University of Essex announces five-year plan to boost student numbers by a fifth

The university aims to recruit 150 new staff and increase student body to 20,000 by 2025

The University of Essex has announced an ambitious plan to increase its student body by 20 per cent over five years.

The plan set out by the university would also include recruiting 100 new academics and 50 professional staff.

Announcing the plan, vice-chancellor Prof Anthony Forest said: “In the year we were awarded Times Higher Education university of the year, I am immensely proud that we are prioritising investment in staff. This will further enhance the educational experience that we offer to our students as well as boost the research power of the University of Essex. We know students want us to invest in staff and that’s what we have announced today.

You might also like: Student number forecasts ‘ambitious’, says OfS

“In response to record levels of interest from applicants in securing undergraduate and postgraduate places at the University of Essex, combined with an increase in externally-funded research and our overall financial health, the university is investing in a step-change in staffing to support our mission of excellence in education and research.”

The Office for Students (OfS) has cautioned universities about misplaced optimism in their forecasts for future student numbers.

OfS chair Sir Michael Barber said: “This is particularly important at a challenging time for the sector overall. Uncertainties ahead include the UK’s future relationship with the EU, possible policy changes resulting from the Augar Review, and increased pension costs. Universities need to have a good grip on costs and base their actions on realistic forecasts.”

Got a news story for UB? Contact James Higgins on 0117 300 5526

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