University has “genuine commitment” to expansion -Magee Provost

Deirdre Heenan
Deirdre Heenan

The Provost at Magee said that the University has a genuine commitment to expanding its footprint at Magee.

Professor Deirdre Heenan, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ulster and Provost at the Magee campus, said that this message was relayed during a meeting with Sinn Fein representatives in Derry on Monday.

The meeting was organised after comments by Learning Minister Stephen Farry, during which he effectively ruled out a significant increase in the number of undergraduate places at Magee.

A business case is currently being put together in Derry to be submitted to the Executive making the case for such an expansion, and Mr Farry’s remarks have sparked outrage from the various factions involved.

Following the meeting with Sinn Fein representatives, Professor Heenan said: “This was a positive meeting with Sinn Fein which enabled the university to reinforce its genuine commitment to expansion at the Magee campus, as well as clarify our position on funding.

“In particular, we outlined our concerns about the impact of continued budget cuts on the quality and sustainability of higher education across Northern Ireland and how the current impasse on welfare reform could add to the significant challenges already faced.”

Dr Heenan also vowed: “The university will continue to work positively with all stakeholders to safeguard wider expansion plans.”