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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Belonging and responsibility

Colleges are safe spaces to try new things, to challenge yourself and to transform. They are the places where life long friendships begin and new passions are found. Your College community, which shapes your university experience, is one you belong to for the rest of your life.

Every College has its own events, sports teams, societies, arts groups, associations, committees and more. All Colleges also provide opportunities for shared dining, through events known as ‘Formals’ - evenings in which students and staff are brought together in College to share food, conversation and tradition. All of these collective activities, around which College life is centred, create a sense of belonging that lasts long after graduation.

Be part of something special

The staff and your fellow students do eveything they can to make you feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

All our colleges offer a warm welcome to new arrivals during Induction Week, with events and activities to help you feel at home and find out all the essential information you will need for getting the most out of your time in college.

This blog from Sam Martin at St Mary's College, gives you a good idea of what goes on behind the scenes, to make sure all new students are made to feel they belong as soon as they arrive!

Stephenson - Josephine Butler Varsity

In advance of Stephenson College moving to Durham and joining Josephine Butler College on the Howlands site from September 2018, the first Stephenson - Josephine Butler Sports Varsity took place in February.

While the inaugural varsity may only be marking the beginning of a new rivalry, there was still plenty at stake, with the victorious college claiming not just bragging rights, but also the privilege of wearing their red home colours at varsity next year. Good relationships are being established between the two colleges, as illustrated by the college shirt swap during the trophy presentation, setting a precedent for collaboration and healthy rivalry in the years to come. The dedication from the JCR Officers from both colleges and the hard work from the College Sports Manager have laid foundations for what could evolve to be the largest collegiate varsity Durham has to offer.

Collingwood Sports Pitch

In November 2017, Rafa Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United, opened the new Collingwood College Sports Pitch and unveiled the donor recognition boards. Many of the College’s alumni visited Durham to celebrate and speak to current students about their careers and experiences after graduation. This was an invaluable opportunity to celebrate a culture of giving and philanthropy, in which current students recognise and appreciate the support they receive from alumni who have gone before them, and will return this support in the future. The sports pitch has also kick-started some outreach projects with local schools.

John Snow College Alumni Event

On 9th February 2018, alumni of John Snow College met up at "The Botanist" in London for their annual reunion. The event, organised by Beth MacDougall (John Snow's Alumni Officer), was very well attended and a great success.

It was the ideal launch-pad to inform alumni about our College Alumni Celebration Event to be held at John Snow College, Stockton on 14th July 2018. As the college relocates to Durham in 2018-19, this event offers a unique opportunity for alumni to meet and reminisce in familiar surroundings, and celebrate their time spent at John Snow and Queen's Campus.

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"Colleges encourage new experiences and new understandings: they are places to discover new interests, to live adventurously and, indeed, to dream."

- HM Evans & TP Burt The Collegiate Way