Ulster University cutbacks: ‘Political decision making bizarre’

Padraig Canavan

Padraig Canavan

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The head of a Derry campaign group dedicated to the expansion of Ulster University at the Magee campus has said that the blame for wide ranging cuts announced on Wednesday lies squarely at the feet of Stormont politicians.

U4D has been highly vocal in recent years in demanding that Derry’s university expands to accomodate a full range of academic disciplines and act as an econoimc catalyst for both the city and its North West hinterlands.

However, Chairman of U4D, businessman Padraig Canavan has said: “Ultimately, responsibility for the cut-backs at Ulster University must reside with those politicians who decided to cut funding for the Department of Employment and Learning and consequently for the universities.

“It is bizarre that politicians who say they want to grow our economy should take decisions that prevent our economy from growing and which are actually directly and indirectly causing job losses.

“It should be self-evident that improving the skills base of Northern Ireland is the foundation for strengthening our economy. It is tragic that apparently some of our decision makers do not understand that.

“We recognise the difficulties faced by the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive in managing a budget that is being seriously restricted by decisions based in Westminster. But, it is essential for our economy, our society and our peace-building process that the budget is managed effectively. It is clear in the case of further and higher education that this is not currently the case.”