Derry medical school at Magee gets General Medical Council approval and can now recruit for September 2021 opening
The medical school at Magee in Derry can now start recruiting staff and students for 2021 after receiving a thumbs up from the General Medical Council.
Ulster University announced the breakthrough on Thursday morning.
Dr. Malachy Ó Néill, provost of the Magee College campus, hailed it as a fantastic step on the road to a September 2021 first intake of students.
"Another milestone achieved with General Medical Council approval. Louise Dubras and the School of Medicine team will welcome the first students to Ulster University Magee in late August 2021," he stated.
He urged prospective entrants to apply now via the UCAS system and thanked the Ulster University's city partners, the Western Trust, Derry city and Strabane District Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the City Centre Initiative.
The Ulster University stated: "Ulster’s School of Medicine on the Magee campus has progressed through to the next stage of the General Medical Council rigorous quality assurance process for new medical schools and can now recruit staff and students for a Sept 2021 opening."
Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the new medical school at Magee has passed through the quality assurance process at the General Medical Council.
“This news, alongside funding from the Executive, has allowed Ulster University to begin recruiting the first staff and students to open the doors in September 2021.
“The benefits for the city are far reaching - boosting our economy, increasing student numbers and training more doctors and medical professionals to support our communities.
“Students can apply now via UCAS. I look forward to seeing the new medical school up and running in September 2021.”
Foyle MP Colum Eastwood said: “I’m pleased that funding I secured in the New Decade, New Approach negotiations will now be provided to begin to deliver the four-year medical degree course in September 2021 at Magee campus. The people of this city have been denied better university provision for far too long and I’m delighted to see progress being made.
“This is good news that will provide the opportunity for people here to live, work and study at home. Our young people are our greatest asset; they should not have to leave Derry to further their education. We know from experience that many establish their careers elsewhere and never return.
“The beginning of recruitment of students for 2021 is a welcome, but it must represent another step towards larger expansion of university provision in the North West.”
The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Brian Tierney said: "The delivery of the Magee Graduate Entry Level Medical School is a major strategic project for the growth and development of this City and the North West. I am delighted that following the announcement from the Executive last month that money had been ring-fenced for the school, the momentum is continuing and positive progress is being made.
"More than ever we are conscious of the serious need for locally based, skilled medical professionals. The new Medical School will offer the opportunity for local medical students to live and work close to home, as well as attracting new students to locate here in the North West. It has the potential to boost the region's profile as a centre of clinical excellence and innovation, in tandem with the pioneering research work that is currently taking place at Altnagelvin.
"I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work that has gone into the delivery of the School of Medicine to date and I look forward now to the successful completion of the next steps in this process and to welcoming new students in 2021."
SDLP leaderr Colum Eastwood said: “We must realise Hume’s legacy and invest in a full-scale university for Derry. We must be bold and ambitious for Derry and the north west - investing in skills is critical to transforming our economy.
“A full-sized university is needed in Derry to meet the needs of our citizens.
“John understood the life-changing impact that education has on our young people. As MP I will work closely with the Executive and the Irish Government to deliver new opportunities and strengthen higher learning institutions on a cross border basis to meet the needs of our people.”