Stepping into a new decade: Reflecting on 60 years of UEA


    Over the past six decades, our University has evolved (from a golf course flanked by the River Yare) into a beacon of knowledge and a hub of innovation, that has been constantly ranked highly in UK league tables.

    It is a testament to the commitment and collective efforts of our incredible students, staff and supporters who have played a vital role in shaping our institution's legacy.

    As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our University, we reflect on all the effort that has been made to deliver on the original vision of Sir Denys Lasdun and Professor Frank Thistlethwaite - to create a compact, modern campus embodying a radical new vision for higher education, where interdisciplinarity was crucial and where no building was more than five minutes’ walk away from another. From having a teaching space in the temporary university village to becoming one of the top 25 UK universities (The Complete University Guide) and one of the top 300 universities in the world (Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings), UEA has come a long way.

    Newspaper clipping

    We now enjoy a rich roll call of alumni: bright minds who challenged conventions in pursuit of new and unprecedented opportunities, all while embodying our motto, “Do Different”. Alumni of UEA hold important positions in numerous organisations worldwide. Be it in the field of theatre, film and television (Matt Smith, Olivia Vinall, Greg James) or in the field of literature (Sir Kazuo Ishiguro*, Ian McEwan, Anne Enright) or in the field of medicine (Dame Sarah Gilbert, Sir Paul Nurse*, Sir Michael Houghton*) – former students of UEA have taken the world by storm and continue to inspire our ever-expanding UEA community. Our philanthropic and supporter community has helped us achieve groundbreaking advancements in cancer research, uncover the mysteries of a historical shipwreck, embark on remarkable polar expeditions, and provide life-changing opportunities for students through scholarships. We are particularly proud of this strong and close-knit UEA community that thinks bold, does things differently and leads the way by building on our strengths.

    While we look ahead, we understand that universities will play a pivotal role in moving towards a sustainable future, with our aim of being Carbon net zero by 2045. As part of our ongoing Campus Development Programme, over coming years we will be restoring Lasdun’s iconic Teaching Wall, the concrete familiar to all our graduates as the teaching rooms and labs. New flexible learning spaces will be created, merging the latest educational technology with sustainable, energy-efficient surroundings. Adjacent to the Grade II listed building, on the north side we will be building brand new science research laboratories which will bring together UEA’s scientists in a shared research workspace for the first time in UEA’s history.

    As we step into a new decade of UEA’s lifetime, your support remains the cornerstone of our journey. Here’s to that bright future, together.

    (* Nobel Prize Winners)

    Check out pages 11-14 of the latest issue of our UEA philanthropy magazine, Pioneer, where we take a trip down memory lane to showcase the 60-year journey of UEA.