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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

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Introducing South College...

(17 December 2019)

Professor Tim Luckhurst

Prof Tim Luckhurst

Next summer, we will open its first new College since 2006. Professor Tim Luckhurst, its new Principal, wants South College to welcome local students and residents and be a hub of ideas and exchange.

Q: You are the Principal of Durham University’s first new College in 14 years. Tell us about it.

A: South College is located at Mount Oswald, near existing Colleges. It has everything a 21st century student might want. There are en-suite bedrooms and stylish town houses, a gym, music room and drama studio. There’s also a bar and café and a hall for dinners and performances. The College is beautifully designed and close to completion.

Q: How does South College fit with Durham University’s ten-year Strategy?

A: South College will open in August 2020, ready to welcome talented students from all over Britain and the wider world. I want many of them to come from the North East. Durham is a great local university, not just a world leader.

Durham University promotes social inclusion and the cause is close to my heart. South College has already signed an agreement to work with the Altitude Foundation, a charity that helps young people with a passion for technology to achieve successful careers. 

Q: How can Durham City residents get involved with South College?

A: The College will make friends with neighbours. Our common rooms will welcome local people and our facilities can be shared too. South College will support the University’s carefully planned expansion. It is part of Durham’s strategy to offer transformative education and a superb student experience. It will help to increase the number of students living in colleges.

Q: You have recently joined Durham University. Tell us about yourself.

A: Before Durham, I worked at Kent University. However, for most of my career I was a journalist. I worked for BBC News at Radio 4’s Today Programme, in the United States and the Middle East. I was a leading member of the team that launched Radio 5 Live and later Editor of The Scotsman and a columnist for national newspapers.

My career high points include covering the Romanian Revolution 30 years ago this Christmas. I also reported the Gulf War and liberation of Kosovo. At Kent I launched KMTV, a television station that helps graduates get their first job in journalism. I also campaign for freedom of speech. South College will be a beacon for people who appreciate open debate and free exchange of ideas.

Q: Why did you want to lead South College?

A: At 17, I went from my comprehensive school to Robinson, Cambridge University’s newest college. I loved the spirit of innovation that built an inspiring community in an ancient university. The opportunity to achieve something even better at Durham is irresistible.