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Durham University News

News

Another accolade recognises quality of teaching and learning at Durham

(10 September 2004)

The University of Durham has welcomed the announcement that Durham has been shortlisted in The Sunday Times “University of Year” Award 2004 as another accolade for the overall quality of the teaching and learning environment at the North East’s top university.

Durham is one of five Universities shortlisted for this year’s Award which is based on their listings in The Sunday Times University Guide which is published this weekend (Sunday 12th September).

The University has gone up from 17th to 11th in the University Guide rankings, and although the award is based partly on the rankings, The Sunday Times says that a major consideration is also recognition of the University’s work to widen participation and general development.

Durham is also the biggest riser in The Sunday Times league table’s top 20, jumping from 17th place in 2003 to 11th place this year.

Professor Alan Bilsborough, Pro-Vice Chancellor said today : “We are delighted that the University of Durham has gone up significantly in the rankings of The Sunday Times University Guide. This is a most welcome improvement in our position in this prestigious guide and it is recognition of the high quality of our research-informed teaching, high student retention and effective student support.”

“We are pleased that our work to raise aspirations and to widen participation, particularly among local students, is also contributing to our reputation.”

Durham is a collegiate University where students join one of the 15 colleges and societies. Unlike Oxbridge colleges, Durham colleges are not teaching bodies and neither, unlike halls of residence, are they purely residential. The Durham college system ensures that students belong, from day one, to a small, tightly knit community; have the opportunity to live alongside a wide cross-section of people including undergraduates, postgraduates and staff; have access to many societies and opportunities to get involved ; have a college tutor who will take a personal interest in a student’s academic progress and welfare.

More than two-thirds of Durham’s students now come from state schools, a rate that has been rising steadily. Links with 90 state schools in the region and bursaries for local students have helped, as has Durham’s Queen’s Campus in Stockton, which offers high quality vocational degrees.

The Sunday Times says that teaching at Durham is of a uniformly high quality. More than two-thirds of all subjects were rated excellent in assessments, underpinned by even higher scores for research. Chemistry, applied maths, English, law, history and geography all gained the highest 5* research ratings, signifying international eminence.

Durham’s latest achievement in The Sunday Times league table is the third improvement this year in national newspaper league table rankings, having risen two places to 8th in The Times and up three top 12th in The Guardian.

Overall, Durham has the best completion rate for undergraduates among all universities apart from Cambridge. Durham maintains it place as the leading university in the North East. It is also placed among the national leaders in sciences and humanities.

ends

Media enquiries to: Tom Fennelly, Public Relations Office, University of Durham

Tel 0191 334 6078 e-mail : t.p.fennelly@durham.ac.uk

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