US urged to back new cross-border university

The establishment of an independent university in the North West will ensure there can be no return of a hard border here, the Derry University Group (DUG) said today.

The campaigners are asking the US administration to back the new cross-border institution, recently blue-printed by the Royal Irish Academy.

A DUG spokesperson said it welcomed a visiting US delegation’s interest in the border regions and its determination to protect the Good Friday Agreement.

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‘A cross-border university will provide a durable solution to the Protocol issue,’ he said.

The Peace Bridge in Derry.

‘It will serve as a permanent monument to future good faith between Britain and Ireland. And it will be the nucleus for the long overdue regeneration of the North West, which has not experienced a full peace dividend.

‘The North West has been the most deprived, and institutionally-neglected, area of the island since partition 100 years ago, and it is now suffering further disadvantage because of Brexit. A new university will help mitigate these impacts. It will be a bridge, not a border.

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‘The British government has already included a proposal for a NW University in a recent command paper, and the Irish government has said it would be an ideal project for its Shared Island Initiative. The Royal Irish Academy taskforce has recently provided us with a specific blueprint and has recommended a new cross-border body be established to deliver it.

‘We urge the US administration, whose support for the Good Friday Agreement has been so key to peace in Ireland, to give its support to this new NW University plan.’