About us


University of Essex


The Court of the University of Essex, established under University's Charter and Statutes, encourages local stakeholders to have an active interest in the University and be formally associated with it. Court members and other stakeholders, including our alumni and local MPs are invited to an Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is usually chaired by the Chancellor of the University and provides an opportunity for Court members to be engaged in the work of the University, to network and to meet with members of the University community and other stakeholders.

The Court involves:

  • the Annual Meeting, including
  • the Vice-Chancellor and Director of Finance's report on the workings and sustainability of the University since the last meeting, and
  • the award of Honorary Fellowships

in addition, members of Court, as members of the University, are encouraged to

  • attend University events, and to
  • contribute through their networks and expertise to specific areas of our work, such as student employability

Notice of next meeting

The next annual meeting of the Court of the University of Essex will take place at Wivenhoe Park, Colchester Campus, during the afternoon of Friday 22 June 2018.

Contact the Events Team for more information.


The Court has currently around 250 members, including:

  • senior University office holders;
  • members of academic staff and students; and
  • a wide range of external members.

Appointed members are appointed by the Council, the University's governing body, on the recommendation of its Nominations Committee.

Court members are appointed on the basis of their interests, expertise or other connections with the University. We aim to ensure that members are broadly representative of the local community. There are no formal obligations or duties on members as such, but we ask members to accept the Statement on the Role of Court. We expect that Court members will promote the University and its interests in the local and wider region. We hope those active in business, the public sector or in the charities sector will help in providing opportunities for students or in developing links with business and the community. The University will ensure members are kept informed regarding the University's activities and strategic priorities, though the Annual Meeting and through other media. It will work with members with business and other connections to realise potential mutual benefits involving students and academic staff.

Nominations for the appointment as an Appointed member of Court are considered under our Process for Appointment.

Court Review

As part of our commitment to the effective delivery of the University's strategic objectives and to our wide range of stakeholders and supporters represented on Court, we recently undertook a review of Court.

Contact details

Court membership and meetings enquiries

Nicky Jackson

Governance Assistant

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ

Telephone 01206 872067

Room 5.605 (Rab Butler Building)

Email governance@essex.ac.uk

General enquiries about any aspect of Court

Clare Hornsby

Head of Corporate Governance

Strategic Planning and Change, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ

Telephone 01206 874704

Room 5.602 (Rab Butler Building)

Email governance@essex.ac.uk

Deputy Secretary

Dr Sonia Virdee

Deputy Secretary and Director of Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning and Change, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ

Telephone 01206 874681

Email svirdee@essex.ac.uk