Durham University is a higher education institution in Durham and Stockton-on-Tees, England, founded in 1832 and traditionally a northern rival to the southern universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Like the 'Oxbridge' institutions, the university comprises several colleges, but these are not teaching or research bodies as they are at Oxford and Cambridge. Durham colleges are student residences, but generally have more of a shared ethos and identity than the accommodation known as halls of residence found at other British universities. The university provides courses leading to academic degrees in a variety of subjects, particularly sciences. The day-to-day running of the university is a matter for the Vice-Chancellor (currently Chris Higgins), while the Chancellor acts as the ceremonial head of the university and presides on occasions such as graduation days. This appointed office has been held by Bill Bryson since 2005.
- The legal name is University of Durham, but all university material refers to the institution as Durham University.