We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

About Durham University

An introduction to Durham University Strategy 2010-2020

Excellence in Research and Education

“Durham University has a capacity to astound out of all proportion to its size. I don't know any place that manages to be more intimate and infinite at once.”

Bill Bryson OBE, Chancellor of Durham University

Durham's worldwide reputation and performance in research and education places it amongst the top broad subject institutions in the UK. Our human scale and department, college, professional service and alumni communities facilitate individual and interdisciplinary interactions. They offer our students and staff exceptional opportunities for personal development and achievement, attracting some of the most able and motivated students and staff from around the world.

Durham University has yet to reach its full potential in exploiting its combination of traditions and modernity. Our challenge is to achieve wider recognition as an outstanding place to work and study, reflecting excellence in research and education. Only excellence in these core activities across the entire University will ensure Durham can continue to excel in an increasingly competitive environment.

Major reorganisation and restructuring may not be necessary to fulfil our strategy and ambitions but our new strategy does represent a significant change in ambition to achieve our full potential.

1. Research

We will be recognised, world-wide, for creative thought, transformative research of the highest calibre and the conception of new ideas across a broad subject base of arts and humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Our research and scholarship will both benefit from and shape the national and international agendas. We will foster interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary working as well as subject-specific research.

Specific aims include:

  • To increase significantly the number and proportion of postgraduate students, and post-doctoral researchers, providing each with the best possible quality of experience
  • To demonstrate international research excellence across our entire academic base

2. Education

We will set the highest standards in research-led education for both undergraduates and postgraduates, linking research and education in distinctive and creative ways.

Students will engage directly with world-leading scholars in our academic departments supported by opportunities for personal development in our residential College communities, ensuring future success and employability. We will welcome the most able and motivated students with the greatest potential, whatever their background.

Specific aims include:

  • To ensure a diverse and international student experience
  • To provide a curriculum underpinned by excellence in teaching facilities and a culture of reflective practice

Embedded in our Research and Education are three ideals:

A World University

We will ensure Durham is a university for and of the world, learning from and embedding best international practice in everything we do. We will proactively develop international partnerships that influence national and international agendas.

Community & Place

Durham University is shaped by the places in which we live, study and work. We will maintain and enhance Durham University and its local environments and local, regional and national communities as places in which all can realise their full potential.

Environmental & Financial Sustainability

We will exploit our strengths in research and education to achieve progressive social, environmental and economic benefits, locally, nationally and internationally. We will manage resources to deliver a sustainable and long-term future for the University.