We have established a worldwide reputation for top quality teaching and research since being founded in 1964. Over the past five decades we have grown to more than 11,000 students, including over 3,000 postgraduates, who come from all over the world to study at one of our three campuses in Colchester, Loughton and Southend. Research excellence – Essex was ranked ninth in the UK for the quality of our research and top for social sciences in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008). Student satisfaction – we are in the top 20 for mainstream English universities for overall satisfaction according to the 2011 National Student Survey. International perspective – we are one of the UK's most internationally diverse campus universities with students drawn from more than 130 countries. “We are an internationally oriented, research intensive university with a commitment to excellence in research and research-led teaching, to the personal development of all our students, and to offering an outstanding campus-based student experience.” National Student Survey 2011 – 88 per cent of students expressed overall satisfaction with their course. This was well above the national average and placed us in the top 20 for mainstream universities in England. Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2011 – 85 per cent of respondents said their teaching and learning had met or exceeded their expectations, while 90 per cent said their overall experience as a postgraduate had met or exceeded their expectations. Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2011 – more than 82 per cent of our research students who took part said their overall experience had met or exceeded their expectations.