U4D - the university lobby group - is urging all local politicians to join it in demanding that the city’s ‘One Plan’ – including the proposal for the expansion of the Magee campus – is made a central element of the Executive’s Programme for Government.
“This is our best ever opportunity to obtain a commitment to the level of university expansion needed to boost our city’s economy and to regenerate the city,” said Rosa McLaughlin, U4D co-ordinator.
“We call on the city and region to support this call and, in particular, for MLAs and councillors to exercise all their political influence on the Executive and its ministers. This is the best opportunity we have ever had to bring about substantial improvement to the city that we love.
“It is essential that the One Plan for Derry-Londonderry is adopted by the Executive in the Programme for Government. The most important element of that plan is the substantial expansion of Magee.”
Ms McLaughlin says increasing higher education provision at Magee would stimulate the local economy and create more jobs in the city for graduates and non-graduates alike.
“But the need for more university places has suddenly become a more urgent necessity,” she added.
“U4D is very worried that the welcome decision to hold down tuition fees in Northern Ireland will dramatically increase demand for places at our universities.
“That is very likely to mean that only elite students will obtain university places here.”