We call on Durham University to take action against any bullying and discrimination of students from northern England
The recent report in The Guardian (19.10.20) of bullying of students from northern England at Durham University only further highlights the inequalities and challenges facing the most disadvantaged students in Higher Education.
The Linacre Institute is very concerned by these allegations. It is already apparent that students, like those that we support, from mining and ex-industrial towns in the north of England face significant barriers to the top universities. There is a clear north-south divide in students reaching the top 30 universities, as highlighted by the Sutton Trust:
19 of the 20 authorities that send most state-school children to England’s top 30 universities are in London and the South.
One of our alumni, Maddi Hoggatt, who is in her second year at Durham, has experienced first-hand some of the toxic behaviour highlighted by The Guardian article.
*“It is difficult to be part of any minority that doesn’t fit the traditional demographic of a well-established institution such as Durham, where your presence is often questioned rather than celebrated. There is a clear lack of representation and respect for state-educated students and, whilst there have been some improvements, there are still hundreds of years’ worth of traditional values to call into question.” (*See Maddi’s full comment here.)
We hope that the leadership of Durham University take the appropriate action quickly to stamp out any such behaviour, and ensure that those students from northern England, who have often had to work harder to get into a high-performing university like Durham, are made to feel just as worthy to be there as anyone else.