The University of Essex is a public research university in Essex, England. Established in 1963, welcomed students in 1964, and acquired university status by royal charter in 1965 – the university is a plate glass university. Essex’s shield consists of the ancient arms attributed to the Kingdom of Essex, and the motto, “Thought the harder, heart the keener”, is adapted from the Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon.[8] The university comprises three campuses with its primary campus located within Wivenhoe Park (over 200 acres) and campuses in Southend-on-Sea and in Loughton.

Essex is a founding partner of the Eastern ARC and the Young European Research Universities network; is part of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe alliance, and is a member of Universities UK. Essex has 19 academic partnerships domestically and internationally. Domestic partnerships include University of Essex Online with Kaplan, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and University of Essex International College. International partnerships include a franchise arrangement with Kaplan Singapore and double and dual degrees with several universities in Europe and Asia, with strong links with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.[15][16] The university has produced many notable alumni in several fields, including two Nobel Prize laureates, a head of state, foreign ministers, MPs, scientists, artists, politicians, authors, and filmmakers.

Essex is rated Gold for Teaching Excellence by the TEF since 2017, named University of the Year at Times Higher Education Awards in 2018, a research-intensive university at 19th by REF and 25th in 2020, and has climbed to 27th top UK university in 2022.[19] Essex’s Department of Government received Regius Professorship conferred by Her Majesty, The Queen in 2013 and the university was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize on two occasions for advancing Human Rights in 2009 and Social and Economic Research in 2017.