas Browne and the Paston family who wrote the Paston Letters. The Ziggurat accommodation blocks are Grade II listed. The university also manages Mary Chapman Court, a hall of residence in Norwich city centre, and the 'University Village' a short walk away from campus.[24] UEA's newest accommodation block - Crome Court - opened in September 2014. These are considered the university's most "eco-friendly" flats.[25]

Facilities on campus include the "Union Pub and Bar", a 24-hour library, a concert and disco venue called "The LCR", a canteen called "The Campus Kitchen", a cafe/coffee shop called "The Blend", a bar/coffee shop called "Unio", a graduate bar called the "Graduate Students Club" and "The Street" with a 24-hour launderette, the Union Shop, a coffee shop called "Cafe Direct", a branch of Barclays, and a Waterstones book shop. Most of these are situated in the centre of the campus, next to The Square. Other food establishments situated on campus include "Café 57" and the "Bio Cafe".[26] There is also a Medical Centre, Dentist, and Pharmacy.

The campus is linked to the city centre and railway station by frequent buses, operated by First, via Unthank Road or Earlham Road. First also operate frequent buses from the campus to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and to Bowthorpe.

Academic profile[edit]

Rankings and reputation[edit]

(2015, national)
(2015, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[32]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[33]
(2015, national)

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), published on 18 December 2014, showed that over 82% of the University's research activity was deemed to be "world leading" or "internationally excellent".[34] UEA was ranked 10th in the UK for the quality of its research output and 21st overall amongst all mainstream British institutions - a rise of 12 places since the last assessment in 2008.[35]

The postgraduate Master of Arts in Creative Writing, founded by Sir Malcolm Bradbury and Sir Angus Wilson in 1970, is regarded as the most respected in the United Kingdom, and admission to the programme is competitive.[36] The course has gone on to produce a number of distinguished authors, including Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Anne Enright, Tash Aw, Andrew Miller, Owen Sheers, Tracy Chevalier, Trezza Azzopardi, Panos Karnezis, and Suzannah Dunn. The German émigré novelist W. G. Sebald also taught in the School of Literature and Creative Writing, and founded the British Centre for Literary Translation, until his death in a car accident in 2001.[37] Experimental novelist Alan Burns was the University's first writer-in-residence.[38]

The Climatic Research Unit, founded in 1972 by Hubert Lamb in the School of Environmental Sciences[39] has been an early centre of work for climate change research. Publications include the recent 2008 Climatic Research Unit study on anthropogenic polar warming. The School was also stated to be "the strongest in the world" by the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Sir David King during a lecture at the John Innes Centre in 2005.[40]


In 2014 the ratio of applications to acceptances was 5.9 to 1. In 2014 the proportion of students admitted to the University from independent schools was 12%.[41]


Faculties and schools[edit]

The Queen's Building

The University offers over 300 courses in its four faculties, which contain 23 schools of study:[5]

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • Art, Media and American Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities
  • Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
  • Politics, Philosophy and Language and Communication Studies
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Faculty of Science
  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Pharmacy
Faculty of Social Sciences

UEA Literary Festival[edit]

Lecture Theatre 1 at UEA hosts regular film screenings, political discussions, and talks from award-winning authors at the UEA Literary Festival. The University hosted its inaugural literary festival in 1991 and has welcomed notable speakers including Madeleine Albright, Martin Amis, Martin Bell, Alan Bennett, Cherie Blair, Melvyn Bragg, Eleanor Catton, Richard Dawkins, Alain de Botton, Sebastian Faulks, Niall Ferguson, Stephen Fry, Frank Gardner, Richard E. Grant, Germaine Greer, Seamus Heaney, Clive James, P. D. James, Doris Lessing, Mario Vargas Llosa, Hilary Mantel, Iris Murdoch, Rageh Omaar, Michael Palin, Jeremy Paxman, Harold Pinter, Stephen Poliakoff, Terry Pratchett, Salman Rushdie, Simon Schama, Will Self, John Simpson, Zadie Smith, Paul Theroux, Peter Ustinov, Shirley Williams and Robert Winston.[42]

Student life[edit]

Main article: Union of UEA Students

The UEA Student Union has over 200 sports clubs and societies ranging from a football club and cheerleading society to the student newspaper Concrete.

UEA:TV (previously named Nexus UTV), the campus television station, creates internet content, due to analogue broadcasts being no longer used, and their shows include news, comedy, documentaries and various other programmes, and is one of the oldest still-running student television stations in the country having been established in 1968.[43] Livewire 1350AM is the campus radio station was established in 1989 and transmits to air on 1350AM in the vicinity of the University, as well as broadcasting online. One of its more famous presenters and managers is Greg James, the BBC Radio 1 presenter.[44]

The UEA Student Union operates a number of services on the university campus. Connected to both "The Street" and "The Square" is one of the most popular Union venues, the "Union Pub and Bar", which underwent extension and refurbishment at the cost of £1.2 million in 2002. Other drinking establishments include the "Graduate Students Club", and "Unio" which replaced "The Hive" in 2014. In the same building is The Nick Rayns LCR, known in full as either The Large[45] or Lower [45] Common Room. The LCR is home to weekly campus discos, as well as hundreds of music gigs every year. The students' union also run The Waterfront venue, off campus in Norwich's King Street. Acts to have performed at these venues include Coldplay, U2, Lily Allen, Dizzee Rascal, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Iron Maiden.

Notable alumni[edit]

King of Tonga and former Prime Minister Tupou VI (BA, 1980)

UEA alumni in international politics and government include the current King of Tonga Tupou VI (Development Studies, 1980) who also served as Prime Minister of Tonga from 2000 to 2006;[46] Governor General of Grenada Sir Carlyle Glean (Education, 1982);[47] Governor of Gibraltar Sir Robert Fulton (Social Sciences, 1970);[48] Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Murat Karayalçın (Development Economics, 1977);[49] Kiribati Vice President Teima Onorio (Education, 1990);[50] Finance Ministers of Australia (Mathias Cormann), Thailand (Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech) and Rwanda (Donald Kaberuka);[51][52][53] Foreign Ministers of Iceland (Össur Skarphéðinsson) and The Gambia (Ousman Jammeh);[54][55] current Maldivian Defence Minister Adam Shareef, Bruneian Education Minister Suyoi Osman, Turkish Development Minister Cüneyd Düzyol, Cypriot Transport Minister Marios Demetriades, and Kenyan Sports and Culture Minister Hassan Wario; and former Cabinet Ministers of Peru (Gino Costa), South Africa (Tito Mboweni), Egypt (Gamal El-Araby), Tanzania (Juma Ngasongwa), Rwanda (Daphrose Gahakwa), Ethiopia (Sinknesh Ejigu and Junedin Sado), Seychelles (Rolph Payet and Peter Sinon) and Yemen (Yahya Al-Mutawakel). Foreign members of parliament include the current Chief Whip of the South African ANC Stone Sizani, and parliamentarians of Australia (Dee Margetts), Hong Kong (Cheng Kai-nam), Brunei (Salbiah Haji Sulaiman), Bhutan (Choida Jamtsho), East Timor (José Abel), Mexico (Julio Boltvinik and Óscar González), Peru (Manuel Lajo), Dominica (Alvin Bernard), Nigeria (Eddie Mbadiwe), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Aimé Boji) and Mozambique (Manuel de Araújo).

Alumni in the current UK Parliament include the UKIP Member of Parliament Douglas Carswell (History, 1993);[56] the Labour Members of Parliament Caroline Flint (American Literature, History & Film, 1983),[57] Rachael Maskell (Physiotherapy, 1994),[58] and Karin Smyth (Politics, 1988);[59] two former Leaders of the House of Lords, Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos (Applied Research in Education, 1978),[60] and Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde (European Studies, 1982);[61] and the Liberal Democrat peer Rosalind Scott, Baroness Scott of Needham Market (European Studies, 1999).[62] UEA is also the alma mater of the former Crossbench peer Tim Bentinck, 12th Earl of Portland (History of Art, 1975);[63] the Members of Parliament Tony Colman (International Development), Jon Owen Jones (Ecology, 1975), Tess Kingham (Education), Judith Chaplin and Ivor Stanbrook (Law, 1995);[64][65][66][67][68] and the MEP David Thomas (English & Law).[69]

Literary alumni include three Booker Prize winners, Ian McEwan (Creative Writing, 1971),[70] Kazuo Ishiguro (Creative Writing, 1980),[70] and Anne Enright (Creative Writing, 1988);[70] Costa Book Award (formerly Whitbread Award) winners Rose Tremain (Creative Writing, 1967),[71] Andrew Miller (Creative Writing, 1991),[72] David Almond (English Literature, 1993),[73] Emma Healey (Creative Writing, 2011),[74] Susan Fletcher (Creative Writing, 2002),[75] Tash Aw (Creative Writing, 2003),[76] Adam Foulds (Creative Writing, 2001),[77] Avril Joy (History of Art, 1972) and Christie Watson (Creative Writing, 2009); and the Caine Prize winners Binyavanga Wainaina (MPhil, 2010) and Helon Habila (PhD, 2008). Other alumni include Tracy Chevalier (Creative Writing, 1994),[78] John Boyne (Creative Writing, 1996),[79] Neel Mukherjee (Creative Writing, 2001), Mick Jackson (Creative Writing, 1992), Trezza Azzopardi (Creative Writing, 1998), Paul Murray (Creative Writing, 2001), James Scudamore (Creative Writing, 2006), Mohammed Hanif (Creative Writing, 2005), Richard House (PhD, 2008), Sebastian Barker, Clive Sinclair (BA, 1969; PhD, 1983), Kathryn Hughes (Creative Writing, 1986), and Peter J. Conradi.

UKIP Member of Parliament Douglas Carswell (BA, 1993)
Booker Prize winning novelist Ian McEwan (MA, 1971)

Scientific alumni include the current President of the Royal Society and winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Sir Paul Nurse (PhD, 1973),[80] Robert Koch Prize, Lasker Award and Gairdner Foundation International Award winning co-discoverer of Hepatitis C Michael Houghton (Biological Sciences, 1972),[81] Darwin–Wallace Medal, Darwin Medal and Bicentenary Medal winning evolutionary biologist Nick Barton (PhD, 1979),[82] Potamkin Prize winning pathologist Karen Duff (Biological Sciences, 1987),[83] Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award winning atmospheric scientist Benjamin Santer (Environmental Sciences, 1987),[84] Cloëtta Prize winning biochemist Brian Hemmings (PhD, 1975),[85] and the Flavelle Medal winning biologist David Jones (PhD, 1965).[86]

In the arts alumni include the actors Matt Smith (Drama, 2005),[87] John Rhys-Davies,[88] Jack Davenport (English & American Literature, 1995),[89] and James Frain (Drama, 1990);[90] comedians Paul Whitehouse,[91] Charlie Higson (English & American Literature),[79] Simon Day (Drama, 1989),[92] Arthur Smith (Comparative Literature, 1976),[93] and Nina Conti (Philosophy, 1995);[94] film director Gurinder Chadha (Development Economics, 1983);[88] Art Historians Philip Mould (History of Art, 1981),[95] Bendor Grosvenor (PhD, 2009),[96] and Paul Atterbury (Archaeology & Landscape History, 1972);[97] Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House Mary Allen (Creative Writing, 2003);[98] Chief Executive of English National Opera Sean Doran (Music 1983), and the Emmy Award winning choirmaster Gareth Malone (Drama, 1997).[99]

Alumni in the media include the news correspondents Razia Iqbal (American Studies, 1985),[79] Mark Stone (History of Art and Architecture, 2001), Geraint Vincent (History, 1994),[100] David Grossman (Politics, 1987),[79] and Selina Scott (English & American Literature, 1972); Radio 1 presenter Greg James (Drama, 2007);[100] political commentator Iain Dale (German & Linguistics, 1985);[101] BBC executives Dame Jenny Abramsky (English),[102] Jonathan Powell (English Literature),[103] and James Boyle; and the weather forecasters Darren Bett (Environmental Sciences, 1989) and Penny Tranter (Environmental Sciences, 1982).[104][105]

UEA alumni in business and economics include the founders of Autonomy and Café Rouge, and CEOs of ICI, Jaguar Land Rover, Premier Foods, Diageo, Punch Taverns, Computacenter and Pier 1 Imports. UEA is also the alma mater of the explorer Benedict Allen (Environmental Sciences, 1981);[106] England rugby player Andy Ripley;[107] football commentator Martin Tyler (Sociology, 1967),[108] and the Bishop of Ramsbury Ed Condry (BA, 1974).[109]

Notable academics[edit]

See also Category:Academics of the University of East Anglia

UEA has benefited from the services of academics at the top of their fields, including Sir Malcolm Bradbury and Sir Angus Wilson who co-founded the MA in Creative Writing programme;[110][111] Hubert Lamb who founded the Climatic Research Unit; Lord Zuckerman who was influential in the establishment of the School of Environmental Sciences;[112] Nobel Prize–winning chemist Richard Synge;[113] scientists Sir David King, Sir David Baulcombe, Godfrey Hewitt, Michael Balls, Andrew Watson, Christopher Lamb, Alan Katritzky, Michael Gale, Roy Markham, Geoffrey Boulton, Johnson Cann, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, John Alwyne Kitching, Thomas Bennet-Clark and Jeremy Greenwood;[114][115][116][117][118][119][120][121][122][123][124][125][126] writers W. G. Sebald and Angela Carter;[127][128] poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion;[129] historians Sir Richard Evans, Paul Kennedy, Baroness Hollis and Michael Balfour;[130][131][132] art historians Peter Lasko and Eric Fernie; philosopher Martin Hollis;[133] psychologist Dame Shirley Pearce; musician Sir Philip Ledger;[134] political scientists Lord Williams of Baglan and Sir Steve Smith; Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, and the High Court Judges Sir Clive Lewis and Dame Beverley Lang.[135][136]

Present faculty include former IPCC Chairman Sir Robert Watson;[137] scientists Sir David Hopwood,Phil Jones, Jonathan Jones, Enrico Coen, Frederick Vine and Peter Liss;[138][139][140][141][142][143] sociologist Sir Tom Shakespeare, 3rd baronet;[144] writers Giles Foden and Sarah Churchwell;[145][146] and the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke.[147]



Chancellor from 1965 to 1984 Oliver Franks, Baron Franks



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Further reading[edit]

  • Dormer, P. and Muthesius, S. (2002) Concrete and Open Skies: Architecture at the University of East Anglia, 1962-2000. Unicorn Press.
  • Sanderson, M. (2002) The History of the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Hambledon Continuum.

External links[edit]

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