‘We need to see concrete proposals on how 10,000 student target will be delivered’

SDLP councillor Rory Farrell has called for the NI Executive to produce “concrete proposals” on the Magee expansion.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 10:22 am

The New Decade, New Approach deal, which saw the restoration of the Stormont Assembly in January 2020, contained a commitment to bring forward proposals for the expansion of Magee to 10,000 students.

Expansion proposals have not been produced despite the fact that Derry & Strabane Council has written to the First Ministers three times in the past year on the issue. No responses have been received and council will now write for a fourth time.

Speaking at the recent Full Council meeting Colr. Farrell said: “At the City Deal launch, the First Ministers spoke about their commitment to the North West. We would like to see them commit to actually responding to letters from the North West.”

SDLP Councillor Rory Farrell. DER1319GS-031

He said the Council were mindful the Vice Chancellor of Ulster University, Paul Bartholomew, has stated that getting over 6,000 students at Magee would require an increase in the Maximum Student Numbers Cap, but said that UU could choose to move more courses, in addition to Health Sciences, to Magee. “We need to see concrete proposals from the Executive on how the 10,000 target will be delivered, and we need to see them now,” Colr. Farrell said.

The proposal gained unanimous support.

By Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter