Classism at Durham University

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Anonymous #1
#1
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I have heard a lot about classism at Durham and as a middle-class person from Newcastle with a one-parent-income-household, it worries me that I will be made to feel inferior or not be able to keep up with all those rich private school kids. Is it really that bad? (I have applied to St John college if anyone has info on specific colleges)
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Anonymous #2
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Rich private school kids are middle class. I think the term you're looking for is working class. Regardless, i have also heard alot about classism problems at Durham and I am extrememly concerned. (Btw I have applied to St Marys college)
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I have heard a lot about classism at Durham and as a middle-class person from Newcastle with a one-parent-income-household, it worries me that I will be made to feel inferior or not be able to keep up with all those rich private school kids. Is it really that bad? (I have applied to St John college if anyone has info on specific colleges)
My daughter attended the offer holders day at St Johns last year (as she is deferred entry) and didnt experience any classism. She is state school educated and from a working class background. I think it is more of an issue at some of the other colleges however you would find pockets of classism at most of the top UK universities. These people are not the majority of the student body so you can avoid them if you wish. Also not all well off privately educated people exhibit classism most are lovely and well mannered.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My daughter attended the offer holders day at St Johns last year (as she is deferred entry) and didnt experience any classism. She is state school educated and from a working class background. I think it is more of an issue at some of the other colleges however you would find pockets of classism at most of the top UK universities. These people are not the majority of the student body so you can avoid them if you wish. Also not all well off privately educated people exhibit classism most are lovely and well mannered.
Yes I have heard that St Johns is quite chill about things like this hence why I applied for that college and so hopefully I will get assigned to that college as the offer holders day is next Wednesday. Thanks for replying
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Rich private school kids are middle class. I think the term you're looking for is working class. Regardless, i have also heard alot about classism problems at Durham and I am extrememly concerned. (Btw I have applied to St Marys college)
Yes, it worries me too as I hear it is hard to attend balls as they are just so expensive and people are often excluded from social situations as they just can't keep up with the rich kids. I'm not badly off at all but I certainly can't go to the bank of Mam and Dad for anything at all.
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Motheroffive
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Hi, I am the mother of one daughter who is in her last year at Durham at Hatfield, and of a second daughter who is on a gap year and been offered a place at Durham but is waiting to hear which college she has got into. Some balls are not expensive and loads of the society events are cheap. My eldest daughter went to a ball in the first year that was held in the Cafeteria of the Cathedral! I think it cost about £30 - similar to a night out clubbing. But she loved it as everyone dresses up, has a sociable sit down meal as well as a bit of a bop. Some of the balls are expensive as they include bumper cars and fireworks and there is a castle out of town that they catch a coach to. Her birthday is coming up and she has requested her present to be a ticket to the big Hatfield ball which is £70. She also has various holiday jobs and most of her spare cash goes on tickets to the different social events at Durham because they are so much fun. Her two favorite
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Hugh's Swan
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#7
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Festivals are just as expensive if not more, and just as difficult to get tickets for as balls - its all relative.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Hugh's Swan)
Festivals are just as expensive if not more, and just as difficult to get tickets for as balls - its all relative.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say, sorry.
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'm not sure what you're trying to say, sorry.
I think the point was its all relative as many students will happily spend £70 on tickets to a festival so if you really want to attend one of the more expensive balls you would spend your money on that instead. Obviously the well heeled can afford to do everything but for those with less income it breaks down to personal choices to prioritise what you splash your cash on.
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Anonymous #4
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Durham is a small, white middle class town, and it is true that this is reflected in the student body. But what are you worried about? Who would know you unless you tell them?
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Nihilisticb*tch
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Anonymous)
Rich private school kids are middle class. I think the term you're looking for is working class. Regardless, i have also heard alot about classism problems at Durham and I am extrememly concerned. (Btw I have applied to St Marys college)
Private school kids are definitely upper class.
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Nihilisticb*tch
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#12
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Durham is a small, white middle class town, and it is true that this is reflected in the student body. But what are you worried about? Who would know you unless you tell them?
Um there is such a thing as a regional accent
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Nihilisticb*tch
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#13
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#13
I'm also worried about this but the thing is, I think most people, regardless of background, are alright.

There are videos on YouTube and articles about it but most of them only list a couple of occasions where anything overt has happened. That's a very small number compared with the amount of time you will spend there and the amount of people you will meet.

Overall, 37% of students at Durham are from private schools. However most of these will still be fairly ordinary and will not have gone to the top private schools in the country like Eton. Many of them will be from families that struggled financially to send them to private school or could only just afford it. Durham is not going to be full completely of the "ultra rich".

My sister is at uni and has had problems with rich friends who invited her to go to expensive restaurants that she couldn't afford. However this is a minor issue and it's not like rich kids are going to go to restaurants like that all the time. If you wanted, you could only be friends with other state school pupils anyway.
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Nihilisticb*tch)
I'm also worried about this but the thing is, I think most people, regardless of background, are alright.

There are videos on YouTube and articles about it but most of them only list a couple of occasions where anything overt has happened. That's a very small number compared with the amount of time you will spend there and the amount of people you will meet.

Overall, 37% of students at Durham are from private schools. However most of these will still be fairly ordinary and will not have gone to the top private schools in the country like Eton. Many of them will be from families that struggled financially to send them to private school or could only just afford it. Durham is not going to be full completely of the "ultra rich".

My sister is at uni and has had problems with rich friends who invited her to go to expensive restaurants that she couldn't afford. However this is a minor issue and it's not like rich kids are going to go to restaurants like that all the time. If you wanted, you could only be friends with other state school pupils anyway.
She could have done like a friend once did at Oxford and said sorry I cant afford to eat there at the moment but if you want my company you are welcome to pay for me. They did.
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Shonbox
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#15
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#15
Hi, my son who went to a comprehensive state school is in first year at Durham in Trevelyan College and he loves it! We’re a normal family (not posh or wealthy) from what I have learned, yes there are quite a few privately educated students but the great thing is, it really doesn’t matter! They’re still nice kids and my son gets on really well with with his group of friends “posh” or not. Everyone is on the same boat ultimately and it seems a really friendly inclusive place especially with the collegiate system. I can honestly say I was worried about my son going so far from home to Durham as he is very quiet and can get anxious. However I’m delighted to say he’s settled in great and feels that his college is like a big Family. Go for it… please don’t worry about classism. You will have a great time! As far as a choice of colleges is concerned. Trevelyan when my son is, is very friendly, and unusual hexagon shape (which they all love) and is quite musical. Although you don’t need to be classical trained… he plays drums and rock guitar and has found like minded kids and joined 2 bands. Im sure St. John’s is great too. I have heard that it’s “religious” but could just be perception as alot of the students there study theology. Maybe do a bit of research. GOOD LUCK ☘️
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username5865180
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Shonbox)
Hi, my son who went to a comprehensive state school is in first year at Durham in Trevelyan College and he loves it! We’re a normal family (not posh or wealthy) from what I have learned, yes there are quite a few privately educated students but the great thing is, it really doesn’t matter! They’re still nice kids and my son gets on really well with with his group of friends “posh” or not. Everyone is on the same boat ultimately and it seems a really friendly inclusive place especially with the collegiate system. I can honestly say I was worried about my son going so far from home to Durham as he is very quiet and can get anxious. However I’m delighted to say he’s settled in great and feels that his college is like a big Family. Go for it… please don’t worry about classism. You will have a great time! As far as a choice of colleges is concerned. Trevelyan when my son is, is very friendly, and unusual hexagon shape (which they all love) and is quite musical. Although you don’t need to be classical trained… he plays drums and rock guitar and has found like minded kids and joined 2 bands. Im sure St. John’s is great too. I have heard that it’s “religious” but could just be perception as alot of the students there study theology. Maybe do a bit of research. GOOD LUCK ☘️
So reassuring to read your post. My son has applied to Durham and I have been worried it might be too 'posh' and full of private school kids he won't fit in with. My son is also quiet and I have been concerned about him going somewhere which is three to three and a half hours from home, so it is great to hear that your son has settled in so well. I think Trevelyan will be my son's first choice of college if he gets an offer.
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Shonbox
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#17
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(Original post by SJJ1975)
So reassuring to read your post. My son has applied to Durham and I have been worried it might be too 'posh' and full of private school kids he won't fit in with. My son is also quiet and I have been concerned about him going somewhere which is three to three and a half hours from home, so it is great to hear that your son has settled in so well. I think Trevelyan will be my son's first choice of college if he gets an offer.
I’m glad you feel reassured. We live about 3.5 hours away and distance doesn’t seem a problem for my son. We visit when we can (personally I love visiting, as Durham is so lovely and you can spend hours wandering around, people watching and going to lovely tea shops!!) There’s always the option of your son coming home for the odd weekend. But you might find he doesn’t really want to if he’s enjoying himself 😂. I really mean it when I say kids seem to find like minded among each other and the private versus state school issue doesn’t really come into the process of making new friends. The experience of going to Durham really helped my son gain confidence and enjoy life. This time last year, I was so worried about his anxiety and and he was not really communicating with us, that I never thought I’d see the day when he’d be happily settled at Uni! I so hope your son has the same experience xx
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username5865180
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#18
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(Original post by Shonbox)
I’m glad you feel reassured. We live about 3.5 hours away and distance doesn’t seem a problem for my son. We visit when we can (personally I love visiting, as Durham is so lovely and you can spend hours wandering around, people watching and going to lovely tea shops!!) There’s always the option of your son coming home for the odd weekend. But you might find he doesn’t really want to if he’s enjoying himself 😂. I really mean it when I say kids seem to find like minded among each other and the private versus state school issue doesn’t really come into the process of making new friends. The experience of going to Durham really helped my son gain confidence and enjoy life. This time last year, I was so worried about his anxiety and and he was not really communicating with us, that I never thought I’d see the day when he’d be happily settled at Uni! I so hope your son has the same experience xx
Thank you xx
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Anonymous #5
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#19
1st year castle student here, you find classism at every top university if I'm being totally honest so just pick the uni you like the most. Durham is well aware that it has issues and is working to try and change it but of course it's not this sort of thing that gets publicised. I'm working class etc. and haven't had a problem because you don't have to choose to be friends with every discriminatory person you meet funnily enough, same as every life situation.
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