The University of Essex, based at Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, received its Royal Charter in 1965. It is one of the UK's leading academic institutions and has an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. The University has 17 departments spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences and Science and Engineering.
There are currently around 9,100 students at the University, 25% of these within the Graduate School. The University is an international community with students from more than 125 countries. In recent assessments Essex has regularly ranked among the top twelve UK universities for the quality of its research, with many of its departments rated as 'outstanding' by international standards.
Over 200 acres of attractive parkland, much of it landscaped in the eighteenth century, provides the setting for the University's Colchester campus. There is easy access to coast and countryside, including the area of outstanding natural beauty known as 'Constable Country', after the famous landscape artist John Constable, who painted many local scenes, including Wivenhoe Park itself. Visitors are able to take advantage of the facilities available at Wivenhoe House, the original focus for the park, which has now become the University's hotel and conference centre.
The close knit Colchester campus has shops, banks and restaurants, and the University is able to offer accommodation to a high proportion of its students. As part of its excellent range of sporting and leisure facilities - all on the campus - the University boasts four squash courts, fitness gym, climbing wall and an eighteen-hole frisbee golf course. The Arts are also well catered for at Essex - there is a University Theatre, an Exhibition Gallery, and an extensive programme of musical and dramatic events.