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Durham University

University Strategy 2017-2027

The Wider Student Experience

“Durham University invests in its Wider Student Experience – an environment of enriching extra-curricular activities and high quality student support – because we believe it is an investment in the personal growth and quality of our students, helping them to become graduates who go on to make a positive and purposeful difference in challenging and ever-changing local and global environments.”

Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges & Student Experience)

Please note that the goals and plans below were from the original Wider Student Experience (WSE) Strategy which was approved as part of the 'University Strategy 2017-2027' in December 2016. The WSE Strategy has since been refreshed. If you'd like to find out more, please email

Our goals

We will:

  • Open up the Wider Student Experience so it is equally accessible, relevant and rewarding for all students.
  • Embed responsibility and respect throughout University life.
  • Enhance student enrichment so that our students can achieve transformational graduate outcomes.
  • Optimise student support and wellbeing so that we provide support seamlessly through partnership working across the institution.
  • Raise our reputation and profile as an institution with a unique focus on an enriching Wider Student Experience which delivers transformational personal growth for students.
  • Upgrade the foundations of the Wider Student Experience, including the Colleges themselves and a range of facilities.
  • Gather evidence on the Wider Student Experience so that we can measure and demonstrate our progress.

We are already doing well

  • Nearly 90% of our undergraduates, and many postgraduates, take part in extra-curricular life across seven domains of activity.

  • Our collegiate structure enables a huge number of opportunities for student enrichment.
  • Our University groups and clubs achieve at a very high level nationally and internationally.
  • Our student retention rates, even controlling for the characteristics of our student intake, are markedly and consistently better than at almost all other universities in the UK.

But there is So Much More to come

By 2027, we will:

  • Establish a need-based Wider Student Experience scholarship fund.
  • Develop and launch the full Durham Inspired Award.
  • Develop and launch both an external student enrichment advisory group composed of alumni and key stakeholders and a WSE Global Ambassador network.
  • Launch the University’s first pan-institutional Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
  • Increase the number of Colleges, to increase the proportion of full-time students benefiting from the residential aspect of a Durham University collegiate experience.
So Much More in Research, Education, Wider Student Experience and Global Durham

So Much More in Research, Education, Wider Student Experience and Global Durham

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Durham University aims to be world-leading in research, education and wider student experience, and a truly global university. Find out how Durham University Strategy 2017-2027 will deliver these goals.