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Durham University

South College

Our Pioneer Scholars

Of course, we think South is going to be a fantastic place for you to live, study, and socialise, but we’re not the only ones. We have 60 returning students at South, or as we call them: Pioneer Scholars. Our South College Pioneer Scholars are current Durham University students that applied to join South and take part in the exciting experience of starting a new College. They study a wide range of academic disciplines, have a variety of interests, and are currently hard at work preparing for our first year.


Rawa Serwan - 2nd year BA Geography - "As Durham’s newest college, South College provides an exciting opportunity to build new traditions and create a new welcoming and inclusive community at Durham. South College has an impressive range of facilities, from a well-equipped gym to a dance studio, just to name a few. I, and the rest of the South College Pioneers, are very excited to see these in full use by all of you this upcoming year. Especially the new large dining hall, which our formals will be held in. Formals are personally one of my favourite aspects of life at Durham University, and I am sure is something you too will come to love and make your greatest memories in. I truly believe at South College we will all build a community where everyone can thrive both academically and socially."


Haf Serajee - 2nd Year Psychology BSc - "South College is an incredible opportunity to be a part of something new in one of the UK’s oldest Universities; it’s been built with its students at the heart of everything it’s done, the Pioneer Scholars have been given so many opportunities to have our say wherever possible. It’s an opportunity to build the most inclusive College family, build new traditions, and build on the old traditions everyone here at Durham University knows and loves! I’m really excited to make use of all the brand new facilities available at South College, especially the gym and the music rooms; and South college is in the prime location for making full use of the facilities at the science site, the botanic garden, and generally just going for nature walks in the nearby area. I very much look forward to building, and being a part of, this new and wonderful community with all of you!"


Joe Goulding – Level 4 General Engineering (Specialising in Electrical at L3 and New & Renewable Energy at L4) – “I’m excited to use South College’s gym, the biggest of any College at Durham! To incoming students I would recommend saying yes to every opportunity, while 80% might not be for you, 20% will be, but if you don’t try all of them you won’t know. I would also say that you shouldn’t bring too much stuff with you; 2 boxes and a big suitcase is probably enough, remember you might want to take a lot of things home with you durning vacations and you will accumulate things while in Durham. I found an iPad & pencil very helpful to take notes during lectures. I could download the lecture note PDF’s from DUO (the University portal for courses) and mark up the PDF’s with extras. It saved time not rushing to write everything down in the lecture, you never lose anything, and you don’t have to carry heavy folders everywhere!”


Kayleigh Allen - 2nd year Geography Bsc - "Being a brand-new college, South College brings new opportunities like no other college can! For me, the chance to be able to have a real impact on the foundations on a new college is an exciting opportunity, which only comes once in a lifetime. Seeing people come together to form societies, clubs, new friendship groups, and the South community as a whole, is a truly heart-warming sight which I cannot wait for. In addition, the facilities provided at south, from the gym to the bedrooms, look amazing are of high quality, and I am very excited to make use of them! The most intriguing part, for me, was the change to meet new people from across the university and making new friends. The people I’ve met already are so friendly and supportive, and I’m sure this will ring through the whole South College community."


Chaz Payne – 2nd year BA Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity (specializing in disability) - "South college provides the unique opportunity to build a student-centered community from the ground up – abandoning outdated practices that no longer serve its students, whilst collaborating on the success of each of the colleges, channeled through its’ Pioneers. The college’s very foundations are built with student voices: dedicated exec roles, encompassing mottos, and even a custom gym. If you decide Durham and South is the right place for you, I encourage you to make the most of every opportunity you can. A new college means, more than ever before, if there is something that you want, you can make it happen. South is YOUR college, and it will be comprised of your values, passions, favorite pastimes and lifelong friends. Personally, I am so proud to see that welfare, inclusion and the environment are three our top priorities. My top tips is: Don’t stress. Everyone is in a new environment with new people, even the staff and pioneers! We are all on a level playfield and are ready to support each other in this exciting new venture."


Adam Langworthy - 4th year, MSci Natural Sciences - "I already love South College, and I am confident that you will too. It is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a new college in an old and venerable institution. We have been working with our wonderful staff to set up the structures of South so that we can hit the ground running. We're all greatly looking forward to welcoming you and forging the identity of South together! Our college buildings are quite remarkable and give us everything that we could need for sustaining an enjoyable college life. The accommodation is really high-spec, and there are ample facilities for all manner of societies: sports, drama, music, and everything in between will all surely flourish. The café-bar in the Pitcairn building will be an excellent social centre for our college, bolstered by the well-equipped physical common rooms. They are the perfect buildings for us to live and work together, and in them we shall make a dazzling start to this new chapter of Durham's history."


Ben Bassett - 3rd Year, History - “The opportunity to join South College was something I just could not say no to. I am so pleased to have joined 40+ like-minded Pioneer Scholars and have made so many great friendships already, something that I think will be reflected in our college community. South College is truly OUR college, as Pioneers and new students, we are in a unique position to shape its direction. As the first cohort at South College, I'm most looking forward to collectively building a space in which every student feels comfortable and confident in voicing their opinion and showcasing their passions and talents, whether that be on a pitch, a musical performance or a debate. I can’t wait to push myself in the largest college gym, channel my passion for music in the superb music facilities (my band is particularly excited for this one) and perhaps most importantly, for us all to bond and have fun in the formal hall. Together, we will set up new societies, run the JCR and socialise in the multiple social spaces. We will soon be a tight-knit family! If there is one tip I can give new students, it’s to keep your bedroom door open during fresher’s week and to bring biscuits - you will soon have a gathering of new and friendly faces in your room (I did this in Freshers week and a couple of those people are now my best friends). Also, whilst pushing yourself to get involved in societies, remember to be yourself! The collegiate system is perfect for this as the tight-knit community makes it so much easier to find friends just like you. Stay safe and have a great summer – I can’t wait to meet you all!”