Durham University

Diverse backgrounds

Please let us know whether you think your university does enough to attract and cater for students from a diverse range of backgrounds?

2017

"There is a big community of international students and people are sent all over the word to recruit students with diverse backgrounds. There are also a lot of students from different types of schools. Durham is one of the top 100 universities in the world so it attracts a lot of different people for sure."
"The cost of going to Durham is off-putting for poorer students. A maintenance loan does not cover the cost of accommodation, let alone food, clothes and travel. There are some grants available at college level for times of hardship but, again, there are too many hoops to jump through to get these."
"The university has a very high ranking in the UK so it attracts a lot of both local and international students to apply to Durham. It also provides a range of language and essay programmes. If anyone has difficulties in anything, they can always go to the language centre or student support centre."
"The cost and reputation of Durham means that it tends to be white middle and upper class students. However, there are programmes in place to encourage those from less well-off backgrounds to attend."
"More could be done for poorer students considering how expensive the accommodation is."
"There is a lot of support in terms of extra English language lessons as well as societies to meet others from your home country."
"Durham is not a major city and, due to its elitist reputation, has little diversity. However, the university does a lot to attract students from every background and everyone is welcome at the uni. I feel one of the major issues the university has is the extremely high accommodation costs that don't represent local housing prices."
"I come from a 'disadvantaged' background and am eligible for a bursary that really helps with my living costs at university."

2016

"There is a good international social committee. Led by students who truly care about the experience for international students."
"The statistics seem to suggest that there is a fair split between state and private school. However, the majority of people you meet while attending Durham seem to be from either a private school or a grammar school. I think a lot of this has to do with its existing reputation, hence the sort of people that apply there. When applying last year, I know people who were put off applying due to its private school reputation (having gone to a state school myself)."
"It's attempting to diversify, but is still very middle class."
"Durham is trying to attract a more diverse range of students and this is reflected in the growing nightlife of different musics etc. But it is fighting against a strong stereotype that is, to a certain extent, still present."
"I think they could do more by offering more support schemes for paying accommodation fees, or just lower the accommodation fees altogether. They do however advertise themselves widely and to a diverse demographic, which will hopefully help to address the current lack of diversity."
"The accommodation is far too expensive. It seems to be ok in terms of being multicultural, but the prices of basic life needs are insane."
"Not really diverse. Durham seems to be proud of its ability to attract the most private school students of any university."
"I think the expense of the accommodation makes it inaccessible to lots of potential students."
"Compared to say, a London uni, Durham does not seem nearly as diverse. However, as a woman of colour, I don't feel particularly victimised or anything. I just feel like a minority, which I am anyway. The city of Durham isn't nearly as diverse as a big city, that's a given. This creates an image, albeit an unwarranted one, of Durham being a very exclusive place. When in reality, that's not true. Its just an image thing, one which I suspect will diminish over the years."
"Attracts a wide range of people from different ethnic backgrounds through promotion exchange programmes and international postgraduate offerings. But the costs of these may have led to a lack of diversity in class backgrounds."

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