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Meet the candidates: SU Officer Elections 2020-21

Voting has opened in this year’s Student Union Officer Elections, here’s the low-down on everything that’s happening over the next few days.

Voting opened at 10:00, Monday 15 February 2021 and will close at 10:00, Thursday 18 February 2021. All students can vote via the UEA SU website, where you can also view the manifestos for all candidates standing in the elections.

There are a number of positions being contested including five full-time officer and twelve part-time officers. Alongside the SU officer elections, you will also be voting for your School & Faculty Convenors who oversee academic representation within your respective school & faculty. They also support your course reps who will be elected later in the term.

The officers will take on a portfolio looking after specific areas that represent students within the SU. Full-time officers are renumerated ~£19,000 and will either undertake the role at the end of their studies or “intercalate” for the year. In contrast the part time officers are volunteer positions and will undertake their role whilst continuing with their studies.

We reached out to all candidates for the full-time officer positions to find out what changes they’d make, what they love about UEA and to give you an insight into their manifesto. Their responses are broken down into the position they’re running for.

Activities & Opportunities Officer

The activities and opportunities officer is responsible for securing opportunities for students at UEA through extra and co-curricular activities. They will be the primary officer for the development of clubs and societies, this includes being the publisher of Concrete and supporting the Societies and Sports Executive Committees.

You’re A&O candidates are:

Libby Jayne Bonis, Postgraduate Globalisation, Business and Sustainable Development student, in her fourth year at UEA having completed a BA in Geography and International Development with Overseas Experience.

Summary of manifesto:

“Equal Opportunities: 

  • Wednesday afternoons kept free.
  • Postgraduate Activators.
  • More holiday programmes.

Championing YOU:

  • Mental health mentors.
  • Committee training to include mental health and allyship.

Communication and Transparency:

  • More financial transparency.
  • Regular spotlights.
  • Simplified budgeting.
  • Facilitate collaborations and idea sharing between groups.”

Bronwen Brown, third year Politics and Media student.

Summary of manifesto: “My main aim is to ensure that ALL students experience the opportunities available to them to make their time at university amazing! To do this, I aim to provide greater support to committees, create a community, look forward and provide access to all. Get On Down, Vote Bron Brown!”

Kairong Hou, third year Media Studies student.

Summary of manifesto:

  1. “Provide students with more opportunities to study in China and work in China.
  2. Provide more real voice of news content in the Concrete to let students get more information in different areas.
  3. Set up more organization to increase communication between Chinese students and UK students.”

Lizzie Payne, is the incumbent activities and opportunities officer having completed a BSc in Biology at UEA.

Summary of manifesto: “Get clubs to vote on the cost of SAM, continue club and soc activities into the summer, PG and Mature Students’ sports programme, publish UEAs spending, push uni to redevelop Colney Lane, freshers for all, more LCRs for graduates, in-person graduations, live-stream fixtures, build a gaming room[.]”

Tim Wayland, fourth year Natural Sciences student.

Summary of manifesto: “I’ll push for fairer event promotion that doesn’t overlook the awesome events run by our smaller clubs and societies.

I want to focus on inclusivity and accessibility, especially in online spaces. 

And I want to make communication with the SU easier and more straightforward.”

  1. If you could change just one thing about the Student’s Union what would it be?

Libby: “Part of my ‘Championing YOU’ aspect in my manifesto targets the barriers that prevent all students from engaging equally. I would like to be able to strengthen the voices of marginalised student groups and ensure that they have equal opportunity to voice their concerns in the union.”

Bron: “I honestly believe that the Student’s Union has done an absolutely incredible job, particularly over the past year with the uncertainties that came with it! However, I would really push for greater and easier access to SU Opportunities next year. Developing an Opportunities Bursary will help students to get involved with clubs and societies who may struggle to pay the membership otherwise. And, working with PTOs will encourage greater engagement from our postgrads, mature, international and placement students.”

Kairong: “I want to make the Student’s Union build more contacts with Chinese students, because the proportion of Chinese students has increased. I think it will help SU achieve more diversified development.”

Lizzie: “More recognition for clubs and socs. This is a thing that I have been pushing for this year, and #UEAyourWay with the club and soc spotlight provides us with a great place to start for this to take place. Clubs and socs are such a good place to be able to meet people, and having committee members recognised for all the hard work they put in is definitely an area we could improve.”

Tim: “I’d like to see the SU overhaul its event advertising, so that people can find out about events that appeal to them and so that clubs and societies can easily promote their events through the SU. I think this is especially important this coming year, because if you’re going into second year, you never got a proper freshers’ week!”

  • If you could change one thing about UEA what would it be?

Bron: “I would change the relationship between UEA and the SU! Creating those bonds between student groups and groups within the university such as careers central would benefit students so much and make for a more cohesive feel to the university.”

Kairong: “I would like to try my best to increase the UEA influence in the world, especially in China.”

Lizzie: “As much as the redevelopment of Colney Lane is a top top priority for me to push, I’d say the provision Islamic Prayer spaces is essential. At the moment Blackdale is the main area for Islamic prayer facilities, and although the University has promised to invest in a new Faith Centre, these plans are currently paused.”

Tim: “I’d like to see a bit more support for students studying modules from different schools. A lot of courses offer the opportunity to do this, which is absolutely phenomenal and not something that many universities do, but it can sometimes feel like you’re out of your depth and a clear place to go for support would be really helpful.”

Libby: “I would opt for more financial transparency and communication. Tuition fees are the largest source of the university’s funding and the expenditure and investments that are being made with the fees should be communicated to students. With greater and simplified communication, students are better educated on the university’s financial position and may feel more valued.”

  • What makes UEA wonderful?

Kairong: “Nice environment, inclusive atmosphere and friendly students.”

Lizzie: “Would I be an Activities and Opportunities officer if I didn’t say Clubs and Societies?! That and the LCR, and the huge amount of green space, oh and the £1 chips from Campy K, whilst we’re here we might as well add in sports night.”

Tim: “UEA has such an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, and it feels really easy to be myself here!”

Libby: “As cliché as it sounds, the student groups absolutely make UEA wonderful. I have had the most incredible experience being welcomed into many different clubs and societies. They are a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from different courses and year groups, who you may not have necessary encountered otherwise. I have been able to make the most out of my university experience through the clubs and societies I have been a part of, and the support networks within them have been my absolute backbone.”

Bron: “It truly is the students that make both UEA and the SU wonderful! It was the clubs and societies, consisting of students, that first welcomed me back when I was a first year and introduced me to all of the experiences I have been able to have! Whilst I do want to develop the community we have here at UEA, it is the students that really make our university the Home of the Wonderful!”

Campaigns & Democracy Officer

The campaigns and democracy officer is the officer who will be responsible for improving student engagement with campaigns and the democratic processes of the SU. They will develop and support the union’s priority campaigns. They will also be the primary officer member of the Ethical and Environmental Sub-Committee.

Your C&D candidates are:

Jude Beckett, Postgraduate Medieval History student.

Summary of manifesto: “More opportunity for you to campaign about what you’re passionate about, more communication and transparency from your union so you know what’s going on and how you can get involved, and more representation of your interests from the SU to the university and on a national scale.”

Megan Jackson, third year Education student and self-confessed lover of coffee.

Summary of manifesto:

  • “Develop the UEA community beyond a physical campus space so you feel a part of it, regardless of you location. 
  • Provide proactive, consistent and accessible student support.  
  • Create virtual volunteering opportunities to provide you with employability experience. 
  • Support your voice on the issues important to you.”

Also running for C&D officer is Hamish Williams, who did not respond to our request for interview.

  1. If you could change just one thing about the Student’s Union what would it be?

Jude: “The one thing I would change about the SU would be to make it feel more open and accessible to students through clearer communication about what services it offers and how it makes decisions, so it feels less like the union and more like our union.”

Megan: “If I could change one thing about the Student’s Union, it would be the relationship students have with it. With no club nights or events at the moment, it has become a provider of information for students, and I think it would be really valuable for students to understand more about the SU and who works within it, in order to feel truly supported by it.”

  • If you could change one thing about UEA what would it be?

Megan: “If I could change one thing about UEA, it would of course be being allowed to be there right now. I really miss not just the club nights and in-person lectures, but being able to physically be on campus, sitting in the square in the summer with my friends especially. Outside of that, I would change the involvement of students in the decisions made, no one understands the student experience better than us and our voices deserve to be appreciated.”

Jude: “Similar to the union, my big wish would be that the university would treat its students with respect and be transparent with us about its decision-making process and the motivations behind it, as many students have felt in the dark this year with a lack of communication and consultation over issues such as face-to-face teaching and the university’s finances.”

  • What makes UEA wonderful?

Jude: “What truly makes UEA is its wonderful student body, of which I’ve been very proud to be a member for the last four years, which has made it all the more infuriating to see them blamed by the government for their own failures in handling the pandemic and see them being financially exploited by the university that is supposed to support them.”

Megan: “If I had been on campus more than 5 times over the past 11 months, I would say the view of the sunset from Norfolk Terrace, but now, it would have to be the adaptability of the students and determination to support each other during an incredibly difficult time. The incredible societies I’ve had the pleasure of being part of this academic year have been a massive support for me and my mental wellbeing.”

Undergraduate Education Officer:

The undergraduate education officer is responsible for securing positive change for undergraduate students at UEA, representing their voice in formal and informal meetings with university staff. They will also be the primary officer member of the Education Sub-Committee.

Your UG Edu candidates are:

Ivo Garnham, fourth year at UEA, studying Politics and Media Studies.

Summary of manifesto: “: I want to hold a referendum on confidence in the Vice-Chancellor, keep our lectures recorded, add real targets to decolonise the curriculum, add content warnings to our courses, and bring back Pimp My Barrow. My policies mean a lot to me and I hope I’ll get to implement them as the next Undergrad Education Officer.”

Michelle Ho, foundation year Medical student.

Summary of manifesto:

  • “Breaks within 1+ hour lectures.
  • Specific assessment feedback.
  • Fairness across all cohorts.
  • All lectures being recorded.
  • Weekly checklists.
  • Collaboration between students and staff.

I want to involve those who feel distant from union activities to create a bigger community, improving everyone’s learning experience #BecauseYouMatter.”

Becca Morrison, third year International Development student.

Summary of manifesto: “Focusing around an equal education, my manifesto outlines new initiatives that are practical and researched options for increasing the quality of education. Some of my points include a laptop lending scheme, extra study pods across campus and mental health ambassadors within teaching faculty to increase awareness of student mental health. #BackBeccaforBetter”

Ruby Rae, third year BSc Environmental Sciences Student.

Summary of manifesto: “I have a three-point plan for my manifesto: Progress on academic wellbeing, a better feedback system & a more efficient system for student representation. The goals I have are achievable and realistic, and I know that I can keep all of the promises that I make.”

Briony Randell, is the incumbent Women’s Officer (part-time) and a third year Society, Culture and Media student.

Summary of manifesto:

  • “Continuing academic support introduced during the pandemic as needed
  • Diversifying teaching practice and content 
  • Making education more accessible and examining the barriers students face 
  • Supporting off-campus learners, including placement and study abroad students  
  • Improving the efficiency of the course rep system and introducing more incentives”

Also running for UG Edu officer is Olivia Mukiibi, who did not respond to our request for interview.

  1. If you could change just one thing about the Student’s Union what would it be?

Ivo: “If I could change one thing about the SU, it would be the fact that not a lot of people feel confident engaging with it. During my campaign, I’ve spoken to several people who have never voted in an SU election before, and many people who aren’t even sure what the SU does. As Undergrad Education Officer, I would ensure that all students feel properly informed about university current events through the use of regular videos (if you’ve seen my campaign videos, I hope you’ll agree that I know how to put a message across in a fun and engaging way!). I would also like to make the Hive and the SU advice service a safe space for all, meaning that students feel comfortable approaching SU officers and other staff about any issues they may have.”

Michelle: “I would increase union events to get different people involved in the Student’s Union. This can range from study/networking sessions to weekly advertised discord movie nights. Perhaps even creating a discord server for people to have a chat, discuss concerns, talk about studies, play games, talk and watch movies. Utilising different social media platforms to involve as many people as possible in the SU.”

Becca: “The confusion. I would love to make it easier to understand and to get into for students, I definitely didn’t know the rules of union council or the specifics of working as a student rep until I was at least in year 2, and even then, I’ve just been learning along the way! The SU is such a great way to get involved with your own education in a way that schools and colleges can’t provide, the more people that take part and help out, the more we can change!”

Ruby: “I would make it less intimidating- to anyone who isn’t involved in course representation, it’s such a big establishment and I don’t think many people know what they actually do because they’re too scared to ask.”

Briony: “I think legacy is really important at the SU. Turnover of staff and student officers is so high that it’s easy for past campaigns to be lost – but we’d be able to progress with so much more power if we knew and could build on all of the great things our predecessors had done! I think this is especially the case for part time officers because they work on some really cool stuff. As women’s officer I’m currently collaborating with a number of other part time officers on some events for women’s history month for example and I’m going to make sure that I leave behind a record so that the next women’s officer can build off of my ideas!”

  • If you could change one thing about UEA what would it be?

Michelle: “UEA hearing students’ concerns is what I want to change. I would love to find a way that the university can use constructive criticism to improve the wellbeing of their students and use feedback to constantly improve.”

Becca: “Making them really LISTEN to their own students. Having been involved in many meetings and conversations around student mentality and the true student voice, I know there is so much work to be done. Since coming back to UEA this year, I’ve already had two interviews with BBC Norfolk about the state of students and questioning the things that UEA has put in place since the pandemic started. I know that having listened to student voice and made big changes already in the past year that is something I can do and will do for the good of the student body to make sure everyone receives an equal and fair education.”

Ruby: “I would like more transparency in decision making. Students deserve to know why things happen (or why they don’t) and should also be an active part of the decision-making process.”

Briony: “I would pay the academic staff better. Not only have students had to survive numerous staffing strikes by academic staff who were protesting being underpaid and overworked, but so many staff faced cuts to their pay and hours because of the pandemic. This has meant that modules have been slashed, teaching groups have increased in size, academic advisors are over-capacity and students had even less help from their lecturers and seminar leaders. UEA has to face up to the exploitation of its academic staff and the ways this directly affects the educational experiences of its students.”

Ivo: “The one thing that I want to change about UEA is that it doesn’t always feel like it is truly being run for its students. This year we’ve seen increases to the price of rent on campus accommodation, and yet the Vice-Chancellor has not taken a pay cut as vice-chancellor’s at many other universities have. There is a clear lack of solidarity and empathy at a time when being a student is more difficult than ever.”

  • What makes UEA wonderful?

Becca: “The people, ALWAYS the people. Since starting in 2018, I’ve never felt excluded and as much as it is cheesy and overused, we are a family! I’ve always loved having the opportunity to change things for the better, even if it’s just within my school and they’ve always been open to ideas. We all stick together no matter what and that is what makes UEA so wonderful.”

Ruby: “UEA really has a society, a course, or a club for everyone. It caters to such a large crowd which means that there are so many different cultures and interests across campus- you meet some really interesting people and get to try so many new things.”

Briony: “That it’s made up of people that come to university not just for a degree but who are determined to try new things and engage with new cultures and experiences. Also, the people who take the time and are patient and open in sharing about their, culture, religion, political beliefs, and life experiences. Studying at UEA I have experienced such openness and kindness from the people I have met and that’s what’s made it wonderful. (Also, concrete confessions is by far the best confessions page out there!)”

Ivo: “What makes UEA wonderful? I could say the vibrant, open, green (and grey) campus, or the countless fun nights at the LCR, but those are things we’re all sadly missing at the moment. Instead, I think the most wonderful thing about UEA is its students: this is a community that has still managed to thrive throughout the difficulties of the pandemic. The support and kindness shown between friends and course mates over the last year has been wholesome to experience and I look forward to getting to experience it all in person again.”

Michelle: “People are friendly here and it seems like there is a sense of community. Coming from a large city, it feels comforting to be in a smaller city which gives me cosy vibes.”

Postgraduate Education Officer:

The postgraduate education officer is responsible for securing positive change for postgraduate students at UEA, representing their voice in formal and informal meetings with university staff. They will also be a member of the Education Sub-Committee.

Your PG Edu candidates are:

Thomas Floodgate, Postgraduate MA Modern History student, in his fourth year at UEA having completed a BA in Modern History.

Summary of manifesto: “My manifesto is threefold: I intent to strengthen the PG voice; I will ensure all PG degrees are delivered to the highest standard; and I will make the university experience for all PG students well-rounded and enjoyable. Further details can be found in my manifesto on Facebook and Instagram.”

Ayane Hida, is the incumbent Postgraduate Education Officer following completion of a MA in Global Intercultural Communication at UEA.

Summary of manifesto: “Communication is important, but particularly at university where student may not always know the best point of contact. I want to create a central location for international PGs and for AT. I want to pressure UEA into providing more support for those affected by Covid-19 and reduce discrimination on campus[.]”

Owen Hooper, Postgraduate MA Mathematics Education student, in his fourth year at UEA following the completion of a BSc in Mathematics.

Summary of manifesto: “Support – Extend bursary Scheme to include Postgrads, 

Improve assignment scheduling 

Ensure all teaching members of staff receive adequate mental health training.  

Work to increase membership of postgrads in our clubs and societies.  

Work with the SU to provide a rounded experience of Norwich/[UK] – especially for our international cohort.”

  1. If you could change just one thing about the Student’s Union what would it be?

Tom: “Effectively and consistently communicating the concerns of students. Insufficient feedback for PG work, restrictions on library resources, and ineffective support are just a few of the issues not communicated by the SU to the university. The SU should represent the voice of the students.”

Ayane: “Representation of minority groups”

Owen: “One thing I would change about the SU would be in terms of thier priorities when it comes to the venues. Students clubs and societies should have more freedom to book the lcr for events and showcases. I’ve attended so many great student events like “I’m a president get me out of here” run by UEA Netball and even being a participant in the sadly cancelled “UEA does Strictly”.  However, we are often catered second best to gigs and concerts, with instances where new dates are forced on student events to prioritise a gig/concert. Primarily, the LCR is our venue, run by students for students and we should have the freedom to book events and showcases.”

  • If you could change one thing about UEA what would it be?

Ayane: “Communication between UEA, faculties, schools and students”

Owen: “One thing I would change about UEA is the relationship the leadership have with the SU and its elected officers. This would help solve a lot of student orientated issues much quicker if they uni were more proactive with working with the SU. It would save a lot of angry petitions and U-turns from them if they engaged and listened to student officers when we voice your concerns to them.”

Tom: “The university needs to be more receptive to students’ desires and grievances.”

  • What makes UEA wonderful?

Owen: “It sounds very cliche but honestly the people and memories i’ve made here will stay with me long after I’ve left UEA. From being a baby fresh to what seems like my retirements years as a fourth year, every year I’ve made new friends and memories that I’ll cherish for a long time to come.”

Tom: “The wonderful thing about UEA is its amazing sense of community. Not only is it where we study, it is where we grow and give back to the community around us. Societies and Clubs at UEA are increasingly being driven by a desire to give back by campaigning for local, national and international charities. It is that unshakable drive of UEA students and staff that truly makes UEA home of the wonderful.”

Ayane: “Friends and people you meet here”

Welfare, Community & Diversity Officer:

The welfare, community and diversity officer will be responsible for promoting and defending the rights of students on issues relating to access to education, equality of opportunity and student as well as strengthening and developing relationships between students and their local community. They will also be the primary officer member of the Welfare, Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee.

Your WC&D candidates are:

Ana Beatriz Bras Mendes, third year Psychology student.

Summary of manifesto: “Topics very close to home. Mandatory mental health first aid for club committee members, better student engagement through collaboration systems of SU opportunities (much like mentioned in question 1), open discourse on issues related to current welfare campaigns (mental health, discrimination, racial prejudices and injustice, and abuse, harassment and assault).”

Aaron Campbell, fourth year Computing and Graphic Design student.

Summary of manifesto:

  1. “Reduce use of terms like BAME and POC
  2. Listen to the needs of students who commute/are on placement
  3. Regular meetings with students about university experience
  4. Speaking up about global issues
  5. Mental health first aid training for students who are interested
  6. Expansion of the eradicate hate campaign”

Jake Goddard, Postgraduate MRes Social Science Research Methods (Politics) student, in his fifth year at UEA following the completion of BA International Relations and Politics.

Summary of manifesto: “My manifesto is mainly about improving the range and quality of mental health and wellbeing services at UEA. That includes providing support to Nightline, reviewing the work of Student Services, establishing viable counselling alternatives for students and bolstering the ability of the student population to support itself.”

Kasper Hassett, third year English Literature with Creative Writing.

Summary of manifesto: “With officer and society experience, I’m advocating for students against money-grabbing; protecting them from landlords; restoring higher bursaries; implementing a full-scale guarantor scheme; incentivising societies to keep accessible online events; fighting hate speech; combatting period poverty; extending diversity celebrations beyond liberation months; and more! Most importantly, I’m listening to you.”

Eva Korczynski. is in the incumbent Environmental Officer (part time) and Undergraduate Mathematics student.

Also running for WC&D officer are Ramsha Ashraf and Amira Hanna, who did not respond to our request for interview.

  1. If you could change just one thing about the Student’s Union what would it be?

Ana: “Having spoken with peers from other universities I do feel like our SU is further ahead than some in many fields, however I do wish the students’ union had a more cohesive feel. There are a lot of opportunities and programmes/schemes we can take part in but they feel very separate from one another, and besides some collaborations, and from a student’s point of view, it feels like there isn’t much contact between parts of the SU. I want to see more cooperation between different societies and clubs and schemes like BuddySU and the welfare campaigns. I want the SU to lead and improve the community environment at UEA, give students more opportunities to branch out, especially now that everything is online and we can’t just meet new people as easily or try something because our flatmate insisted we went with them. I feel like this could bridge some of the divide between student groups, university is all about bringing people together – we’re all part of the same community, we can all work together and help make the SU and UEA a great diverse environment.”

Aaron: “I would like to see more diversity within the SU, more races and people from different backgrounds. I believe a more diverse SU is more representative of the diverse range of students that they are serving.”

Jake: “It needs to put students more in control, and in order to do that, it needs to give them the tools to do that. My Wellbeing Grant will help student groups to put on events that are aimed at improving student mental health and wellbeing.”

Kasper: “Honestly, we need more transparency. Often, students feel like the SU isn’t listening to them – but there are dozens of meetings a day happening which no one knows about, concerning recent issues. Additionally, it’s hard to understand the SU and what its role is – but all of these things could be fixed with honest, frequent communication, and it would be so easy to manage that.”

Eva: “I’d embed sustainability into the democratic and organisational structures of the SU, as the climate emergency is the biggest threat facing our planet at the moment and needs to be at the forefront of our minds in every decision we make.”

  • If you could change one thing about UEA what would it be?

Aaron: “A larger embedded mental health support team (both for individual schools and university wide)”

Jake: “It’s very good at forming all these groups to achieve aims but not very good at getting students involved in holding those groups accountable. That’s why I want the VC’s Mental Health Task Force to regularly hold open sessions for questions from students.”

Kasper: “So much needs to be done, but the overarching problem with UEA right now is the money-grabbing. Students are being exploited; student-staff (including associate tutors) are being let down; and there’s been no leniency with accommodation, even in this pandemic. If executive greed stepped aside, we could have a university driven entirely by the desire to educate and provide opportunities.”

Eva: “I’d make them more proactive in offering support to students as it’s not enough to simply have the support available. As many will know when you’re at your lowest, asking for support is hard and the university needs to step up.”

Ana: “I would definitely change some aspects of teaching and learning. Obviously we have moved to a completely online-based learning environment, so I would like to see how blended learning is implemented and adopted. When moving everything online, a lot of the teaching quality disappeared, so, in a post-covid world, I would love to see hybrid teaching being the protocol – it gives students a better chance of staying involved with their learning from a practical point of view. Some students prefer in-person learning, some do better distance-learning. It’s all about making teaching inclusive, because different people thrive in different environments, and now that we have the tools, I want to see UEA use them to the students’ benefit. This would mean analysing the curriculum and we all know that most curricula need a bit of work. Additionally, I have noticed that students have found it a lot harder to engage and feel connected to their course and peers, so finding ways for students to connect in an online setting would definitely benefit the quality of education UEA is providing.”

  • What makes UEA wonderful?

Jake: “Bunnies!! And us students, of course. In that order xD”

Kasper: “The amount of people who are willing to better it, whether through societies and clubs, projects, campaigns, or just looking after each other! I’ve never been in a room here without somebody ready to step up and help the people around them. Having so many people happy to include everyone really brought me out of my shell when I got to UEA, and it makes me want to do the same for everyone else I meet.”

Eva: “Honestly? I think all the students that come here. I’ve spent my fair share of time here but every year I keep meeting new and wonderful people.”

Ana: “UEA is wonderful. It is a very welcoming environment. As an international (EU) student, I felt incredibly scared and out of my comfort zone emigrating from Portugal to the UK. But I could not have chosen a better university to attend. I had immense support and found people from similar backgrounds quite early on. UEA prides itself on its internationalisation, and I fully believe it has reason to. During my time here, I have also finally been diagnosed with an invisible disability, and was met with nothing but support by my peers, professors and academic advisors. It is incredible how open-minded and supportive this community is, and I am very happy to be part of it. Also the lake is really pretty too, so bonus points for that!”

Aaron: “The people, whether it be students or staff, just those people who are looking out for you and making sure everything is okay both academically and personally. It’s those people that make UEA wonderful to me.”


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