Working class students at Durham

(29 Posts)
Sunflower1212 Wed 15-Apr-20 18:49:04

My daughter hopefully off in September to Durham ...we are a normal working class family ..has anyone got any experience of their own children going and how they have got on there

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BestZebbie Wed 15-Apr-20 18:53:47

20 years ago the experience was heavily dependent on which college you went to - Hatfield was one of the worst, "hill" colleges and Hild&Bede were much better.

BestZebbie Wed 15-Apr-20 18:55:29

("Worst""best" for not feeling out of place for being working class - they all had a lot going for them in terms of clubs, entertainments, food and accommodation etc)

Elsiebear90 Wed 15-Apr-20 18:58:54

My BIL went there (graduated last year) and he’s working class, had no issues at all, loved it so much he wanted to stay and do a masters.

Sunflower1212 Wed 15-Apr-20 18:59:18

Aah she’s been offered hild bede so hopefully still the same ..we didn’t get the impression at the visit day this would be an issue it actually felt more welcoming than others ...just things I’ve seen online

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Iamthewombat Wed 15-Apr-20 19:02:12

I doubt it has changed much since I was there (500 years ago). You have to learn to co-exist with the poshos. I got friendly with quite a few of them: they are equally fascinated by, and terrified by, clever normals who got there without private schooling!

PotteringAlong Wed 15-Apr-20 19:05:29

Reverse snobbery is a thing too, and you and your daughter should make sure you don’t go in with a preconceived chip.

Durham is great, she will love it, but it will be much better if you don’t go looking for problems online.


TheWordmeister Wed 15-Apr-20 19:06:21

My nieces are there and many of my friends went. It is extremely snobby - there is no doubt.

Hatfield and Castle definitely have a snooty vibe, but the lesser-known colleges have a high proportion of state school students.

Sunflower1212 Wed 15-Apr-20 19:09:15

This is great advice thanks all ...yes definitely going to avoid the internet...

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goodbyestranger Wed 15-Apr-20 19:28:22

My DS is there at the moment, in his final year (and yes, still physically there!). It's absolutely fine/ friendly/ welcoming for all comers OP. I was there a generation ago and it was a vastly different uni from the one it is now - it's far more open.

truelove Wed 15-Apr-20 19:44:35

DD is in year 2. State school educated, quite introverted and a bit “quirky”. It took her a little while to settle in (nothing to do the concerns you raise OP) but has really blossomed in her second year. She’s in St Aidan’s.

Sunflower1212 Wed 15-Apr-20 19:58:56

This is great thanks ...your confirming the impression we got at the applicant day

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HailHydra Wed 15-Apr-20 20:03:32

I went to one of the medical colleges before they moved campus. And it was the worst of both worlds. Miles away from Campus, v 'real colleges' v satellite. And a very insular teaching schedule. Made life much easier when we moved up to Durham as a cohort.

There is still a lot of snobbery in Durham, just attempt to rise above it.

HailHydra Wed 15-Apr-20 20:04:11

Sorry, to Newcastle but Durham.

idontsmokeivape Wed 15-Apr-20 20:14:06

There is an organisation at Durham called the First Generation Scholars Network. I heard about a presentation given by one of the founders at an NE unis meeting last semester.

And I have just found this society:

Your DD may or may not be interested, but the organisations are there.

Sunflower1212 Wed 15-Apr-20 20:17:01

Ooh thanks @idontsmokeivape that’s really interesting...always said just be yourself in every situation

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clarification Wed 15-Apr-20 20:57:28

Can I ask why Durham has this reputation in the first place?

Sunflower1212 Wed 15-Apr-20 21:18:50

Not sure really ...usually these things are generated by people with no evidence or experience

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clarification Wed 15-Apr-20 21:33:34

DS is thinking of applying, but is a little concerned that it doesn’t look very ethnically-diverse on the website. He won’t get a chance to visit any unis probably as his UCAS would be due in with his school by the end of September if he’s also doing Oxbridge. Did you get this impression OP - or anyone else who has DC there or has visited?

GuyFawkesDay Wed 15-Apr-20 21:35:47

I was a Durham student, hill college.

There's is snobbery but actually just be open minded.

I ended up good mates with some chaps from Castle via my friend's course. They were so brilliantly posh and just delightful. They found smart, opinionated northern girls a bit of s breath of fresh air I think!

Anyhow, just echoing the "no chips" sentiment above

JMG1234 Thu 16-Apr-20 06:55:47

I also went to Durham, to a hill college. Indeed, my group of closest friends all ended up marrying people from the same college (Aidans).

I appreciate that time has moved on since I was there but I think there's a difference between having a high proportion of "posh" people and snobbery. A number of my friends went to private school but there was no looking down on those of us that hadn't (nor should there be). I think part of the reputation may be that Durham has often attracted a lot of rugby types, who perhaps aren't shrinking violets on nights out.

I loved every minute of my time there (excluding the weather..) and my friends are godparents to my kids and we still get together regularly as a group. I'm sure people at other Unis also feel the same about their Uni experience.

MontysOarlock Thu 16-Apr-20 07:11:35

Can I ask why Durham has this reputation in the first place?

Because it is usually a second choice uni for those who didn't get into an Oxbridge college grin

At any university there will always be a mix of social class but in certain unis this will be more pronounced. This was addressed by Jack Edwards on YouTube (Durham student) but there was a huge backlash because although he isn't from a very wealthy family he does have a posh accent.

So yes, classism does exist at Durham but there will always be a mix of accents at any uni and you just have to find people who are knobs, nothing to do with class, some people are just twats grin

MontysOarlock Thu 16-Apr-20 07:19:23

*aren't knobs, aren't knobs!

YesThatIsMyRealName Thu 16-Apr-20 07:19:26

I went to Durham but a while ago. I knew nothing about universities in general or Durham in particular and I was so shocked by the privilege some people had. I grew up in a very working class area and I was the first in my family and one of maybe 10 in my school year to go to university so it was a massive culture shock.

As long as he puts himself out there and joins lots of groups and talks to lots of people, he'll find people he gels with. Some of my friends were massive poshos, horses and trust funds and all that. Some were middle, some were just normal. Everyone is young so they're just learning about life and how to mix with people so sometimes there are clashes and as long as you're not a dick, people will learn to get along with you.

BubblesBuddy Thu 16-Apr-20 18:51:35

To the pp who said DS couldn’t visit. My DD visited privately. She just rang up the faculty and the accommodations office. They organised a few students to show her around 3 colleges. They could not have been more helpful. If travel restrictions lift, this might be possible if you can afford it.

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