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Van Mildert College

Van Mildert College

Congratulations to students joining us this October 2018! You can find information for new students on the Welcome to new students 2018 pages.

Welcome to new students 2018

Welcome to Van Mildert College

Centred around a lake in spacious, leafy grounds, Van Mildert College offers a beautiful setting in which to live and study. As one of the larger 'hill colleges' with a diverse community of over 1500 students, staff and mentors from all over the world, Van Mildert offers a relaxed and lively environment with a wide range of clubs and societies on offer. We are particularly well-known for our community and fundraising spirit, with our growing number of outreach projects. Van Mildert's sports teams and societies also play a huge and active role in the college community offering opportunities in personal development and leadership as well as fostering an inclusive atmosphere for all.

Life in the Junior Common Room
Postgraduate study in the Middle Common Room
Events and activities of the Senior Common Room
Van Mildert College's events calendar for the year
Find out whats going on around Mildert
Hear from our Alumni all around the world

"There was a genuine team ethos demonstrated and staff are passionate about creating a good community of learning. The atmosphere in the college was positive. Students feel well supported and that staff are very approachable."

Commendation by the University Review Team, 2013

Van Mildert College community outeach and volunteering

Van Mildert College community outeach and volunteering

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Find out about the range of student outreach and volunteering initiatives at Van Mildert College and the contribution they make to the community.

Mildert Outreach wins international acclaim at International Green Gown Awards - Marseille, France 2018

The community outreach and volunteering work undertaken by Durham University’s Van Mildert College has been recognised as among the best of any college or university anywhere in the world.

The College was among three further or higher education institutions shortlisted for the prestigious International Green Gown Award for Community.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives undertaken by colleges and universities.

Van Mildert College won the UK and Ireland honour in November 2017 and went forward to the worldwide award, held in Marseille, France, on Wednesday 16 May.

The award recognises the positive contribution the College makes to local communities through student-led outreach projects.

Read more here and take a look at our outreach video also shown on this page.

Van Mildert College Outreach scoops award at County Durham Environment Awards

It has been quite a week at Van Mildert College with our student-led outreach and volunteering projects being recognised with not one, but two awards! Following recent success at the UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards, staff and students attended the County Durham Environment Awards at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham on Thursday 23rd November 2017. Inspiring stories from across the county were showcased highlighting the tremendous commitment of local organisations and individuals to sustainability initiatives.

After an excellent buffet supper and speeches from members of the County Council, the awards began and much to our delight, Van Mildert College Outreach was named ‘Volunteer group of the year 2017’ in a hotly contested category. The award recognises the outstanding work of Van Mildert College students who make a hugely positive contribution to Durham and the wider North East. However, this success would not have been realised without the support of our many community partners in local schools, through the Police, the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service, St Oswald’s Church, and a nearby local secure unit.

Thank you Durham County Council for this very special recognition!

If you would like to find out more about the work of Van Mildert College Outreach, please do watch our video below or get in touch with the Deputy Principal, Dr Victoria Brown. More details about the County Durham Environment Award Winners can be found here.

Big Win for Van Mildert College Outreach at the Green Gown Awards 2017!

Staff and students from Van Mildert attended the UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards on Wednesday 15th November at The Monastery in Manchester. The evening was an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work of Mildert’s six outreach projects which, under the banner of Van Mildert College Outreach, were shortlisted as Finalists in the Community category of the awards alongside Higher Education Institutions from across the UK and Ireland. Competition would be stiff.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland. With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the Further and Higher Education Sector.

After a super reception in a hue of green lighting and entertainment from Salford University Brass Ensemble, we entered the stunning Monastery itself where we were welcomed by singers from the Royal Northern College of Music. Following an excellent meal, the awards began and the room erupted (well at least a major part of it) as Van Mildert College Outreach was named as the Community category Winner! This prestigious award recognises the hard work of the whole College community but particularly our students who enthusiastically commit their time week on week to our six outreach projects. Mildert’s commitment to outreach and volunteering activities can be traced back over 30 years and is now firmly embedded within the ethos and culture of the College. We feel sure that it will only continue to flourish in the future!

As winners of the Community category, Van Mildert College Outreach will now take part in the International Green Gown Awards competition in Marseille, France in May 2018. Bon chance!

More information about the projects can be found at and the entry can be viewed here.

Paul Welberry Kent (1923-2017)

(31 March 2017)

It was with great sadness that the College learned of the death of its second Master, Dr Paul Kent on 7th March 2017 at the age of 93.

Born in Doncaster in 1923, Paul Kent attended Doncaster Grammar School before studying at Birmingham University, where he was awarded a BSc in 1944 and a PhD in 1947. After a year at Princeton, he went to Oxford University as a University Demonstrator in Biochemistry, a post associated with Jesus College. He moved to Christ Church in 1955, becoming Dr Lee’s Reader in Chemistry in 1956. He left Oxford in 1972, to become the second Master of Van Mildert College.

Dr Kent’s arrival coincided with the first fully mixed intake into what had initially been a male college. He and the Senior Tutor, Arnold Bradshaw, successfully steered the college through those heady times which also saw the College hosting students from the then new Collingwood College. Under Dr Kent’s vision and leadership, Middleton Stairs were built, enabling the College to grow and expand. His diplomatic connections saw visits from a number of Ambassadors, a tradition that continues to this day. With his wife Rosemary, he encouraged the establishment of a caring collegiate community that prepared the base for the extensive outreach activity for which the college is now famous. A keen musician, he had his pipe organ installed within the main building and many alumni will remember the music of that instrument in his hands.

Dr Kent’s research focussed on carbohydrate chemistry and on his arrival in Durham, he established the Glycoprotein Research Unit, a forerunner of the extensive research activity in biochemistry that exists today. He received several international prizes for his work including the Rolleston Prize, the Medal of the Société de Chimie Biologique and the Verdienstkreuz . Within College, he developed the Senior Common Room as a place of lively academic exchange and was extremely supportive and encouraging of young staff members. He had high standards and his hard stare, given when he did not quite agree with a statement that one had made, will be remembered by many staff and students.

On his retirement from College in 1982, Paul Kent moved back to Oxford where he continued to be academically active for many years.

The funeral will be held at St Michael's Church, Cumnor on 10th April 2017 at 11 a.m.

Contact Details

Van Mildert College
Durham University
Mill Hill Lane

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