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Durham University Recognised For Student Support In National Awards

(1 November 2006)

Durham University has received national recognition for its commitment to providing a financial support package that ensures people from lower income backgrounds are not put off applying to study for financial reasons.

The Times Higher Awards 2006 – organised by The Times Higher Educational Supplement, the weekly newspaper for all those involved in British higher education - shortlisted 90 of the UK's 115 universities in a wide range of categories. Further success for the university was achieved by Ustinov College, which has been shortlisted for Outstanding Support For Overseas Students. The award winners will be revealed on November 15 at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London. Durham was one of five universities nominated for the Outstanding Student Financial Support Package. Elizabeth Lovett, Assistant Registrar and Head of Student Financial Support, said: “The Durham Grant Scheme is our response to the new student fees regime that started this month. Our package is one of the most generous in the country for students from lower income backgrounds, and is intended to ensure that able students are not deterred from applying to Durham for financial reasons.” Meanwhile, Ustinov College, which the Times Higher has shortlisted for its support of international students, is home to over 100 different nationalities, many of whom are studying law, business or economics. Many of these overseas students bring their families with them and the college has developed a range of initiatives to help them to settle into the college, the university, Durham and the North East. Vice Principal of the College Theresa McKinven said: “Our goal has been to provide more interaction for those living in college family accommodation. In September 2005 we opened Keenan House which has residential apartments, allowing us to develop the support that we offer including family learning and Keeping Up With The Kids which helps parents to help their children with homework. “Other initiatives include the International Womens’ Group which organises many events and excursions and there is a vast range of support available to parents about schooling in the county. We intend to build on the success we have already achieved and we have a very interesting new initiative in the pipeline for the near future.”

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