Durham University (officially known as the University of Durham) is a collegiate research university in Durham, North East England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837. It was one of the first universities to commence tuition in England for more than 600 years and has claim to be the third oldest university in England.
Durham University has a unique estate, which includes 63 listed buildings, ranging from the 11th-century Castle to a 1930s. The university also owns and manages the DurhamWorld Heritage Site in partnership with Durham Cathedral. The university's ownership of the World Heritage Site
As a collegiate university, its main functions are divided between the academic departments of the university and 16 colleges. In general, the departments perform research and provide lectures to students, while the colleges are responsible for the domestic arrangements and welfare of undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and some university staff.
The university is currently ranked 5th to 8th by all the latest league tables of the British universities. "Long established as the leading alternative to Oxford and Cambridge", the university attracts "a largely middle class student body" according to The Times's Good University Guide. Durham has the second highest proportion of privately educated students as well as the best quality of student life in the country according to the Lloyds Bank rankings. The university was named Sunday Times University of the Year in 2005, having previously been shortlisted for the award in 2004.