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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

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Summer in the City

(3 August 2018)

Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, explores what is happening at the University over the summer.

As the weather has left us in no doubt, we’re well into the summer and here at Durham University that means lectures and exams are over for another academic year.

But the days when universities virtually closed down are long gone. Research continues apace and there are lots of opportunities through the summer to get involved with Durham University.

Durham for All

Our popular summer camps are back, with programmes for children aged four and up offering everything from performing arts to outdoor adventures.

To me, these camps are a great example of how we can share our facilities and expertise for the benefit of our local communities.

We call this ‘Durham for All’ and it’s something we hope to build on as we invest further in the University and develop new and improved facilities – including at Maiden Castle, where we have just started work on phase two of a £31m investment to expand and enhance our sports and wellbeing park.

Supporting good causes

Our staff also do a huge amount of volunteering over the summer, taking full advantage of the good weather and our offer of up to five days a year to volunteer in work time.

I’m looking forward to helping out myself at Durham Foodbank in September, and we want to do more to support local charities. We are determined to quadruple our volunteering to 100,000 hours a year by 2027.

The University also offers a huge range of family-friendly events and activities over the summer, whether at Palace Green Library, the Museum of Archaeology, Durham Castle, the Oriental Museum or the Botanic Garden. For full details, please visit:

I would particularly recommend Bodies of Evidence, an exhibition exploring how our archaeologists confirmed that human remains discovered under Palace Green Library were members of a group of Scottish soldiers who died following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. It’s taking place at Palace Green Library until Sunday 7 October.

We want to ensure the benefits of having a world-class University here in Durham are enjoyed all year round. Growing our numbers of postgraduate and international students, many of whom stay 12 months a year, will, I hope, further support local businesses, and add to the sense of there being a more settled community in areas popular with our students.

If you have any suggestions on what more we could do, please email:

However you spend it, I wish everyone an enjoyable summer.

Professor Stuart Corbridge
Vice-Chancellor, Durham University

This article was originally published in the Durham Times and Durham Advertiser.