Durham University introduces new code of conduct for students

By Madeleine Horton

In a move to improve relations with the local community, Durham University has introduced a new code of conduct for all students. Enrolled students will be expected to sign this new code at the beginning of the academic year.

Durham University is currently reviewing its disciplinary policies. Though still in the process of being drawn up, the new code will set out the university’s values to current and future students at the university. Students failing to adhere to these updated rules could face severe disciplinary action.

This change in the rules has been seen as a move by the university to appease strong reactions by the local community against the ten-year growth plan set out by the institution, which includes a planned increase in student numbers to 21,500 by 2027.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Stuart Corbridge, said that Durham University is determined to “do a better job” in improving relations with local residents.

He added: “We can do a better job of providing a sort of honour code for students so that they understand both the history of the region and their responsibilities locally.”

“We can do a better job on New Elvet, we can do a better job of making Maiden Castle into a sports and wellbeing park available to everybody across County Durham and further in the North East.”

During Thursday evening’s Question Time debate, members of the public discussed the uncertain future of the university.

Growth plans had been fiercely defended by Mr Corbridge, who stated: “There’s lots of students who would like to come to Durham who currently can’t.”

“Lots of people would like to make use of our research, which is changing the world for better in many ways.”

“So I think it’s not surprising that a successful university would want to grow.”

Photograph: Maddie Flisher

3 Responses

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  1. Adam Smith
    Jun 27, 2018 - 01:12 PM

    In my opinion the only thing the University should be responsible for is education. Trying to treat it like a “school for grown ups” with all these codes of conduct and extra disciplinary measures is not good preparation for when students go out into the big mean world and have to fend for themselves. Students should be held responsible to the rules of the land just like everyone else and the university should not get involved.

    Reply
  2. Gloria Percy
    Jun 27, 2018 - 04:42 PM

    Totally agree with you Adam Smith.

    Reply
  3. nemo
    Jun 27, 2018 - 05:51 PM

    The use of the words, “honour code”, which is much more common in US Universities (see Harvard https://honor.fas.harvard.edu/honor-code), is interesting.

    While I agree that students should have autonomy, and be free to make decisions, I also subscribe to the idea that being reminded of one’s wider responsibility to both the University and the region in which it sits is not, of itself, a bad thing.

    While as students we may live here, we are essentially still guests in someone else’s home. They were here before we arrived, and they will be here when we have gone.

    Reply

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