Ulster University have said that they will decide within the next two months whether the new location of its Health Science courses will be Derry, Belfast or Coleraine.
The University confirmed to the Journal that extensive work was being done to examine all three potential locations, after a Consultant Scientist from Derry said bringing the eight courses to Magee would result in 500 additional students here within the next five years when all four year courses are running together, and could also be aligned with a planned new Medical School.
Former Visiting Lecturer in Radiography, Tom Bradley has written by MP Elisha McCallion, the Mayor and all five Derry MLAs highlighting the “importance of getting the family of very high demand Health Science degrees into Magee.”
The relocation from Jordanstown will see student radiographers, dieticians, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and podiatrists being trained at one of the three new locations.
Mr Bradley said: “Every elected representative mentioned above pledged on the doorsteps they would work for the Magee expansion. Here’s their chance.
“Success here by the local elected politicians will also be welcomed by hundreds of North West parents whose children apply for these very high demand courses. It would mean many living at home not paying king’s ransom rents.”
He added: “This doesn’t require any Stormont approval. A stroke of the pen can bring them to Derry.”
Speaking about the relocation, a spokesperson for Ulster University said yesterday: “In January 2018 we confirmed that the relocation of allied health and health sciences provision from Jordanstown to Coleraine would be paused to enable further consideration in the light of healthcare needs, the vision for transforming healthcare to meet those demands, and our centres of excellence in teaching and research.
“Reflecting on the feedback from professional health sciences staff and taking account of our strategic priorities and ambitions for medical education, we recognised that we had more work to do in rigorously analysing the options available to us for the location of our allied health and health sciences provision, before deciding on the way forward. Our Coleraine, Magee and Belfast campuses are all potential locations to be carefully assessed in this review.
“Our priority is to continue to deliver and further enhance the very best course synergies, learning, professional and clinical practice opportunities for all health sciences students, and continue to make a positive impact on health and patient outcomes in this vital sector.
“Following comprehensive engagement with stakeholders over the coming months, we expect to reach and confirm a decision early in the new year, ahead of the UCAS deadline in January 2020,” the UU spokesperson added.