University of Durham

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University of Durham
motto Fundamenta eius super
montibus sanctis

Their foundations are
on the holy hills
(from Psalm 86 in the Book of Psalms )
founding 1832
Sponsorship state
place Durham , UK
Vice-Chancellor and Warden Stuart Corbridge
Students 17,320 (2007)
Employee 2,422 (2007)
Networks CG , IAU , Russell Group
University College (Durham Castle), the oldest inhabited university building in the world

The University of Durham (also Durham University ) is a university in England . It was established by Act of Parliament in 1832 and was given the Royal Charter in 1837. It is the third oldest university in England after the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and has facilities in Durham on the River Wear and in Stockton-on- Teas .

The University is a leading research and teaching institutions of the United Kingdom and was approved by the Sunday Times named the British "University of the Year 2005". It enjoys a very high reputation nationally and internationally. It was seen by the Sunday Times as part of the "English Ivy League " of elite universities. Nationally, Durham ranks 3-7 and is a "leading alternative to Oxford and Cambridge Universities " according to The Times Good University Guide . The university has been a member of the Russell Group since 2012 .

On April 4, 2005, the author Bill Bryson was appointed to succeed Peter Ustinov as Chancellor of the university. He held this (mainly ceremonial) office until the end of 2011. His successor is the British opera baritone Sir Thomas Allen .


University coat of arms


From the tradition of theological teaching in Durham there were early attempts to found a university at this location, especially under King Henry VIII and later Oliver Cromwell (1657). It was not until 1832 that Parliament passed a law allowing the Dean and Chapter of Durhams to establish a university.

As in Oxford, it was founded with a college , University College , and moved into Durham Castle , which previously served as the bishop's residence, in 1837.

19th century

In 1846 the Bishop Hatfield's Hall (later Hatfield College ), named after Prince Bishop Thomas Hatfield, was inaugurated, providing affordable accommodation and full boarding for students for the first time in British history. Those attending University College were expected to bring a servant to take care of cooking, cleaning, and the student's personal needs.

In 1852, the Newcastle Faculty of Medicine, founded in 1834, became a college of Durham University. This connection was later followed in 1871 by the College of Physical Sciences (from 1884 College of Science and from 1904 Armstrong College ). St. Cuthbert's Society was founded in 1888 as the third college and tailored to the needs of non-resident students . In 1892 the College of the Venerable Bede , founded in 1839, and St. Hild's College, founded in 1858, were officially attached to the university in 1896 . Both colleges were used to train teachers and were separated according to gender ( Bede for men, Hild's for women). The graduates of St. Hild's College of the vintage 1898 were the first female graduates of the university. In 1975 the two colleges merged to form the College of St Hild and St Bede (often simply Hild Bede ).

In 1842 the Durham Union Society was established as a debating forum, the first of which was held in a reading room at Hatfield Hall . At the same time, the society acted as a student representative ( English union : union, representation) until the Durham Colleges Students 'Representative Council replaced it in 1899 (renamed Durham Students' Union - DSU in 1963 ).

Until the University Test Act of 1871, graduates were required to take a religion test to earn a degree. However, students who did not want to do so (until 1871) could graduate from the University of London .

As a result of the implementation of a supplementary law in 1895 that allowed women to obtain degrees, St. Mary's College Women 's Hostel was founded in 1899.

20th century

Dunelm House, seat of the Durham Students' Union (DSU)

The Newcastle part of the university, particularly Armstrong College, grew faster than the rest of the university at the beginning of the 20th century, despite the establishment of two Anglican colleges, St. Chad's College (1904) and St. John's College (1909). A bill introduced in 1907 would have guaranteed the university's seat at the Durham site for only ten years. After that it would have been possible to move completely to Newcastle. Under pressure from a local MP and the help of Durham College graduates, the bill was changed to make the University of Durham permanent. Another consequence of this reform was that the university was removed from the control of Durham Cathedral , which it had been under since its inception. Thirty years later, the two Newcastle colleges merged to form King's College .

After the Second World War , the Durham part expanded strongly. St. Aidan's Society (at St. Aidan's College from 1965 ) was founded in 1947 with the needs of non-resident women in mind. In the same year, the university was expanded towards Elvet Hill to make room for the classical as well as the applied sciences and engineering . This was also the year in which the then Princess Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth II , laid the foundation stone for the new building of St. Mary's College. The building was completed and opened in 1952. At the same time, tensions grew between the faculties in Newcastle and Durham, which resulted in the proposal to rename the University of Newcastle and Durham . The attempt failed because of the convocation (assembly of the members of the university) with 135 to 129 votes. Eleven years later, the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act decided to divide the university. Newcastle-based King's College became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne .

By this time the Elvet Hill site was already fully established and integrated. The first of the new colleges, Gray College , named after the second Earl Gray ( British Prime Minister at the time the university was founded), was founded in 1959. This was followed by Van Reduces College (1965), Trevelyan College (1966) and Collingwood College (1972).

In 1960, an educational trust was set up to support students from disadvantaged groups in South Africa at this university, which was renamed the Ruth First Educational Trust in 1982 in memory of a former sociology professor . Since 2007, its funding has expanded to include applicants from the countries of southern Africa .

Other innovations included the establishment of the Graduate Society in 1965 (renamed Ustinov College in 2003 ), which was only open to postgraduates , and the opening of the Ushaw College Catholic seminary as a dormitory in 1968. In 1990 it became the last college open to male students Open to women, making St. Mary's College the last women-only college. In 2005 the first male students were accepted here as well.

Queen's Campus, Stockton

In 1992 the university entered into a joint venture with the University of Teesside and formed the Joint University College on Teesside of the Universities of Durham and Teesside (JUCOT) in Stockton-on-Tees , approximately 38 km south of Durham.

Initially intended to offer joint degrees ( Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science ), Teesside University was fully integrated into Durham University in 1994 and was renamed University College, Stockton (UCS) in 1996 - the only college with a teaching assignment .

As integration progressed, the campus was renamed again in 1998 as the University of Durham, Stockton Campus (UDSC) . In 2001, two new colleges replaced UCS in Stockton: John Snow College , in honor of the doctor John Snow , and George Stephenson College , named after the British engineer . Furthermore, a new medical faculty was established in collaboration with Newcastle University, which in the same year accepted the first medical students since 1963. The following year, 2002, on the occasion of her 50th throne jubilee, the Stockton complex was named Queen's Campus .

In 2005 around 18% of the university's students were studying on Queen's campus and the number is expected to continue to grow in light of the planned expansions.

Durham today

The university now enjoys a very good reputation both nationally and internationally. The British Higher Education Funding Council gave it a rating of 5 (“More than half of the research activity is of international rank and the rest is of national rank”) and according to According to a study of the University of Hong Kong's academic citations, the university ranks seventh in the English-speaking world. The Durham University Business School is triple accredited ( EQUIS , AMBA , AACSB ) and ranked according to the rankings of the Financial Times and The Economist in the top 100 in the world.

University teams won the UK's popular Quiz Show University Challenge in 1977 and 2000. Durham University Center of Cricketing Excellence is one of only four university cricket teams in the country that play first-class cricket (the others are Oxford , Cambridge and Loughborough). Overall, Durham ranks fifth in the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) in 2005, with the 2004 BUSA rowing title defended. The university has also hosted the annual Durham Drama Festival since 1975 .

To this day, the cathedral plays an important role both in the city and in university life. In addition to church services, numerous concerts are held here and the cathedral choir donates seven scholarships for university students each year . Due to the ecclesiastical tradition of the university, choral singing enjoys a national reputation, particularly the student Durham University Chamber Choir .

In 2005, the university changed its logo and renamed itself Durham University on the grounds that it was more contemporary and less elitist, and as a result of the fact that most of them already called it that. This measure met with a mixed response from academic staff and students. However, both the official name of the University of Durham and the coat of arms are retained.

University chancellors

Until 1909, the university was nominally under the administration of the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral. As a result of the University of Durham Act in 1908, the management of the University of Durham, like most British universities, is incumbent on a so-called Chancellor (literally Chancellor). The office is roughly comparable to the German rector and tends to have representative tasks.


Durham maintains a college structure similar to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which means that all colleges, as listed under the Education Reform Act, 1988, are recognized by the authorities to teach and teach courses leading to a degree. In contrast to Oxford and Cambridge, however, no formal instruction is given at the colleges in Durham, and their area of ​​responsibility essentially extends to the provision of accommodation, some catering in these, as well as social, sporting and pastoral activities within the university with the extensive participation of the Students.

At some colleges, formal dinners, the so-called formals, are held and it is often customary to wear traditional academic gown, comparable to a gown , for example . Particularly noteworthy here is the form of the University College, which is held in the ancient main hall of Durham Castle. The rivalries between the individual colleges today are primarily limited to sport, in particular rowing.

List of colleges

Most of the Durham colleges can be divided into two groups based on their location in the city. The Bailey Colleges are on the peninsula formed by the River Wear in the old town, while the Hill Colleges are on the other side of the river on Elvet Hill. Queen's Campus, Stockton is located approximately 38 km south in the city of Stockton-on-Tees.

Queen's Campus, Stockton

  • George Stephenson College (2001) - Named after the engineer George Stephenson .
  • John Snow College (2001) - Named for doctor John Snow .

Bailey Colleges

University College
  • Hatfield College (1846) - The second oldest college, named after Thomas Hatfield , Prince-Bishop of Durham (1345-1381).
  • St. Chad's College (1904) - Founded as an Anglican theological college in 1904, like St John's, it exists as an independent, self-funded college. It includes the North East Institute for Theological Education (an ecumenical institution of the Church of England , Methodist Church of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church )
  • St. Cuthbert's Society (1888) - Founded for students who were not members of one of the colleges in existence at the time (University and Hatfield).
  • St. John's College (1909) - Founded as an Anglican theological college in 1909, St John's is still financially and administratively independent from the university. It includes the Cranmer Hall Anglican Theological College , named after Thomas Cranmer , and the Methodist Wesley Study Center , named after John Wesley .
  • University College (1832) - The oldest college, informally also known as "Castle" (the college is located at Durham Castle).

Hill Colleges

  • Collingwood College (1972) - Named after the mathematician Sir Edward Collingwood .
  • Gray College (1959) - Named after Charles Gray, 2nd Earl Gray , Prime Minister (1830–1834).
  • Josephine Butler College (2006) - Durham's youngest college, built on Howlands Farm adjacent to the existing Ustinov College dormitories on Elvet Hill.
  • St. Aidan's College (1947) - Founded as the St Aidan's Society for female "home" students (ie, already living in Durham), now a mixed college on Windmill Hill overlooking Durham.
  • St. Mary's College (1899) - Arose from the Women's Society , and was originally a Bailey College until it moved to its current location in the 1950s . It was the last college to give up gender segregation completely (2005).
  • Trevelyan College (1966) - Named after George Macaulay Trevelyan , University Chancellor (1950–1957).
  • Van Mildert College (1965) - Named after William Van Mildert , Prince-Bishop of Durham (1826–1836).
  • Ustinov College (1965) - The Postgraduate College, originally founded as the Graduate Society , was renamed in 2003 in honor of Peter Ustinov, Chancellor of the University until his death (1992–2004).

Elsewhere in Durham

  • College of St Hild and St Bede (1975) - Geographically neither a Bailey nor a Hill College (when in closer proximity to First); the name comes from the merger of two colleges, St Hild's College (only for women, founded in 1858) and The College of the Venerable Bede (only for men, founded in 1839).


  • Ushaw College (1968) - Originally a Catholic seminary founded in Douai in 1568, which moved to Ushaw in 1808 , about 6 km west of Durham.


The teaching facilities of the University are divided into three faculties: natural sciences ( Science ), art - and Humanities ( Arts and Humanities ), and Social Sciences and Health ( Social Sciences and Health ).

Well-known alumni

See also

Web links

Commons : Durham University  - Album of Pictures

Individual evidence

  2. ^ List of IAU Members. In: International Association of Universities, accessed August 21, 2019 .
  3. ^ Sunday Times - England's "Ivy League" . University of Warwick. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Graeme Paton: Top students concentrated in just 12 elite universities . In: The Daily Telegraph , July 13, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ University guide: Durham University . In: The Guardian , June 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ The Complete University Guide Rankings . In: The Complete University Guide . 
  7. ^ "The Sunday Times University Guide 2012". (Subscription required) . Times Newspapers. October 27, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Profiles: Durham University (subscription required) . In: The Times , June 1, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ Further information for applicants. at (English)
  10. MBA Channel: New AACSB Accreditations ( Memento of the original from October 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. College honor for Ustinov - BBC News article (English)

Coordinates: 54 ° 46 ′ 23 "  N , 1 ° 34 ′ 26"  W.