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Durham University

University Strategy 2017-2027

University Strategy 2017-2027

Welcome from the former Vice-Chancellor

Durham is one of the world’s great universities and one of the most distinctive.

We produce world-leading and world-changing research across all four of our Faculties, our education is challenging, enabling, research-led and transformative and our wider student experience, delivered through our Colleges, Durham Students’ Union and Experience Durham, is among the best in the UK.

But we are not complacent. Our University Strategy 2017-2027 sets ambitious targets for growth and development, to ensure that we remain at the cutting edge.

This Strategy was approved by our University Council in December 2016 and you can view the external summary document of this here. Of course this is only a static document, dating back to the Strategy's approval. However, as with all strategies, our University Strategy is continually reviewed, updated and refreshed. Our plans inevitably alter due to an ever-changing external environment and our response to it.

The major approved developments since December 2016 have been a new set of University Values (linked to our work on the University brand), a new Global Strategy and a refreshed Wider Student Experience Strategy. In addition, a new Digital Strategy is in development.

These web pages provide an introduction to our University Strategy, and how we are delivering on our targets. I hope you find them informative. Should you wish to find out more about how our Strategy is evolving, please do contact us.

Professor Stuart Corbridge
Former Vice-Chancellor and Warden

Monitoring and measuring our performance

Progress against the University Strategy is reported externally each year, principally through the Durham University Annual Report and Financial Statements.

The University Executive also tracks progress in strategy delivery through an annual Strategy Delivery Basic Scorecard. Copies of the Scorecard can be made available on request.

Aspect of performance

2027 Target or Milestone

The Times/Sunday Times League Tables

Top 5

Percentage of eligible subject areas in QS World Top 50


UK research assessment exercises

All units in the top third of the Russell Group

Citations per academic staff member

Top three in the UK

PhD students per academic staff member

2 PhDs per FTE academic staff member

Performance in National Student Survey

Top decile overall in the UK

Proportion of Durham students working or studying abroad as part of their degrees


Staff and student volunteering hours

100,000 per annum

Proportion of Durham students gaining the Durham Award


Proportion of international (non-UK) students


Percentage of Faculty members who are female

Top third of the Russell Group

Proportion of estate buildings in Categories A and B (‘High standard’)


Annual income

Over £500 million

Proportion of annual income from philanthropy


Contactable alumni


Key Milestones

Durham University: We Are So Much More

Durham University: We Are So Much More

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Durham is a world top 100 university with a global reputation for excellence in research and education. But we are So Much More. Let us tell you how.