Official - st marys to go MIXED Watch
Durham University’s overall governing body, University Council, has approved plans for the university’s only single-sex college, St Mary's, to go mixed.
The proposed changes follow wide ranging discussions with College Officers and student representatives and take account of the growing demand amongst the overwhelming number of applicants to the university for a mixed College.
The University Council agreed that the university should continue to provide areas of single-sex accommodation and that St Mary’s should go mixed from the earliest opportunity. The changes will come into effect for admissions in October 2005.
Vice-Chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman said: ”The university recognises the strengths of St Mary’s which recruits students from a broad range of backgrounds and has a very active student community. These are the qualities we wish to build on to provide an even stronger student experience to the growing number of applicants to the university in the future. We believe the time is now right to open up the College to both men and women”.
The question of staying single-sex or going mixed is one that the College and the university as a whole have considered from time to time as part of a pre-planned process.
Despite strenuous efforts, the demand for places at the College have remained small against a background of rising applications. This year the university received around 27,000 applications for 3,000 places. Of the 20,000 who specified a first choice College, 194 selected St Mary's College.
St Mary’s officially became a College of the University of Durham in 1920 but its origins date back to 1899, when it was known as a Hall of Residence for Women students. The original hostel was in Claypath; in 1901 it moved to Abbey House on Palace Green. It moved again in 1919, this time to 8 The College, which now houses The Chorister School.
Today, St Mary’s occupies superb buildings on Elvet Hill, overlooking the Cathedral. It boasts among its alumni, Biddy Baxter, later editor of Blue Peter and Ann Burdus, who later won the Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year Award.
For more information contact: Jan Cawood, Public Relations Officer tel: 0191 3340018.