Why is this happening?
The Alternative Durham Open Days were created by a group of students after the university increased the college accommodation fees up to £7,353 for the 2016/2017 academic year, as well as increasing tuition fees for international students to £16,500 for non-laboratory subjects and £20,900 for laboratory-based subjects. This was despite multiple demonstrations from students at the university over recent years, including protests of over 100 people and a Funeral for Accessible Education that involved more than 300 people. Students have made their views clear through these actions and through the student union and college common rooms, but we have not been listened to. The Alternative Open Days are, therefore, an escalation on previous actions.
Our demands are that college accommodation and international fees be fixed at the level of this year (2015/16), with a further two year freeze on each.
Everyone involved with the Alternative Durham Open Days is enjoying their time at Durham. Our goal is not to discourage prospective students, but rather to offer insight into all areas of the student experience. Durham University must address the issues raised in this prospectus, in order to become a safer, fairer and accessible institution.
What are the open days?
The Alternative Durham Open Days will run parallel to the official open days. Volunteer Alternative Ambassadors will be stationed around Durham on 27th June and 2nd July, armed with this alternative prospectus, refreshments, and lots of advice for prospective students. Our Ambassadors are available to discuss all aspects of the Durham student experience – positive and negative. We will also be hosting tours of student houses in Durham.
This site will also include a blog, with posts such as this one that speak about the issues that matter to us as students of this university. This will cover things such as international fees, the difficulties of obtaining good private student accommodation, and the sexual assault policy of the university, as well as more useful topics for prospective students such as how to budget and what to look for in a university.