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Durham University

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Durham graduates among most sought after in the world, according to new global league table

(5 September 2011)

Professor Chris Higgins, Durham University Vice-Chancellor

Durham University's graduates cemented their reputation as being among the most sought after in the world after thousands of leading employers cast their votes in an influential global universities league table.

The University was ranked 15th globally for employer reputation in the 2011 QS World University League Rankings, up from 24th position last year.

An extensive survey of 17,000 blue-chip organisations across the world ranked the quality and demand for Durham's graduates ahead of other leading institutions in the UK, North America and East Asia. For example, Durham is ranked alongside Chicago and ahead of Princeton, two world-renowned US universities.

Durham also retained its standing as a World Top 100 University in the QS rankings (published Monday September 5).

Employability, leadership, social responsibility and developing a broad range of skills is at the core of Durham's student experience and is one of the four key themes within the University's Education Strategy, aiming to provide students with a wide range of outstanding opportunities for personal development.

The University operates a distinctive dual-education system, combining the educational excellence of its academic departments with the social and pastoral experience offered by its colleges.

Student-led activities and societies, including sport, drama and volunteering, encourage the development of skills which complement academic achievements and make Durham graduates an attractive prospect for potential employers.

Earlier this year Durham launched its new Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) to further improve its world-class career and start-up business advice services for students and graduates.

Working with major employers, small enterprise businesses and independent charities, the CEEC works with students to identify entrepreneurial and other work-orientated skills that help students' employability, enhance their learning and achieve their career goals.

Professor Chris Higgins, Durham University Vice-Chancellor, said: "Durham is now recognised internationally as being one of the world's top 100 universities, building on our continued strong performance in the UK league tables where we have established our position in the UK's top five across the various rankings.

"We offer students a distinctive education via our colleges and academic departments which allows our students to gain a world-class education while also developing crucial skills for the future such as leadership, critical thinking and entrepreneurship.

"This is supported by work across the University and with external partners, which is enhancing the employability of our students by providing professional advice together with opportunities and links with leading employers.

"This all-round experience has once again been reflected in the reputation of our graduates among leading employers who clearly value the benefits of a Durham education. This is why our graduates are among the most sought after in the UK and across the world."

Durham University regularly meets with leading local, national and international employers from a variety of sectors so it can continue to understand the needs of employers when recruiting graduates. 

At Durham, students are encouraged to plan ahead for their careers from the moment they start their time at University. Durham is currently piloting a highly innovative skills audit called 'Do you have the skills to succeed?' which is open to all incoming students to encourage them to do just that.

The University also runs a number of schemes highlighting the employability of its graduates. For example, the Durham Award is a mark of excellence providing students with the opportunity to demonstrate key employment skills they have developed during their time at the University, such as leadership, initiative and teamwork.

Clare Marshall, Graduate Recruiter for Teach First, which recruits some of the UK's most talented graduates for teaching roles in challenging school environments, said: "We take a great number of students from Durham on to the Teach First programme, and that's because we know that quality is there.

"We know through things like the Durham Award programme that we are going to get that high quality student."

For more information about Durham University visit: www.durham.ac.uk/

For information about the Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) visit: www.durham.ac.uk/careers/

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