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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Is durham as bad as the rumours?

Recently got an offer from both Durham and Edinburgh uni. I am leaning towards ED as I have heard many things about classism and elitism at Durham, as a working class, state educated student I have concerns about whether I would enjoy the University. Does anybody know if this is a real issue at Durham, or whether it's rumours?

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Go to Edinburgh.

Durham attracts too many from elite private schools, some who have some very odd attitudes.
Durham is doing its best to sort out the social mix - and re-educate the morons - but its a very slow process.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
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Reply 2
My son goes to Durham. State school educated, he hasn't come across any classism or elitism . I asked him how many students were privately educated in his college and he said he had no idea as no-one asks! Maybe it's his college, he's in Trevs, which is known as the friendly college, but who knows? We avoided the Bailey colleges when ranking colleges because we were worried they might be a bit posh, but I think with hindsight, maybe we just listened to the rumours too, and needn't have worried? Personally I think Durham is a great uni, the college system is great , the colleges are much more than halls of residence, they are like family's and have loads of clubs and societies you can join. My son loves it at Durham, and would highly recommend it
Original post by emma_pickfordxxx
Recently got an offer from both Durham and Edinburgh uni. I am leaning towards ED as I have heard many things about classism and elitism at Durham, as a working class, state educated student I have concerns about whether I would enjoy the University. Does anybody know if this is a real issue at Durham, or whether it's rumours?

Another vote for Edinburgh - it's a brilliant university in a brilliant city. I'm not a huge fan of Durham.
Original post by McGinger
Go to Edinburgh.

Durham attracts too many from elite private schools, some who have some very odd attitudes.
Durham is doing its best to sort out the social mix - and re-educate the morons - but its a very slow process.


Original post by emma_pickfordxxx
Recently got an offer from both Durham and Edinburgh uni. I am leaning towards ED as I have heard many things about classism and elitism at Durham, as a working class, state educated student I have concerns about whether I would enjoy the University. Does anybody know if this is a real issue at Durham, or whether it's rumours?


I think you have to realise that there will be a good, high number of students from independent schools at Edinburgh also, just as there will be at Durham, and Bristol, and Exeter, and Warwick etc....

Some will be just like you / fabulously normal and, regardless of whether you go to Durham or Edinburgh, you'll end up good (even best) friends with them for life. Others will be different and you won't mix with them. Yes, they'll be load and annoying but then so will some of your work colleagues once you get into working life.

What Durham will offer you, which others posters have mentioned, is the community and social aspects of being a member of a college - this is their USP IMO.
Original post by emma_pickfordxxx
Recently got an offer from both Durham and Edinburgh uni. I am leaning towards ED as I have heard many things about classism and elitism at Durham, as a working class, state educated student I have concerns about whether I would enjoy the University. Does anybody know if this is a real issue at Durham, or whether it's rumours?


Hi there

As a POC who doesn't come from a wealthy background, I have never experienced any classism, racism or any other form of discrimination at Durham. When I was applying, I had reservations similar to yours as I had heard stories from people who didn't have the best experience here. However that did not deter me from applying and firming Durham since I had also talked to many people who had good experiences. The key takeaway is that experiences of other people can never determine what yours will be; your experience will be what you make of it. In the 1.5 years that I've spent here, I have met people from different walks of life coming from different countries and backgrounds. Some are posh, others aren't. But coming from a certain class doesn't necessarily dictate peoples' behaviour and I have friends who may come from rich families but are down to earth and very friendly. Ofcourse there can be rude ones as well, but honestly that's not something peculiar to Durham and can be found at any uni or place in the world you go to.

On the support side of things, there is a student-run society called 93% Club which offers students from state school backgrounds a platform where they can share experiences, opinions, concerns and useful social/educational resources. They also have an Instagram where you can text them and speak to them about any reservations you're having. Colleges also offer welfare and mental health support and there are systems for anonymously reporting any form of harassment at university.

Hope that gives some insight but feel free to reach out if you have any more queries or just want a quick chat! :smile:

-Himieka
Reply 6
My daughter is at Durham University, she is in her first year and St. John's is her college. She went to a state grammar school. She is absolutely loving life at Durham, she has made so many new friends and is experiencing many new activities and learning lots of new skills. The friends she has made, whether they are from her college, her course or the societies she is involved in, are from different backgrounds and cultures. Does it really matter whether or not they are privately educated. Of course not. Durham is a small city and her college is one of the smaller ones. Everyone's experience is different but for her it is a perfect choice.
Original post by emma_pickfordxxx
Recently got an offer from both Durham and Edinburgh uni. I am leaning towards ED as I have heard many things about classism and elitism at Durham, as a working class, state educated student I have concerns about whether I would enjoy the University. Does anybody know if this is a real issue at Durham, or whether it's rumours?

Go to whichever university is better for your course and the place you can envision yourself at. But I will say that Durham is not classist or elitist, sure there are some people like that but that's everywhere (even edi has quite a few rahs tbf). You will find your friends at Durham, and honestly, people over-exaggerate the problem at Durham. I go to a college that has a reputation to be overly posh and public schooled, but my friend group is extremely diverse and honestly, I haven't seen any problems around my college either.
Which course? Is one university notably stronger than the other? Have you checked whether you might be eligible for bursaries at either?
Hi, I was wondering about the concern with accommodation after year 1, but I want to know, is it super stressful in year 1 of your course trying to find a place to live in Durham?
Original post by jai-L205
Hi, I was wondering about the concern with accommodation after year 1, but I want to know, is it super stressful in year 1 of your course trying to find a place to live in Durham?


It is super stressful but only during October, you would probs have accom sorted by November (super early, I know - but you don't have to worry about it later).
Original post by Anonymous
It is super stressful but only during October, you would probs have accom sorted by November (super early, I know - but you don't have to worry about it later).

Ok thanks for the info, do the uni help at all with advice in any way or are you pretty much on your own in regards to that?
Original post by jai-L205
Ok thanks for the info, do the uni help at all with advice in any way or are you pretty much on your own in regards to that?


Honestly not really, buy you will make mates so you should be fine. Uni won't really help and I don't how they can help either cause its all private accom you need to get through estate agencies or landlords.
My daughter did her undergraduate degree at Durham and her Masters at Edinburgh. Her background is a little different from yours (she’s an international student and mixed race) but she hugely enjoyed both universities, both academically and socially. However she has on several occasions commented how glad she was that she chose Durham for her undergraduate course. I think she feels that it was just a more welcoming environment.
Original post by McGinger
Go to Edinburgh.

Durham attracts too many from elite private schools, some who have some very odd attitudes.
Durham is doing its best to sort out the social mix - and re-educate the morons - but its a very slow process.

Disagree with this entirely. There are elite kids at all unis - Bath & Nottingham for example have loads. Some colleges contain lots of them at Durham but others especially the self catered ones have a lovely broad mix. Durham is a great uni with a mix of students from a wide mix of backgrounds and excellent teaching and research. Work out which has the best mix of modules for you and go with it - life post uni will be full of bright people many of which will have had privileged backgrounds. My daughter is at John Snow and loves it! Her flat consists of kids from working class or middle class state school backgrounds, grammar school kids from both of these backgrounds, kids from private schools who went there on scholarships from modest backgrounds and wealthy kids who went to private schools plus kids from abroad - they get on so well and learn from each other. Look at the courses and decide which has the best course for you. Go to the offer day in March and check out Josephine Butler and John Snow colleges - you won’t be disappointed . What’s the course?
Original post by Durham Students
Hi there

As a POC who doesn't come from a wealthy background, I have never experienced any classism, racism or any other form of discrimination at Durham. When I was applying, I had reservations similar to yours as I had heard stories from people who didn't have the best experience here. However that did not deter me from applying and firming Durham since I had also talked to many people who had good experiences. The key takeaway is that experiences of other people can never determine what yours will be; your experience will be what you make of it. In the 1.5 years that I've spent here, I have met people from different walks of life coming from different countries and backgrounds. Some are posh, others aren't. But coming from a certain class doesn't necessarily dictate peoples' behaviour and I have friends who may come from rich families but are down to earth and very friendly. Ofcourse there can be rude ones as well, but honestly that's not something peculiar to Durham and can be found at any uni or place in the world you go to.

On the support side of things, there is a student-run society called 93% Club which offers students from state school backgrounds a platform where they can share experiences, opinions, concerns and useful social/educational resources. They also have an Instagram where you can text them and speak to them about any reservations you're having. Colleges also offer welfare and mental health support and there are systems for anonymously reporting any form of harassment at university.

Hope that gives some insight but feel free to reach out if you have any more queries or just want a quick chat! :smile:

-Himieka


A few years ago Durham University male rugby team had a party were they come as miners and police making fun of working class white men.

Another society took bets on having sex working class white female students calling it shag the chav.
Original post by looloo2134
A few years ago Durham University male rugby team had a party were they come as miners and police making fun of working class white men.

Another society took bets on having sex working class white female students calling it shag the chav.


Hi there

I'm aware of those incidents and totally agree that they were not of the standard that students must adhere to. In response to the incident, the university issued a formal apology and the event you mentioned was also cancelled. The Miners Association reported that the university also took swift and appropriate action against the students. As I said before, people like these are found in various places and the university did its best to rectify the situation quickly. As someone who's been studying at Durham for the past 2 years, I think I'm well-placed to give an honest review of what it's been like for me. I have quite liked my experience here and the people I've met. Of course there have been encounters I didn't like, but I just stopped interacting with people I didn't feel comfortable around. This really kept my socialising experience a positive one. And honestly just because a few students are like that doesn't mean the entire student population will be the same. There is lots of positivity to be seen and experienced in Durham and a lot of it tends to go unnoticed. I think we as students as mature enough to realise when something needs to be protested against and we raise our voice against it. The students whose actions fall below the expected standard are held accountable by both the student body and the university and in my opinion, that's a positive sign.

-Himieka
Original post by Rael427
My daughter is at Durham University, she is in her first year and St. John's is her college. She went to a state grammar school. She is absolutely loving life at Durham, she has made so many new friends and is experiencing many new activities and learning lots of new skills. The friends she has made, whether they are from her college, her course or the societies she is involved in, are from different backgrounds and cultures. Does it really matter whether or not they are privately educated. Of course not. Durham is a small city and her college is one of the smaller ones. Everyone's experience is different but for her it is a perfect choice.

What is St. John’s college like? I’m going to Durham this year and I was hoping to go to either St. John’s or trevs
Yep it's ****
Reply 19
Original post by Purpllegrape9
What is St. John’s college like? I’m going to Durham this year and I was hoping to go to either St. John’s or trevs

I can't comment on John's, but son is at Trevs and loves it. Known as the friendly college and has lived up to its name. They have done so much for the students to make them feel included. Any Trevs related questions just ask

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