University of East Anglia
#159 Overall Influence

University of East Anglia

University in Norwich, England

By James Barham, PhD

The University of East Anglia (UEA) was founded in 1963. East Anglia is a historical region comprising the easternmost counties of England, located northeast of Cambridge on the North Sea coast.

The present university consists of four faculties and 26 schools of study, including a world-renowned climatological institute and the most-prestigious creative writing program in the UK.

The student body numbers some 18,000 souls.

UEA is associated with an unusually high number of celebrated British and international authors. In 1970, the prominent novelists Angus Wilson and Malcolm Bradbury founded the master’s degree program in creative writing.

Three of the program’s most distinguished alumni are the novelists Kazuo Ishiguro (winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature), Ian McEwan (winner of the 1998 Man Booker Prize), and Anne Enright (winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize).

Other highly regarded alumni of the creative writing program include:

  • Poet, Sebastian Barker
  • Novelists Rose Tremain, Tracy Chevalier, Neel Mukherjee & Mick Jackson
  • Children’s, author John Boyne

The great German writer W.G. Sebald—whose work combined fiction, memoir, and photography in a unique fashion and who is considered by many to be one of the most important literary voices of the past 30 years—taught for many years at East Anglia, where he founded the British Centre for Literary Translation.

UEA’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) was established in 1972. Its work has risen to international prominence in connection with the debate over global warming. The climatologist Hugh Lamb directed the CRU during the first 15 years of its existence, while Phil Jones has been Director since 2004.

During Jones’s tenure in 2009–2011, the controversial “Climategate” episode occurred, in which leaked CRU internal emails appeared to show the suppression of data that did not support the consensus view on climate change.

Other prominent East Anglia connected individuals include the following:

  • Philosopher, Martin Hollis
  • Poets, Andrew Motion & George Szirtes
  • Novelists, Amit Chaudhuri & Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Film director, Gurinder Chadha
  • Actors, John Rhys-Davis, James Frain, Catherine Rabett & Matt Milne
  • Comedian and screenwriter Vicki Pepperdine
  • Rapper, Doc Brown
  • Journalists, Stuart Ramsay & Christina Patterson
  • TV journalist, Razia Iqbal
  • Historians, Paul Kennedy & Richard Evans
  • Historian and journalist, Kathryn Hughes
  • Intellectual historian, Peter Conradi
  • Economist, Franklin Allen
  • Physical chemist, Gavin Crooks
  • Nobel laureate in chemistry, Richard Synge
  • Biochemists, Huw Davies & James Barber
  • Molecular biologist, Richard Flavell
  • Nobel laureate in medicine or physiology, Paul Nurse
  • Physician and co-discoverer of Hepatitis C, Michael Houghton
  • Geneticist, Enrico Coen
  • Microbiologist, Tracy Palmer
  • Pathologist, Karen Duff
  • Botanist, David Baulcombe
  • Plant virologist, Roy Markham
  • Evolutionary biologist, Nicholas Barton
  • Psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Joanna Fowler
  • Operations research pioneer and public servant, Solomon Zuckerman

What is University of East Anglia known for?

#31 World Rank
#79 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#95 World Rank
#130 World Rank
#170 World Rank
#176 World Rank
Social Work
#206 World Rank
#239 World Rank
#243 World Rank
#265 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#286 World Rank
Political Science
#316 World Rank
#320 World Rank
#324 World Rank
#341 World Rank
#376 World Rank
#394 World Rank
#416 World Rank
#417 World Rank
#659 World Rank
#764 World Rank
#777 World Rank
Computer Science
#926 World Rank

Influential People

Who are University of East Anglia's Most influential alumni?

University of East Anglia's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Literature, Earth Sciences, and History. University of East Anglia’s most academically influential people include Ian McEwan, Paul Nurse, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Ian McEwan
Ian McEwan

British author

view profile
Paul Nurse
Paul Nurse

Nobel prize winning British biochemist

view profile
Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro

English author

view profile
Matt Smith
Matt Smith

English actor

view profile
Naomi Alderman

Author, novelist

view profile
Mohammed Hanif
Mohammed Hanif

Pakistani journalist

view profile
Anne Enright
Anne Enright

Irish writer

view profile
Helon Habila
Helon Habila

Nigerian novelist and poet

view profile
John Boyne
John Boyne

Irish novelist, author of children's and youth fiction

view profile
Richard Webster
Richard Webster


view profile
Michael Houghton
Michael Houghton


view profile
Keith Briffa

British academic

view profile