University Council approves Ustinov College move


The University Council approved proposals to move Ustinov College from its current Howland’s Farm site to a new site at Sheraton Park at a meeting on Tuesday, following “considerable and detailed discussion” and anger from Ustinov students.

In a statement published on Wednesday, the University drew attention to “two key priorities” of its developing Estates Strategy, citing the move of John Snow and Stephenson Colleges from Queen’s Campus to Durham City, and the planned growth in new student numbers in Durham City.

At the meeting, the University Council “considered a business case for the proposal to enter into a contract with the owners of the Sheraton Park Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) scheme.”

As part of the business case, the University presented a summary of consultation undertaken with staff, students, and local residents, with students from five colleges and representatives from Durham Students’ Union presenting their views.

“Following considerable and detailed discussion, and mindful that changes in student accommodation should be balanced with the needs of the local community, this proposal was approved,” the statement read.

The agreed proposals will see Ustinov College and its postgraduate community move from Howland’s Farm to the new Sheraton Park development to enable the initial merger of John Snow and Stephenson Colleges with Josephine Butler College.

“The final location of Stephenson and John Snow Colleges, once the transition period is concluded, will be agreed through consultation with students from those colleges,” the University said.

As part of the statement, Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor and Warden, said: “In order to ensure a sustainable future for the University and to compete on a global scale, we need to build on our success and make changes where they are needed, including growing our student numbers in a carefully planned way.

“We are committed to working with staff, students, residents and other partners to ensure we deliver the best possible Strategy, which in turn delivers the best for our city and region.”

Following the University Council’s decision, negotiations with the provider of the PBSA will be finalised and a Howland’s user group will be established to determine facilities requirements for the site.

The full statement by the University can be found here.

Photograph: Michael Baker

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