Cooper wants progress on Magee development plans

Mickey Cooper.
Mickey Cooper.

Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Cooper has called for more progress on the plans to develop and expand Magee.

Colr. Cooper made the comment following a recent presentation to Derry City Council’s regional services committee made by Professors Deirdre Heenan and Richard Barnett from the University of Ulster.

The Northland Colr. described the presentation as “useful” and said he hoped there will now be more progress on the issues raised, particularly in terms of marketing Magee as a place to study for international students.

“Both Richard Barnett and Deirdre Heenan came to Regional Services to outline the current and future plans for Magee.

“Although the presentation was helpful in some areas we are especially keen to see progress on a number of key issues including an increase in the international marketing of the Magee campus, an increase in the range of faculties and courses on offer and links with the new North West Regional Science Park consolidated,” he said.

Colr. Cooper welcomed developments on plans to increase the number of students at Magee. “We welcome the commitment given at the meeting that all MasN places allocated to the University of Ulster in the foreseeable future will be committed to Magee.

“We also acknowledge the comments made by Richard Barnett that this will remain the case even when the new campus in Belfast is opened in the next few years which we will obviously take note of for future reference,” he explained. The Sinn Féin councillor also recognised the university’s commitment to community engagement and called for it to be increased.

“We would call for this commitment to now extend to the University of Ulster ensuring proper engagement with the community training sector to ensure synergie between the courses on offer from both providers,” he said.

He also called on all interested parties to work together towards the expansion of the university in Derry.

“For Sinn Fein the key concern is to now look at the physical expansion of the Magee campus which is now made possible with the availability of the Foyle college lands.

“Clearly the current infrastructure would not be in a position to accommodate the 1000 extra MasN places which the One Plan identifies as a key requirement for the development of the Magee campus.

“This makes the development of detailed plans for physical expansion a key priority and also requires a substantial commitment of capital resources from the University of Ulster to mirror the monies they have committed to the development of the new Belfast campus from their own resources,” he said.