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Examples of our actions toward SDG1

We have set out targets to greatly increase the number of LOW PARTICIPATION NEIGHBOURHOODS students and in doing so close the gap at Durham between the most represented and the least represented. Our target is to to reach a ratio between quintiles 5 and 1 of POLAR4 to 3:1 by 2024-25.

Find out more: Access and Participation Plans Student Financial Hardship Support Fund


Our research has provided evidence that has informed policies for tackling disadvantaged communities. Innovative research methods and approaches have helped us in understanding the underlying reasons for the patterns of attainment by poverty. Our research is developing evidence-based practice in tackling disadvantage and overcoming the impact of poverty on people's life. Find out more about our recent projects and publications on Tackling Disadvantage and Widening Participation
Read our research in DECE (Durham University Evidence Centre for Education)
Research No Poverty


Our University has invested significantly in the Durham Grant Scheme. We plan to increase the Durham Grant Scheme by up to 13.6% in academic year 2023/24, providing support to students from low-income households. This increase in the Durham Grant Scheme is above the current rate of inflation. We offer post-16 mathematics education across the North East England to students who would not otherwise have access to it, through our partnership with Durham Mathematics School
We offer financial support to ensure students can access world class education
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Wider Student Experience

Reduce Waste – Leave Durham Tidy – Support Charity. These are the three slogans of our annual ‘Green Move Out’ campaign, which now enters its 18th year. Under this award-winning scheme, students unwanted belongings are collected and donated to local charities at the end of the academic year, as they move out of their accommodation. Green Move Out has been running in the city since 2005, our students work with the University, Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary, local charities.
Find out about the Green Move Out campaign
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Living the Values

Durham students have founded a project “run by women for women” which seeks to alleviate issues surrounding period poverty, hygiene, and stigma in the Kumasi region in Ghana. The project, named Akwannya, hopes that by reducing period poverty in the country, more girls will remain in education. According to the group, 95% of girls in Ghana become absent from school due to menstruation. The project is set up by student-led Enactus that creates social enterprise businesses to address the UN SDG's
Find out about how the work of Enactus makes a positive impact in the world
Wider Student Experience 1


Pioneering academics from our top-rated School of Education introduced a new book that presents detailed research into how poverty affects student opportunities and underachievement in schools. Their new book highlights innovative ways through which education systems can be improved, particularly for the lowest-attaining and most disadvantaged students.They identified promising approaches to improving schools for disadvantaged students and presented evidence on the impact of e.g. Pupil Premium
Read about impact of funding policy from research in India & Pakistan schools
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Local and Regional

Through our Durham Energy Institute (DEI) we are working with our local and regional communities on access to energy and addressing fuel poverty. Our work with Durham County Council on developing innovative low-carbon community solutions including strategies for reducing energy usage and energy poverty. The Solid Wall Insulation (SWIi) project funded by DCC, DU and ERDF installed advanced solid wall insulation systems on over 200 stone and brick built properties across County Durham.
See how improving energy efficiency of homes reduces bills and carbon emissions
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Governance and Policy

Through our Centre for Macroeconomic Policy, we have projects covering a range of economic issues that affect economic growth such as inequality, finance, education, monetary and fiscal policy, and - in international terms - malnutrition, extreme poverty and low aspiration. We were invited to provide oral evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee, the EU Commission, Royal Society of Edinburgh Scottish Parliament Education Committee, on the attainment of pupils experiencing poverty
Read about how we are addressing the attainment gap
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Annual Report on Access and Participation Plan

Throughout our Annual report we highlight examples where our work is contributing towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Find out more about how our Access and Participation Plan reaffirms our commitment to widening participation in higher education, with initiatives aimed at enrolling students from under-represented backgrounds and supporting them while at Durham.
Annual Report - SDG 1 Access and Participation Plan
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Islamic finance in sustainable development - Impact Case Study

Our research recognises the importance of Islamic Finance’s contribution to economic development & the role it can play in sustainable development. We found that tackling poverty requires going beyond raising income levels to include other aspects e.g. providing education & health services.

Prof Ahmed’s research impact on Islamic banks