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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
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Durham discrimination

I have recently gained an offer from Durham university. I am state educated, LGBT and lower middle class at best. I have heard Durham is classist and not welcoming of people from minority backgrounds. I don’t want to go there if it’s going to be a problem I will regularly face. Any advice is welcome and any suggestions on colleges that are the most diverse and least classist are certainly welcome!
Visit!

See for yourself.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Reply 2
do you also consider your ethnicity to be part of BAME? I haven't visited durham/applied to it but the other day , I met the most snobbish person ever, and she was from durham. Good luck with your application!
Reply 3
Original post by PQ
Visit!

See for yourself.

I have visited the city itself, I loved the city and didn’t feel out of place. I didn’t get a chance to go to any open days or to see the Uni though so i’m asking for people’s experience to see if I can gain any insight.
Original post by Anonymous
I have visited the city itself, I loved the city and didn’t feel out of place. I didn’t get a chance to go to any open days or to see the Uni though so i’m asking for people’s experience to see if I can gain any insight.

Durham should have offer holder days in the spring to visit and meet current students and staff (ie to get a feel for the culture of the university rather than the city)
All fair universities should not have any form of discrimination and ideally only look at academic qualifications as part of making their selection.
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by SoonToBeExpat
All fair universities should not have any form of discrimination and ideally only look at academic qualifications as part of making their selection.

I’m not talking about the University itself, rather the students itself and my experience at the Uni. I already have an offer.
Well so long as the mechanics of selection and assesment are equal for all applicants, then all is well.
The students on my course seem fine, although I do not speak with many of them. We are all white and mostly British, there are also several Chinese and a few Americans. I know this will not answer your question, but you will have to visit and use your own judgement.
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous #1
I have recently gained an offer from Durham university. I am state educated, LGBT and lower middle class at best. I have heard Durham is classist and not welcoming of people from minority backgrounds. I don’t want to go there if it’s going to be a problem I will regularly face. Any advice is welcome and any suggestions on colleges that are the most diverse and least classist are certainly welcome!

Self-catered colleges tend to have the most diverse/state school student intake. These are John Snow, Josephine Butler, South, Stephenson, all of which are on the hill. Cuths' Parson field site is also self-catered. Traditionally Hill colleges are supposed to have had greater student diversity than the Bailey colleges, although the most recent intake has shown Castle to be more diverse than Collingwood geo-demographically when looking at Acorn/POLAR4 stats.

Whichever college you become part can have a significant influence on your student experience, especially in first year when you live there - so make sure you research them well and rank them according to your suitability. Durham can be classist, but my experience of it have mostly been expressed through microaggressions on my course (history) which annoyingly are harder to call out. Durham is an enriching experience, and you will meet great people and friends here from all walks of life, but discrimination is a reality here that isn't confronted enough.
Original post by leftknee
Self-catered colleges tend to have the most diverse/state school student intake. These are John Snow, Josephine Butler, South, Stephenson, all of which are on the hill. Cuths' Parson field site is also self-catered. Traditionally Hill colleges are supposed to have had greater student diversity than the Bailey colleges, although the most recent intake has shown Castle to be more diverse than Collingwood geo-demographically when looking at Acorn/POLAR4 stats.

Whichever college you become part can have a significant influence on your student experience, especially in first year when you live there - so make sure you research them well and rank them according to your suitability. Durham can be classist, but my experience of it have mostly been expressed through microaggressions on my course (history) which annoyingly are harder to call out. Durham is an enriching experience, and you will meet great people and friends here from all walks of life, but discrimination is a reality here that isn't confronted enough.

While calling out individual microaggressions is difficult there’s a way to report these anonymously https://reportandsupport.durham.ac.uk

If there’s patterns in the reports then it’s more likely that there’ll be some targeted training/interventions in specific departments. It’s not likely to resolve things for you but if the staff start recognising and addressing these things then there’s an opportunity to stop the intimidating atmosphere for future students.

Loads of universities sign up to report and support but in my experience lots don’t properly promote it or encourage students to use it to report microaggressions as and when they experience or witness them.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I have recently gained an offer from Durham university. I am state educated, LGBT and lower middle class at best. I have heard Durham is classist and not welcoming of people from minority backgrounds. I don’t want to go there if it’s going to be a problem I will regularly face. Any advice is welcome and any suggestions on colleges that are the most diverse and least classist are certainly welcome!

Hi there

Congratulations on your offer!

I know discrimination is an issue that is often associated with Durham and it's something I was worried about too as a POC applicant. I can't speak for every Durham student but in my experience, I have found this issue to be slightly exaggerated. 99% of the people that I have encountered here have been very nice and I have felt welcomed as an international student. The only instances of discrimination I have faced have been from local people. Ofcourse I know some students who've had similar experiences with other students too. But in all honesty, there won't be any institution which is perfect in this aspect and you'll find rude people everywhere. I find that it's best to avoid them and focus on myself and protect my peace. You will definitely meet people you connect with and will be friends with, so please don't worry.

You will have lots of support available, especially from your college welfare team. There is also a student club called 93% club, which amongst other things, offers students from state school backgrounds a platform where they can share experiences, opinions, concerns and useful social/educational resources. Plus if you face any discrimination, there are anonymous reporting measures in place which I would strongly recommend exercising.

Hope that helps, please let me know if you have more questions :smile:

-Himieka

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