We celebrated our 50th birthday in 2013 We celebrated our 50th birthday in 2013

The university celebrated its fiftieth birthday in 2013. With our uniquely green location, distinctive architecture and commitment to providing a quality student experience, we have continued to grow since our inception in 1960.

Beginnings

After getting the go-ahead to build in 1960, the Earlham golf course was chosen as the site of the permanent campus and work began in 1961.The university was originally based in the present-day University Village - with teaching space for about 1200 students - and admitted its' first cohort of 87 students in 1963. UEA welcomed its first Vice-Chancellor, Frank Thistlethwaite at this time.

Distinctive architecture

Denys Lasdun designed the University's core buildings, including the striking Ziggurats. His plans were for a campus university with everything you could need all in one place. Continuing as architect in 1968, Bernard Feilden added to the growing site with the ‘Square', the large central social space on campus. The first permanent buildings opened late 1966.

UEA Broad and Sainsbury Art collection

1973 saw the beginning of work on the picturesque lake opposite the Ziggurats, known as the UEA Broad, and the construction of Union House (and with it the LCR and Union Pub). This same year Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury donated their vast collection of world art to the University, and so work began on the Sainsbury Centre, which opened its doors to the public in 1978. The student newspaper Concrete was founded at this time, to be re-launched in 1992 with a current circulation of 4,500 copies.

Sportspark, INTO and UEA London

Opened in 2000, UEA's state-of-the-art Sportspark boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool and regularly hosts international events. The INTO centre opened in 2007, offering high quality preparation for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the UK. In 2009, in partnership with INTO, UEA London was opened, further enhancing the employability of UEA students and the international reputation of the university.

Distinctive teaching methods and ethos

UEA's academic thinking has been distinctive from the word go. With its motto of ‘do different' and focus on interdisciplinarity across subjects, UEA has continued to be academically innovative throughout its development. Recently awarded the number one spot in the Times Higher Education Student Experience survey, the university continues to build on its reputation as a first-class education provider.

50th Anniversary Website