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Durham ranked as worst uni in England and Wales for social inclusion, new league table finds

However, the uni placed seventh nationally and The Times named it as the best university in the North East


Durham has been ranked as the worst university in England and Wales for social inclusion, according to The Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2024.

The university came last out of the 115 institutions in England and Wales.

To determine the social inclusion rankings, introduced in 2018, The Times considers a number of factors including the proportion of entrants who attended non-selective state schools, those from ethnic minority backgrounds, first-generation students, disabled students and mature students.

The league table finds only 48.4 per cent of Durham students come from non-selective state schools.

A Durham University spokesperson said: “We encourage applications from students from all backgrounds with the merit and potential to succeed at Durham.

“Our Access and Participation Plan outlines how we actively support and encourage students from under-represented backgrounds to apply to study with us, with activities ranging from extensive schools outreach work to wider partnership working with schools and other organisations.

“We have made great progress over recent years, such that for academic year 2022/23, around a quarter of our home undergraduate students had been accepted at Durham through our widening access schemes.”

Despite this, Durham maintained its place at the top of the rankings in the region with the University of York following in second place.

It was also named the seventh best university in the nation, having fallen one place since 2022.

This comes after UCL climbed to sixth place after Imperial, LSE, Cambridge, Oxford and St Andrews.

The university scores particularly highly in graduate prospects and entry standards but does less well in research quality, gaining a score of only 55.9 per cent compared to UCL with 66.8 per cent.

The Times writes: “High academic standards and an ambitious sporting tradition in a historic setting continue to drive demand at Durham.”

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