Durham Uni: John Snow students will not be able to move into new Durham home until September 2020

One year later than promised

Durham University has announced today that completion of John Snow College's new home and a place for the 17th college, have been delayed to September 2020, one year later than originally intended.

The 1000 beds, which are set to be placed at the site off South Road past Van Mildert College, will not be ready for this coming September, complicating the future of John Snow students, who have already begun the process of moving to Durham City campus.

In an email sent round to all students today, the University’s Chief Operating Officer stated that due “to external factors beyond the University’s control, we now anticipate the project being completed for September 2020, rather than for September 2019 as initially hoped.”

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Artists impression of the proposed Mt Oswald site (source: Durham University)

“We appreciate the delay will be disappointing for those involved with the project, particularly students and staff of John Snow College”.

The Mount Oswald developments are set to cost £80 million as part of the University's 10 Strategy which aims to see the reallocation of students from Stockton Campus to Durham City, where student numbers will grow to 21, 500 by 2027.

Despite their original promise to move all John Snow students to Durham by 2019, the University revealed today that they are currently "scoping options" as to where these students will live during the upcoming 2019/20 academic year, so far failing to find a suitable location.

In response to the update, Megan Croll SU President, stated that this "is incredibly disappointing news. The disruption and inconvenience to students will continue for a year longer than originally promised, and this will harm our community.

"The events that led to this were, in many ways, out of the University’s control- but there is much that is in the University’s control, and they must accept their responsibility to take immediate, significant, action.

The University’s ambitions for the next 10 years include a number of significant projects. The failure to deliver this first major development will reduce already low confidence. John Snow College, in particular, is in the process of relocating from Queen’s Campus and was planning on a home that now won’t be ready.”

Megan went on to call the situation "a scandal", pushing for an apology from the University: “Students have rights which the University is now unable to respect. Prospective students have been shown a community they now can’t join."

Megan's full statement can be found via her Facebook page.

John Snow College have been contacted for comment.

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