Students from northern England facing 'toxic attitude' at Durham University

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College_Student7
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What do you make of this from The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ham-university

"Students from northern England are being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds at one of the country’s leading universities, and even forced out, according to a report compiled by a Durham student.

Lauren White, 20, is demanding action after interviews with fellow northern students at Durham revealed a “toxic attitude” towards them from some peers and tutors. Its vice-chancellor said her report highlighted unacceptable behaviours at odds with the university’s values and that the findings would be looked into.

Last year a freedom of information request revealed that on average 7.8% of graduates over the last five years from Durham University – one of the country’s best-rated institutions – were from the north-east England.

Two years ago, White, who grew up 15 miles from Durham and is in her third year, found herself in this minority. She said discrimination and ridiculing of her local roots began almost immediately."
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999tigger
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Ironic considering its location.
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College_Student7
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Ironic considering its location.
Yeah. I was a bit surprised considering Durham is in the north.
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ROTL94
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That's ridiculous. The one place you'd not expect to have your accent and origin mocked is at your local university, least of all by your lecturers themselves.
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InspiredPleb
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I assumed the stereotype of mostly uppity Oxbridge-rejects going there was false. It's a northern uni isn't it?
How very ironic.
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Southcoaster747
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The question is not so much whether such behaviour exists at Durham - there have been enough reports now to see that it does - but how widespread it is. It's hard to say.

I hope I get an offer, and I'm pretty sure I'd accept if I did. But the general rep of the place does concern me.

I've chosen South College, partly because I figured a modern, self catering college might be less likely to be full of private school idiots pretending they're in a Harry Potter movie.

(ps I went to a private school so know all about them)
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College_Student7
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I'm also surprised at just how few North East students graduated from Durham https://www.palatinate.org.uk/7-8-of...he-north-east/
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MinnieW09
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I graduated a few years ago from Durham now but I'm a northerner never had a problem. Some good natured teasing of "bath" vs "barth" with southener friends but nothing malicious or toxic.

Its unfortunate if she has found it to be ridiculing rather than good natured teasing. Bullying is never ok.
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Northernmum
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(Original post by College_Student7)
I'm also surprised at just how few North East students graduated from Durham https://www.palatinate.org.uk/7-8-of...he-north-east/
There has historically been a reluctance for sixth forms and schools in the region to recommend Durham- partly because the University was so slow to embrace inclusivity and their outreach programmes were too little, too late- but also because teachers were all too aware of the attitudes faced by their kids. The university is having to face some seriously negative publicity at the moment- the admission that it’s inclusion rate and the number of students from non-selective state schools has fallen dramatically as well as the scandals regarding derogatory and abusive comments. One of my kids graduated from here several years ago, they had the most wonderful time but almost never got there due to systemic prejudice in their admission systems which they are only now addressing through their contextual offers. Did they experience toxicity? To some extent but in a sense knowing what they signed up for helped - if you don’t expect anything better when it did rear it’s head, they dealt with it by finding allies. They came out with a first and had the most wonderful experiences there. The fact that the university now has a ‘northern society’ helps! My other kid is now at Durham, and avoided the hotbed of toxicity by opting for a self catered, although colleges like Aidans and HildBede are happier ones too. To be honest, we found plummier accents at Newcastle than we did at Durham! The university has a lot of ground work to do but don’t let that out you off applying.
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(Original post by Northernmum)
There has historically been a reluctance for sixth forms and schools in the region to recommend Durham
I'd never thought about this before, but looking back on it, whenever my sixth form mentioned local universities, they'd mention Newcastle, Northumbria, even Sunderland and Teesside, but rarely brought up Durham. Very interesting.
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Isinglass
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We are a long way south of Durham, but I do know a few who have gone there in recent years from local schools and colleges and would be horrified and saddened if any of them were involved. Tbh, it is possible that however nicely spoken - and nice - they are, they themselves may be on the receiving end of a certain amount of snobbery when they tell that sort of person where they hail from.

If comments seriously amounting to bullying are also emanating from academic staff, that is indefensible.
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ImAGiraffe
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(Original post by College_Student7)
What do you make of this from The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ham-university

"Students from northern England are being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds at one of the country’s leading universities, and even forced out, according to a report compiled by a Durham student.

Lauren White, 20, is demanding action after interviews with fellow northern students at Durham revealed a “toxic attitude” towards them from some peers and tutors. Its vice-chancellor said her report highlighted unacceptable behaviours at odds with the university’s values and that the findings would be looked into.

Last year a freedom of information request revealed that on average 7.8% of graduates over the last five years from Durham University – one of the country’s best-rated institutions – were from the north-east England.

Two years ago, White, who grew up 15 miles from Durham and is in her third year, found herself in this minority. She said discrimination and ridiculing of her local roots began almost immediately."
Its honestly putting me off going to Durham. I did the supported progression programme and it seemed decent but all I hear when I search Durham is horror story after horror story. I mean, you have students coming to the north and then taking the piss out of northerners? What did they expect to find :/
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Southcoaster747
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(Original post by ImAGiraffe)
Its honestly putting me off going to Durham. I did the supported progression programme and it seemed decent but all I hear when I search Durham is horror story after horror story. I mean, you have students coming to the north and then taking the piss out of northerners? What did they expect to find :/
My concern is some of them just treat it like a playground for 3 years where they can do what they like before moving on to better things. No real intention to be part of the community. For me, as a southerner, getting to know another part of the country and other types of people is part of the attraction. But if all I'm going to get is being surrounded by loads of people I've spent my whole life around I'm not that fussed. But the course is well respected. (not that I've got an offer yet!)
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Isinglass
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(Original post by ImAGiraffe)
Its honestly putting me off going to Durham. I did the supported progression programme and it seemed decent but all I hear when I search Durham is horror story after horror story. I mean, you have students coming to the north and then taking the piss out of northerners? What did they expect to find :/
Well, from what one can glean of the usual situation, not very many northerners, let alone actual locals...
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ImAGiraffe
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(Original post by Southcoaster747)
My concern is some of them just treat it like a playground for 3 years where they can do what they like before moving on to better things. No real intention to be part of the community. For me, as a southerner, getting to know another part of the country and other types of people is part of the attraction. But if all I'm going to get is being surrounded by loads of people I've spent my whole life around I'm not that fussed. But the course is well respected. (not that I've got an offer yet!)
I did supported progression and am confident I could get into my course at Durham, but as a local this just puts me off and its a shame for people like you who would genuinely like to mix with us
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barnetlad
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Awful to think this has happened. No one should be mocked for coming from a particular region.
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Southcoaster747
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(Original post by ImAGiraffe)
I did supported progression and am confident I could get into my course at Durham, but as a local this just puts me off and its a shame for people like you who would genuinely like to mix with us
My sense is that it's just a minority, just a loud and annoying one, and I shouldn't let it put me off. It's also true that other universities have had similar issues. But Durham does seem to crop up again and again.

I think one big problem for me is that I haven't visited yet, and might not be able to at all prior to decision day, due to the pandemic. So I already have doubts about choosing somewhere I have never visited for a variety of reasons, and the behaviour issue is starting to look like one more risk too many.

I really hope I can get to visit by next spring, I think being there in person and seeing other potential students face to face would make me feel a lot more relaxed about it. (if I get an offer that is!)
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Ray3RE
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(Original post by Southcoaster747)
The question is not so much whether such behaviour exists at Durham - there have been enough reports now to see that it does - but how widespread it is. It's hard to say.

I hope I get an offer, and I'm pretty sure I'd accept if I did. But the general rep of the place does concern me.

I've chosen South College, partly because I figured a modern, self catering college might be less likely to be full of private school idiots pretending they're in a Harry Potter movie.

(ps I went to a private school so know all about them)
What course are you applying for?
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Anonymous #2
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Just a quick thing no one has pointed out - on the 7.8% from the North East front... I don't see why that is a problem as 2.7 million out of 66.7 million in the UK are from the North East (4.05%) meaning they are actually slightly overrepresented which is to be expected as it is people's local university but it does mean the 7.8% being local is not a problem.

Like does Oxford and Cambridge recruit local more than the rest? I don't think so.

As for the rest of it, I am outraged at any of these attitudes that persist; I was deeply shocked to read about the St Mary's homophobia incident and the 'pull the poorest girl' scandal - both of which have not been dealt with properly.
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Anonymous #3
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Like does Oxford and Cambridge recruit local more than the rest? I don't think so.
Do you have any figures for this? Just interested really.
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