Diane Dodds raises ‘concerns’ over Coleraine campus after transfer of uni courses to Derry
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She was speaking after the university announced it intends to relocate its School of Health Sciences from its Jordanstown Campus to Magee from September 2022.
The expansion of the Magee campus has been widely welcomes across the north west and beyond.
The DUP Minister expressed dissatisfaction that she only found out about the plans on Monday, and claimed that many in Coleraine had thought the courses would go there.
The Minister said: “Clearly this is a good day for Magee and is another step forward for the university in the North West.
“I do however understand the concern that this announcement has prompted. Many in the Coleraine area, who had expected these courses to be moved to their local campus, will now be left disappointed.
“Ulster University has stated its desire to be a multi-campus institution with a presence across Northern Ireland. Therefore, it is important that the university now demonstrates that Coleraine maintains a central place in its plans by moving some additional courses there.
“I was disappointed that I learned about this announcement only late yesterday afternoon. While I understand that our universities are autonomous institutions, I would have, nonetheless, welcomed an earlier discussion.
“I will meet with Vice Chancellor Paul Bartholomew shortly and I will be pressing him on his plans for balance across all of the university’s campuses.”
Mr Bartholomew is this evening briefing Derry City & Strabane District Councillors on Ulster University’s plans.
Ulster University earlier today announced it has decided that it will re-locate over 800 undergraduate Health Sciences programmes from its Jordanstown campus to Magee in Derry from 2022.
The move will see the Magee campus grow significantly and will have a knock on effect in terms of jobs and the economy and for the local health sector.
Postgraduate provision meanwhile will be delivered at the Belfast campus.
The University said its decision “reflects the benefits and opportunities presented by the co-location of the School of Medicine, Paramedic Practice and the award-winning School of Nursing, all of which are based at the Magee campus”.