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Our campuses


Hugh Silberrad

My great-uncle’s education and success was funded by somebody else, and this is our way of carrying that philanthropy on and giving back to our local community.

Hugh Silberrad, great-nephew of founding donor Lilian Silberrad and her husband Oswald.

A unique offering

The Essex story is as much about our buildings as it is the events that have shaped it. Our founding vision to blend life and learning is represented in our architecture, including our interrelated squares, our iconic towers and our eclectic sculpture park.

From sit-ins in the 1960s to chalking our steps with the UN Declaration of Human Rights in the 2010s, our students have used our buildings to challenge conventions and make their voices heard.

Built on philanthropy

One of Essex's first philanthropic gifts was the site of our Colchester Campus, Wivenhoe Park, donated by Essex County Council. Plans for the new university were able to move forward thanks to this gift and the success of a public appeal, which was supported by nearly 700 founder donors including local resident Lilian Silberrad.

The generosity of Lilian's family continues to this day through a legacy gift from her son John of more than £2 million to support PhD scholarships. We have recognised the support of the Silberrads by naming our new Student Centre in their honour. The Centre continues to meet our ambition to bring living and learning together.

Making a difference

Today over 14,000 students live and learn on our three campuses. The Silberrad Student Centre and the carbon-zero building to house our Essex Business School are the starting point for our next phase of growth, which will support our world-class research and train the leaders of tomorrow.

With your help, we can educate and foster a greater number of people who are hungry to learn. Want to know more? Get in touch.