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Three images: Two smiling female Durham graduates, Chancellor Fiona Hill and Tina Brown with Waylon Cunningham

We’re a world-leading university and proudly part of North East England. In the second of a two-part review of 2023, discover more of our highlights from the past 12 months.

Global community, global impact 

We’re an international university, with staff and students from 120 countries, and partnership and impact across the globe. In 2023 we held our first Durham Global Week, celebrating research, scholarship, language, culture and student experience.  

We also honoured 11 winners at our first Durham Global Awards, recognising those who have made significant contributions to furthering international collaboration and understanding across our community.  

Our new Chancellor: Dr Fiona Hill 

We installed Dr Fiona Hill as our 13th Chancellor this summer. Dr Hill is an acclaimed international foreign policy expert, who grew up near Durham. 

We also had chance this year to honour one of our alumni, Sir Harry Evans, widely said to be the greatest British newspaper editor of the 20th Century. The inaugural Sir Harry Evans Global Summit in Investigative Journalism was held in London, and US journalist Waylon Cunningham became the first Sir Harry Evans Global Fellow.  

University challenge success 

A team of our students won BBC television’s University Challenge quiz programme this year, our first success in 23 years. Harry Scully, Alex Radcliffe, Bea Bennett, Chloe Margaux and reserve Tom Haines-Matos secured a 35-point victory over Bristol University in the televised final.  

Informing national and global policy 

We are actively informing policy debates, at a national and international level. Our Global Lecture Series has enjoyed a successful year, including most recently an event in Singapore. We worked with the think tank Onward to host events at the UK Conservative and Labour party conferences, and we co-hosted two education funding debates with the think tank Policy Exchange.  

Alumni and friends gathered for a superb Convocation event, where four of our leading researchers discussed health and wellbeing on a changing planet, and our Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O’Brien highlighted the value of language learning with the Higher Education Policy Institute.  

Looking ahead to 2024 

We look ahead to 2024 with excitement at what we can achieve together.  

Find out more