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Profile picture of Professor Karen OBrien Vice Chancellor of Durham University

Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O'Brien shares some events taking place in Durham this spring.

As Durham’s university, we love to join the city in celebrating achievements and events of importance to our community.  

Local events with a global focus

Last month we hosted our first ‘Global Week’, with many events open to local residents, celebrating the contributions that staff and students from right across the world make to our University and the Durham community.  

Last week we celebrated our shared heritage at World Heritage Day, with music, re-enactments, storytelling, crafting and even quidditch around Palace Green.  

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III

Next month we’re excited to be joining in celebrations of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.  

You’re warmly invited to watch the Coronation with us on a big screen in a marquee next to Durham City Rugby Club, on Green Lane, on Saturday 6th May. There will be family entertainment and refreshments from 10am. Tickets are free, and bookable via our website.  

On the Monday (May 8th), we’re joining The Big Help Out, with students and staff joining a city-wide litter pick from 11am, starting in the Market Place.  

Also during the weekend there will be a Coronation Tea Dance, live music, the light of a Coronation Beacon, the Big Coronation Party and a special Evensong at the Cathedral. Full details are on the City of Durham Parish Council website.  

His Majesty has close links with Durham and the University. He received an honorary degree from us in 1998 and last visited in 2018, to unveil a plaque in memory of his ancestor Dame Elizabeth Bowes.  

We look forward to celebrating his Coronation with many of you.  

Other local news and events

Before that, this Saturday (April 22nd) there is an opportunity to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, the Breaking of the Fast celebrated by Muslims around the world at the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. There will be arts, crafts, food and readings at the Oriental Museum from noon to 3pm. Book online at  

Elsewhere, you may have read that planning permission has been granted for the development of Rushford Court, in the Viaduct area of the city, to provide a temporary home for our College of St Hild and St Bede while its site in Gilesgate is renovated.  

Rushford Court was previously the temporary home of another of our colleges, John Snow, and we look forward to Hild Bede developing good links with its new neighbours.  

Finally, have you heard of the Pint of Science festival? Our scientists will be discussing their research at four pubs across the city, with events from May 22nd to 24th. It’s a great chance to meet world leaders in their field and ask your burning questions. Book your ticket online at 

Find out more