Extra uni places must come to Magee - U4D

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An extra 500 student places at Magee could generate around £25million for Derry’s economy, it has been claimed.

Padraig Canavan, chair of lobby group U4D, says the local economy will benefit greatly if all 500 extra STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – subject places announced last week as part of stimulus plans for the North’s economy are to allocated to Magee.

The North’s Minister for Employment and Learning, Stephen Farry, has said the greater share of the 500 places allocated to the University of Ulster will go to the Derry campus.

He has not yet given a precise figure.

Mr Canavan says it is vital all 500 come to Derry.

“U4D is calling on the Minister, Stephen Farry, to allocate all the extra 500 places to Magee. It is Derry-Londonderry that needs the places more than anywhere else in Northern Ireland and the University of Ulster is the only higher education institution to have bid for extra places, “ he says.

“An extra 500 places at Magee could generate about an extra £25m to Derry’s economy every year. Added to the previously announced 300 additional places, that would be about £40m of extra spending here, going into our retail sector, cafes, hotels and so on and help our depressed property market.”

Read more in tomorrow’s ‘Derry Journal’.