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University Strategy 2017-2027


“We are fortunate at Durham to be a community of highly talented individuals working constructively with each other and our students to improve the world we live in. But we want to do better still. We want to offer better careers for our academic and professional service staff members. Above all, we want to ensure that we recruit the very best staff members that we can from all around the world. Our future depends on this – on our people.”

Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost

Our Goals

We will:

  • Recruit and mentor academic and professional service staff members of the very highest quality;
  • Promote job satisfaction, productivity and career progression routes for employees, and create communities of practice within which colleagues can develop their professional expertise;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

We are already doing well

  • Durham University was the first higher education institution in the country to be awarded the Association of University Administrators’ (AUA) Mark of Excellence Award for commitment to continuing professional development of staff.
  • Durham University supports flexible and healthy employment practices. We optimise the use of technology to support smart working, provide a creative benefits scheme, provide volunteering opportunities, encourage active lifestyles and provide extensive health and well-being support.
  • Durham University is an active supporter of Athena Swan and is an accredited Stonewall Diversity Champion and recipient of the Two Ticks symbol.
  • Durham University operates a traditional (one in seven Terms) scheme of sabbatical leave for its academics.

Jas Pal Badyal

“The University has provided an excellent working environment for undertaking internationally leading research in the laboratory and then translating these discoveries to globally manufacture consumer electronic devices.”

Professor Jas Pal Badyal Department of Chemistry
Louise Bracken

“The University has allowed me the freedom and flexibility to shape my own research and teaching, embedded in an active and exciting research environment.”

Professor Louise Bracken Director, Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience
Liam Glasper

“Following my apprenticeship, the University supported me in gaining my professional qualifications, enabling me to apply for a variety of roles.”

Liam Glasper
Senior Category Manager, Procurement
Soumya Singh

“The international student population and faculty has made me more open-minded and taught me to respect diversity.”

Soumya Singh Undergraduate, Computer Science

But there is So Much More to come

By 2027, we will:

  • Take all necessary steps to ensure that the workforce is as diverse and inclusive as top peer institutions.
  • Ensure that professional services staff across the University are most appropriately deployed, mentored and supported to deliver our core Strategic Goals.
  • Ensure that our academic recruitment procedures enable us to employ outstanding faculty members from around the world.
  • Adopt a probation period of one year. There will be rigorous standards for academic progression guiding promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor to (Full) Professor within a New Academic Career.
  • Ensure that all permanent faculty members are allocated to an appropriate career track – Academic, Research, Teaching, Practice. We will bring 100 distinguished Professors of Practice to Durham University, where they will better connect Durham students to the world outside academia and act as ambassadors for the University.
Durham University Strategy 2017-2027

Durham University Strategy 2017-2027

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An overview of Durham University Strategy 2017-2027, which will ensure Durham continues to deliver world-class research, education and wider student experience.