Durham University is not what it seems, do not go here! Please read!

Watch
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#1
I've been debating whether to post this for a while, and I'm doing so using my friends account who has kindly allowed me to post my experience regarding Durham University. I just want to say that this is just my experience and others may have a different experience as I was 1 of 20 thousand students so make of it as you wish.

Where to begin? I believe there are so many things wrong with this University that made it quite a terrible experience from my perspective. There's two main topics that I'll delve into, the student population and the actual University itself.

Diversity & Inclusion:

I thought I would start here as it's the thing that sticks out the most in my opinion. Before I go into the actual University itself it is important to understand the historical context of the city and surrounding area to fully understand the unnatural and uncomfortable environment that is present as a result of this. Durham county itself is a very working class area that was a traditional mining area and suffered greatly from Thatcher's policy to shut down mining operations and as a result, many people lost their jobs and the economic situation deteriorated heavily, leaving many destitute and unemployed. To this day, Durham is still very working class and still recovering from the closure of the mines.

The student population drastically juxtaposes the socio-economic class of the people who live in the city and surrounding area. Middle-Upper class kids from affluent areas in the UK and Chinese students that are the children of the elite in China, walking around in £1000s worth of clothing on a daily basis. They have no regard for the people that are struggling to make ends meet in the city that they have come to, to get their education. There is a Town v Gown mentality. A few years ago - Trevelyan College rugby club planned a “Thatcher v the miners”-themed social, asking members to dress in “flat caps” and “filth”. For inspiration, the team were to: “Think pickaxes. Think headlamps. Think 12% unemployment in 1984”
https://www.theguardian.com/politics...-miners-strike

This should give you an idea of the type of students that go here. Of course it's not everyone, but it's arguably the majority. By the way, if you include grammar schools (which in my opinion is a lot closer to a private school than your average comprehensive), most of the students come from this type of environment. If you're a BAME student or a working class white kid you will find it hard to fit in with most of these students. All the activities and 'formals' are pretentious. There are summer and winter balls and it's all just pretentious to be honest. The nightlife is very poor, cringey and corny music. Newcastle is 15mins away on train so that's a plus. I haven't even mention the ridiculous amount of money all of these events cost, it's not very inclusive for those who are poor or less fortunate.

I haven't even touched on the micro-aggression and casual racism from the students. I was literally asked on my first day "if I was from the hood?" Like wtf. Honestly if you're from London, or even Brum or Manny I'd strongly advise you to go to an equally as good university such as Manchester or Leeds, Nottingham or the London unis. You'll have a much better time. You won't be scorned for listening to any decent tunes (hip-hop/rnb) or surrounded by Oxbridge rejects.

There's so much else to say but this post is getting long, the point is, Durham can be very isolating if you're not from a certain background and honestly you'll have a better time elsewhere.

£££ - Money

Okay, this is about the University itself. I honestly believe Durham only cares about making as much money as possible. Not only do they charge the most absurd amount of money for every activity, society and college fees, but the accommodation fees are a damn right rip-off.
Most students will live in a Durham college in their first year, where most colleges are catered. For this you are charged a whopping £7,894. If you're fortunate enough to get a self-catered college, it will cost you 5.5-6k for the academic year so that is for around 36-40 weeks. It's honestly a huge rip-off. Many times you won't even be up to get breakfast served in the catered colleges and a lot of the time you would rather go eat out with a friend or two.

A gown, which I found to be very pretentious is £53, which you need to get at the beginning of freshers. Then you have to pay a JCR fee of around £150-200 which varies between the colleges in order to go to events at a supposedly cheaper rate. The summer and winter balls are like £80. College library fees is another £20. Like seriously, this University is a money making scheme. The accommodation is more expensive than some halls in LONDON.

Against the wishes of the local community, the University is continuing to build more Colleges to cater for more and more students, despite the increasing strain on resources. The main library already gets very packed especially during term time so I fail to see how they are going to cater for the extra students. The University loves international students and is trying to get as many as possible, because they are a cash cow for the Uni. The quality of teaching is being diluted, super big classes with very minimal spending to improve facilities to match the rate of rapidly increasing student numbers. Every year without fail, they will increase the cost of accommodation prices and even outside of college accommodation there is a monopoly on student houses in the area so it is all just very expensive.

I'm losing my patience to continue writing but all in all, Durham feels like a factory, trying to get as many students as possible in order to extract as much money as they can from them. It's a public boarding school environment full of rich kids and the like.

Don't make my mistake. Go to Leeds/Manchester/Nottingham if you want an equally as good degree but have a WAAAY better time.
6
reply
ProbablyPallas
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 10 months ago
#2
This is really interesting. Durham was my "dream" uni for a long long time, but I was rejected on the grounds of "all spaces are already filled" (which doesn't make sense to me still). I'm going to Leeds and I was a bit down about this, until I heard basically the same thing from a bunch of people who have been to Durham (and most of them have left to go to another uni). Sorry about your experience OP!
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#3
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#3
(Original post by ProbablyPallas)
This is really interesting. Durham was my "dream" uni for a long long time, but I was rejected on the grounds of "all spaces are already filled" (which doesn't make sense to me still). I'm going to Leeds and I was a bit down about this, until I heard basically the same thing from a bunch of people who have been to Durham (and most of them have left to go to another uni). Sorry about your experience OP!
You're very blessed. I've been to Leeds many times (have friends that go to the Uni there) and believe me, it's so much more fun with a better all round student population. It's a great uni too and equal to Durham in terms of academics. Durham is like being sent to the nightswatch lmao.

You live and you learn, and I wish you all the best!
1
reply
Anonymous #2
#4
Report 10 months ago
#4
Sounds like you haven’t made the most of your uni experience. If you don’t like the socials rugby guys do...don’t involve yourself in societies like that (although I’m sure you haven’t).

You certainly haven’t convinced me and I think you need to realise in the real world things cost money and people of different backgrounds will behave differently.

Let me guess, you probably did English or some essay based subject with no job potential?
1
reply
L-K
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#5
Report 10 months ago
#5
(Original post by ProbablyPallas)
This is really interesting. Durham was my "dream" uni for a long long time, but I was rejected on the grounds of "all spaces are already filled" (which doesn't make sense to me still). I'm going to Leeds and I was a bit down about this, until I heard basically the same thing from a bunch of people who have been to Durham (and most of them have left to go to another uni). Sorry about your experience OP!
I went to Leeds and it was absolutely fantastic! You'll have the best time.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#6
(Original post by Anonymous)
Sounds like you haven’t made the most of your uni experience. If you don’t like the socials rugby guys do...don’t involve yourself in societies like that (although I’m sure you haven’t).

You certainly haven’t convinced me and I think you need to realise in the real world things cost money and people of different backgrounds will behave differently.

Let me guess, you probably did English or some essay based subject with no job potential?
This is what I mean lol... "you probably did English or some essay based subject with no job potential?". Your arrogance speaks volumes, and for your information, I did STEM.

You just sound like one of those people I have described. Probably an Oxbridge reject too.
14
reply
Anonymous #2
#7
Report 10 months ago
#7
(Original post by Anonymous)
This is what I mean lol... "you probably did English or some essay based subject with no job potential?". Your arrogance speaks volumes, and for your information, I did STEM.

You just sound like one of those people I have described. Probably an Oxbridge reject too.
Haha what sort of stem out of interest? (Actually rejected oxford for durham btw)
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#8
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#8
(Original post by Anonymous)
Haha what sort of stem out of interest? (Actually rejected oxford for durham btw)
Why does it matter? And yeah that's totally believable.
0
reply
Anonymous #3
#9
Report 10 months ago
#9
Wow! I I think the biggest thing that put me of Durham here wasn't the OP it was the person that came to Durham's defence! English is one of the hardest courses to get into at Durham, until this year top for English (now number 3). I trust your course was equally competitive and I'm hoping you are aspiring to jobs where interpersonal skills aren't needed?
0
reply
username5161072
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#10
Report 10 months ago
#10
(Original post by Anonymous)
Wow! I I think the biggest thing that put me of Durham here wasn't the OP it was the person that came to Durham's defence! English is one of the hardest courses to get into at Durham, until this year top for English (now number 3). I trust your course was equally competitive and I'm hoping you are aspiring to jobs where interpersonal skills aren't needed?
LOL
The guy did seem way too offended and ended up straight up insulting a lot of people while they were ’defending ’ Durham
0
reply
Anonymous #3
#11
Report 10 months ago
#11
(Original post by TheStarboy)
LOL
The guy did seem way too offended and ended up straight up insulting a lot of people while they were ’defending ’ Durham
Agree - helped to prove your point!
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#12
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#12
(Original post by Anonymous)
Wow! I I think the biggest thing that put me of Durham here wasn't the OP it was the person that came to Durham's defence! English is one of the hardest courses to get into at Durham, until this year top for English (now number 3). I trust your course was equally competitive and I'm hoping you are aspiring to jobs where interpersonal skills aren't needed?
The thing is, people like him/her is rife in Durham. For some reason or another, whether it be their wealth or the course they study, they feel superior to other people.

What makes Durham even worse is that the whole culture within the University cultivates this type of behaviour and lets it flourish. Study elsewhere imo.
0
reply
Anonymous #4
#13
Report 10 months ago
#13
So I got accepted and I'm starting this year but even now I'm really questioning just how well a working class immigrant like me would fit in this place, but I think that's sort of the case if you pick any 'prestigious' uni only Durham has a college system to sort of re-enforce this whole Oxbridge experience and therefore probably attracts more of the middle-class people.

The accommodation fees are also very very expensive, no doubt about it.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#14
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#14
(Original post by Anonymous)
So I got accepted and I'm starting this year but even now I'm really questioning just how well a working class immigrant like me would fit in this place, but I think that's sort of the case if you pick any 'prestigious' uni only Durham has a college system to sort of re-enforce this whole Oxbridge experience and therefore probably attracts more of the middle-class people.

The accommodation fees are also very very expensive, no doubt about it.
Other top unis such as Leeds, Manchester etc are a lot different in comparison to Durham. All the top London unis too, being in London helps of course.

I wish you the best but I fear your making the exact same mistake!
0
reply
Anonymous #5
#15
Report 10 months ago
#15
This is what I like about Durham. I'm white, upper-middle class from the South-West and I feel like I would fit right into the general Durham demographic and find lots of other people with similar socio-economic backgrounds to me.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#16
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#16
(Original post by Anonymous)
This is what I like about Durham. I'm white, upper-middle class from the South-West and I feel like I would fit right into the general Durham demographic and find lots of other people with similar socio-economic backgrounds to me.
Weird flex but ok
1
reply
Anonymous #6
#17
Report 10 months ago
#17
(Original post by Anonymous)
So I got accepted and I'm starting this year but even now I'm really questioning just how well a working class immigrant like me would fit in this place, but I think that's sort of the case if you pick any 'prestigious' uni only Durham has a college system to sort of re-enforce this whole Oxbridge experience and therefore probably attracts more of the middle-class people.

The accommodation fees are also very very expensive, no doubt about it.
Agreed, What I find most difficult is that if people got accepted into Cambridge or Oxford even though they will most likely experience similar issues as allegedly happen at Durham they seem more prepared to put up with it because its Oxbridge. These issues shouldnt happen anywhere but lets face it are more likely in less diverse universities. There is only one way to change things and that is by taking a stand and applying and changing the demographic.
1
reply
LegsEleven17
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#18
Report 10 months ago
#18
(Original post by Anonymous)
This is what I like about Durham. I'm white, upper-middle class from the South-West and I feel like I would fit right into the general Durham demographic and find lots of other people with similar socio-economic backgrounds to me.
Of course it’s nice to be surrounded by like minded people and it may make you feel more at home but don’t you think it’s so much better to challenge yourself to be around a more diverse group? It could be fun!
2
reply
Anonymous #7
#19
Report 10 months ago
#19
(Original post by Anonymous)
I've been debating whether to post this for a while, and I'm doing so using my friends account who has kindly allowed me to post my experience regarding Durham University. I just want to say that this is just my experience and others may have a different experience as I was 1 of 20 thousand students so make of it as you wish.

Where to begin? I believe there are so many things wrong with this University that made it quite a terrible experience from my perspective. There's two main topics that I'll delve into, the student population and the actual University itself.

Diversity & Inclusion:

I thought I would start here as it's the thing that sticks out the most in my opinion. Before I go into the actual University itself it is important to understand the historical context of the city and surrounding area to fully understand the unnatural and uncomfortable environment that is present as a result of this. Durham county itself is a very working class area that was a traditional mining area and suffered greatly from Thatcher's policy to shut down mining operations and as a result, many people lost their jobs and the economic situation deteriorated heavily, leaving many destitute and unemployed. To this day, Durham is still very working class and still recovering from the closure of the mines.

The student population drastically juxtaposes the socio-economic class of the people who live in the city and surrounding area. Middle-Upper class kids from affluent areas in the UK and Chinese students that are the children of the elite in China, walking around in £1000s worth of clothing on a daily basis. They have no regard for the people that are struggling to make ends meet in the city that they have come to, to get their education. There is a Town v Gown mentality. A few years ago - Trevelyan College rugby club planned a “Thatcher v the miners”-themed social, asking members to dress in “flat caps” and “filth”. For inspiration, the team were to: “Think pickaxes. Think headlamps. Think 12% unemployment in 1984”
https://www.theguardian.com/politics...-miners-strike

This should give you an idea of the type of students that go here. Of course it's not everyone, but it's arguably the majority. By the way, if you include grammar schools (which in my opinion is a lot closer to a private school than your average comprehensive), most of the students come from this type of environment. If you're a BAME student or a working class white kid you will find it hard to fit in with most of these students. All the activities and 'formals' are pretentious. There are summer and winter balls and it's all just pretentious to be honest. The nightlife is very poor, cringey and corny music. Newcastle is 15mins away on train so that's a plus. I haven't even mention the ridiculous amount of money all of these events cost, it's not very inclusive for those who are poor or less fortunate.

I haven't even touched on the micro-aggression and casual racism from the students. I was literally asked on my first day "if I was from the hood?" Like wtf. Honestly if you're from London, or even Brum or Manny I'd strongly advise you to go to an equally as good university such as Manchester or Leeds, Nottingham or the London unis. You'll have a much better time. You won't be scorned for listening to any decent tunes (hip-hop/rnb) or surrounded by Oxbridge rejects.

There's so much else to say but this post is getting long, the point is, Durham can be very isolating if you're not from a certain background and honestly you'll have a better time elsewhere.

£££ - Money

Okay, this is about the University itself. I honestly believe Durham only cares about making as much money as possible. Not only do they charge the most absurd amount of money for every activity, society and college fees, but the accommodation fees are a damn right rip-off.
Most students will live in a Durham college in their first year, where most colleges are catered. For this you are charged a whopping £7,894. If you're fortunate enough to get a self-catered college, it will cost you 5.5-6k for the academic year so that is for around 36-40 weeks. It's honestly a huge rip-off. Many times you won't even be up to get breakfast served in the catered colleges and a lot of the time you would rather go eat out with a friend or two.

A gown, which I found to be very pretentious is £53, which you need to get at the beginning of freshers. Then you have to pay a JCR fee of around £150-200 which varies between the colleges in order to go to events at a supposedly cheaper rate. The summer and winter balls are like £80. College library fees is another £20. Like seriously, this University is a money making scheme. The accommodation is more expensive than some halls in LONDON.

Against the wishes of the local community, the University is continuing to build more Colleges to cater for more and more students, despite the increasing strain on resources. The main library already gets very packed especially during term time so I fail to see how they are going to cater for the extra students. The University loves international students and is trying to get as many as possible, because they are a cash cow for the Uni. The quality of teaching is being diluted, super big classes with very minimal spending to improve facilities to match the rate of rapidly increasing student numbers. Every year without fail, they will increase the cost of accommodation prices and even outside of college accommodation there is a monopoly on student houses in the area so it is all just very expensive.

I'm losing my patience to continue writing but all in all, Durham feels like a factory, trying to get as many students as possible in order to extract as much money as they can from them. It's a public boarding school environment full of rich kids and the like.

Don't make my mistake. Go to Leeds/Manchester/Nottingham if you want an equally as good degree but have a WAAAY better time.
This is certainly not my experience of Durham. Since my first day two years ago I met a wide range of people from all sorts of backgrounds and my own friendship group reflects this. No one goes to Durham for the nightlife and you can take or leave formals and balls. There are loads of other societies and events to get involved in plus my college worked at keeping costs of events down for students. It is unfortunate that you did not experience this. As for international students, they are there to work hard and succeed. True, college accommodation is expensive but last year 4 of us shared a house which was way cheaper than friends' accommodation in London and Bristol.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#20
Report Thread starter 10 months ago
#20
(Original post by Anonymous)
This is certainly not my experience of Durham. Since my first day two years ago I met a wide range of people from all sorts of backgrounds and my own friendship group reflects this. No one goes to Durham for the nightlife and you can take or leave formals and balls. There are loads of other societies and events to get involved in plus my college worked at keeping costs of events down for students. It is unfortunate that you did not experience this. As for international students, they are there to work hard and succeed. True, college accommodation is expensive but last year 4 of us shared a house which was way cheaper than friends' accommodation in London and Bristol.
Durham is not diverse, simple as that. The fact you have to compare the prices to London also speaks volumes about how expensive it really is.

"No one goes to Durham for the nightlife" - Go elsewhere if you want a better time. Going to Durham doesn't put you above most of the other Russel Group Unis.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are you feeling about starting university this autumn?

Really excited (55)
22.36%
Excited but a bit nervous (112)
45.53%
Not bothered either way (33)
13.41%
I'm really nervous (46)
18.7%

Watched Threads

View All