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Durham University

Durham University News


New first-class home for Ustinov College

(26 September 2017)

Sheraton House, Sheraton Park

Sheraton House, Sheraton Park

An early pillar of Durham’s ambitious University Strategy, 2017-2027 has been delivered successfully, with the opening of Sheraton Park as a new home for Ustinov College.

From September 2017, Sheraton Park will house 400 postgraduate students, who will benefit from high quality accommodation and a full Durham college experience.

The purpose-built facilities, just over a mile from Durham city centre, include single en suite bedrooms and studios. Students will enjoy dedicated pastoral support, scholarly and research activities and access to social and sporting facilities.

World-class experience

Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) at Durham University, said: “Offering an unrivalled wider student experience is central to our vision for Durham University and we are investing significantly in our colleges, sport, music, theatre, volunteering and leadership to make that a reality.

“The development of Sheraton Park as a new home for our Ustinov College postgraduate community shows how we will work with staff, students, private partners, local residents and others to deliver a world-class product, for the benefit of all involved.”

Proud history

Ustinov College, which is named after the late actor, comedian, writer, entertainer and Durham University Chancellor Sir Peter Ustinov, is an international, postgraduate research community that celebrates the strength arising from diversity, interdisciplinarity and collegiality.

The College’s relocation is linked to the repurposing of the University’s Queen’s Campus, in Stockton-on-Tees, in part as the Durham University International Study Centre. The ISC offers pathway programmes to prepare non-EU students for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Durham City and opened in September 2017 with over 400 students.

Academic departments and colleges will relocate from Queen’s Campus to Durham City during 2017/18 and 2018/19. Staff and students are being supported throughout the transition.

Exciting new era

Professor Glenn McGregor, Principal of Ustinov College, said: “The move to Sheraton Park heralds an exciting new era in the history of Ustinov College. Whilst we will be located in new buildings, we will continue the traditions and activities that make Ustinov so popular with our students and alumni.

“We are excited about welcoming the inaugural cohort of students to Sheraton Park and working with them in our new home to further shape Ustinov College’s reputation as a scholarly community that celebrates strength that arises from diversity.”

Ustinov students will play a key role in enhancing the identity of the College in its new home.

Jamie Graham, President of the Ustinov College Graduate Common Room, said: “Sheraton Park is undoubtedly fantastic student accommodation. It’s now time to develop the facilities and atmosphere to make it our new home.”

A good neighbour

The University wants to be a good neighbour at Sheraton Park. It is seeking to work with residents living nearby to ensure good community relations, including limiting alcohol sales from its bar/café to prior to 11pm, other than on a maximum of six occasions per year for special events.

Mark Bell, Chair of the Sheraton Park Residents Association, said: “Whilst our residents have expressed mixed feelings about the nature of re-development at Sheraton Park, the efforts of all parties have certainly delivered a high quality outcome of restored heritage buildings within an attractive landscape setting which together offer valuable spaces for communal use.

“We are pleased to welcome Ustinov College as our neighbours and look forward to cooperating with the college, university and other stakeholders to ensure that all residents enjoy high levels of amenity and feel part of our growing community.”

New model

The University worked with a private partner on the development of Sheraton Park and has entered a long-term lease on the property.

Working with private partners on the development of new colleges so that capital expenditure is not borne by the University is one of the ways the Strategy will be funded.