By Tom Fenton
Durham University has won the Sunday Times’ Sports University of the Year award.
The University has recently invested £12m in sporting facilities at its Durham and Stockton campuses and has 52 university clubs.
Over 90 per cent of students play a range of sports at all levels, from elite performance programmes to college teams and non-competitive recreational activities. Durham’s 16 colleges have over 500 teams across 18 different sports.
Professor David Eccles, head of the Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity degree programme, said: “This accolade reflects the opportunity for students to simultaneously study for a sport-related degree taught by world-class researchers, participate and excel in sport supported by an effective university sport programme, and contribute to society by engaging in sport outreach activities organised by the University’s students.”
Recent research by BUCS showed the current average salary of graduates who engaged with sport at university to be £32,552, compared with £26,728 for those who did not.
Quentin Sloper, Head of Sport, Music and Drama, said: “The learning environment at Durham is truly distinctive and very few universities combine academic and sporting excellence more seamlessly, successfully and consistently. We know, from experience, that what takes place outside of the classroom is as valuable to our students’ development as what happens inside the lecture theatre, laboratory and seminar room.
“Sport, alongside music, theatre, volunteering and many other extra-curricular activities helps our students develop important life skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership and there is strong evidence that this enhances employability and earning potential.”