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Events in the Middle East: support for our community

The appalling attacks on Israel on 7 October, the escalating humanitarian crisis and the growing number of civilian deaths and casualties in Gaza, are of the utmost concern and deeply distressing to our community.

Some of our staff and students, and our wider community, are personally affected by these very distressing events. We will do all we can to support them, and continue to offer our compassion, care and practical support. 

We are communicating with staff and students to outline the support and assistance available to them if they are affected by these events. 

This includes contacting directly students and staff from the region, and our student societies, working with and through our colleges, Durham Students’ Union, our Chaplaincy Service and line managers.

We are actively keeping the situation under review so we can take appropriate actions. A sub-group of University Executive Committee meets daily, chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global).

Working with our Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) we continue to reach out to our student, staff and wider community to hear any concerns we may need to consider and address.

We are also consulting closely with colleagues in the Higher Education sector, including Universities UK. 

18 November 2023 - A video circulating on social media has been incorrectly understood to have been created by a Durham University student. The individual responsible is not a Durham University student or staff member.

How we can help

As an international university with a deep commitment to social responsibility and democratic values, we are experienced in supporting people affected by humanitarian crises and conflict across the globe. 

Support available to students is wide-ranging. It may include academic, wellbeing or financial support from professionally trained staff.  

Students have specifically asked us whether the impact of the conflict can be cited as a serious adverse circumstance in relation to their academic progress. We have confirmed this is the case. This is addressed in communications and Student FAQs.

Our students may contact their College Student Support Office, the Counselling and Mental Health Service and the multi-faith Chaplaincy Service.  Support is also available from Durham Students’ Union.

Our staff may seek support from their line manager and department. They also have access to our Employee Assistance Programme (internal access only), which is available 24 hours every day, and our Chaplaincy Service.

Further details of the support and assistance available for our students and staff is provided in our Staff FAQs and Student FAQs. Students may also see our Student Support hub: Student Support Hub (internal access only).

Prejudice or discrimination have no place here 

We uphold freedom of expression within the law. We are working to build a respectful and inclusive environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves and flourish no matter what their race, background, gender or sexual orientation.  

We encourage respectful behaviours from everyone in our community.  

We do not accept any form of prejudice or discrimination. This includes antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred. We condemn in the strongest possible terms any incidents of racism or those targeting individuals or groups for their religious, political or cultural beliefs.  

We would strongly urge any staff or students affected by any such incidents to report them to us via our Report + Support tool, or, where appropriate, the Police, so that they can be investigated.  

Please also see the Universities UK statement responding to the escalating conflict:  

UUK response to conflict in the Middle East (

This page will be updated regularly. Last updated: 14 November 2023

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Seek help, support and advice

Use the resources below to find help, support and advice.

Find out more about our support for students and staff

Students and staff can access a variety of resources for support and advice.
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Contact our International Office

We are an inclusive community and people will be affected by the conflict and developments in many different ways.
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