Live updates

Durham Vice-Chancellor to retire

Professor Chris Higgins Credit: Durham University

Professor Chris Higgins, the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, has announced that he will retire on September 30th.

He will remain as Vice-Chancellor Emeritus until his successor is appointed and a successful handover completed.

He has been in the role for the last seven years.

He said:

"I will, of course, be very sad at leaving the University I love, and friends and colleagues I admire. However, the timing is right.

"The University and its Colleges is probably in the best shape it has ever been, academically and financially, providing a strong platform for my successor to take the University and its Colleges to even greater heights.


Professor says the term dyslexia is unscientific and should be abandoned

Getting a diagnosis of dyslexia is often seen as the solution to the problems experienced by those with struggle in areas such as reading, writing an learning.

But now an expert in physiology and education from Durham University says the term 'dyslexia' should be abandoned.

Professor Julian Elliott says some people have learning difficulties but says 'dyslexia' is used to describe many problems which may not need the same treatment.

He has outlined his ideas in a new book which some see as controversial.

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a term used to describe learning difficulties in children and adults, which can affect their ability to read, write and spell, and in some cases speech, memory and ability to learn rhythms or patterns.

It is difficult to know how many people have dyslexia, but it is estimated to affect 5-10% of the population. It is four times more common in boys than girls.

Famous people with dyslexia:**

  • Richard Branson
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Thomas Edison
  • Albert Einstein
  • Steve Jobs
  • Sir Steve Redgrave

For more information about dyslexia, including where to find help for yourself or your child, see the charity Dyslexia North East.

Professor asks teachers to abandon "meaningless" label of dyslexia

An academic at Durham University has said the term 'dyslexia' is unscientific and should be abandoned.

Professor Julian Elliott said many people do experience problems with reading, but that the diagnosis of dyslexia is used to describe too wide a range of problems.

In a book due to be released in March, researchers said the key task for teachers was to identify children struggling to read and intervene at a very early age, rather than spend time testing for a "questionable" diagnosis.


Astronomy honour for Durham University professor

A Durham University professor is set to receive the Royal Astronomical Society’s highest honour. Professor Carlos Frenk, who is one of the originators behind a theory for the origin of galaxies and the structure of the Universe, has been honoured for his world-leading research.

“To see my name listed alongside those of scientists whom I have admired all my life is a unique feeling.

“The gold medal is awarded ‘in recognition of a lifetime’s work’. Since I have spent most of my working life at Durham University, more than as a personal tribute, I see this as a recognition of the scientific contribution that my many collaborators at the Institute for Computational Cosmology, from PhD students to professors, and I have collectively made over the years."


Professor Frenk, Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics and Director of Durham’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, received the Gold Medal for Astronomy.

Durham student's dream of one-way mission to Mars

A PhD student from Durham University has progressed to the second round of an ambitious project to send people to live on Mars.

The Mars One expedition aims to establish a permanent human colony on the planet from 2025.

Hannah Earnshaw, who's studying Astronomy, was one of more than 200,000 applicants worldwide to enter the selection process.

She's through to stage two, along with 1,057 others. There are two more stages to go.

Around 24 people, potentially, will eventually be selected to establish a village on Mars and conduct vital research.

Funding is ongoing for the Dutch-based mission, which is one-way.

Hannah explained to us why she applied.

Inquest into death of Durham University student opens

Sope Peters went missing while on a night out with friends.

An inquest has been opened into the death of a 20-year-old Durham University student.

Sope Peters was last seen alive outside the Klute nightclub near Elvet Bridge in the city centre during an evening out with friends.

An extensive search was launched and his family travelled from America in an attempt to find him. However, his body was later recovered from the River Wear more than five weeks after he went missing. The inquest was adjourned this afternoon.

Load more updates