Vice Chancellor's Message

Professor David Richardson

Vice-Chancellor, UEA

UEA was founded – in 1963 – to “Do Different”. And we fulfilled that promise. We created the world’s first school of environmental sciences. We launched the UK’s first programme in creative writing. We received an art collection to rival that of any university, anywhere. We helped to establish the first new NHS teaching hospital for 30 years. And we formed a research park that attracted some of Europe’s top scientific institutes to Norwich.  

Today, we proudly take our place among the UK’s top 15 universities and in the world’s top 1%.

In 2013 we celebrated our 50th anniversary by launching The Difference Campaign. We asked our friends and alumni to help us raise £50m in philanthropic funding, so that we could carry on making a difference – in our own distinctive way.

We have been more successful than we dared to hope. And our supporters have been more generous than we dared to dream. 

The £50m raised since the launch of The Difference Campaign has changed the lives of some of our brightest and most deserving students by offering them scholarships to overcome their financial fears for studying at university. It has quickened the pursuit of cures for diseases like cancer and osteoporosis, by providing our researchers with state-of-the-art facilities in the new Bob Champion Research and Education Building. And, it has inspired and empowered thousands of people by sharing the critically acclaimed exhibitions of the Sainsbury Centre, with the world.

These are just a few examples of how donor support is making an impact at UEA. 

Over the life of the campaign, we’ve been delighted to see so many of our alumni return UEA to their hearts by making gifts to the campaign; alongside the many passionate organisations, trusts, foundations and philanthropists who have done the same. But, as Vice-Chancellor, what I find most exciting about the support they have given, is that they've done so much more than just give financial support. Our alumni and friends have also given their enthusiasm, their creativity, their advice and, in so many cases, their invaluable time. 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every donor to The Difference Campaign, along with all those who are thinking about making their first gift - your support truly is invaluable and will continue to help UEA to progress for generations to come.

Thank you.