Ulster University cutbacks: Some Magee peace centre staff may shift to Belfast

Magee College.
Magee College.

Some staff at the prestigious International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE) based at Magee may be shifted to Belfast as a result of the budgetary cuts at Ulster University, the Journal can reveal.

Established in 1993 INCORE is a joint project of the United nations University and Ulster University specialising in research, education and comparitive analysis of the causes and consequences of the Northern Ireland conflict and promotes conflict resolution management strategies.

However, the Journal understands that there plans to shift Derry based INCORE staff to Ulster University’s Belfast campuses.

When asked about this possibility a spokesperson for the University told the Journal: “INCORE is one of the wider areas to be rationalised and this may involve moving some teaching provision to Belfast/Jordanstown however INCORE will still be primarily based at Magee.”

In 1995, then President of the United States Bill Clinton, inagurated the John Hume Tip O’Neill Chair in Peace Studies at Magee. The Chair was held by Nobel Laureate John Hume until 2010.

During Mr Hume’s tenure Magee hosted a series of annual lectures given by politicians of international status, including Bill Clinton in 2003, former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald in 2005 and Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General in 2004.

Ulster University has confirmed that despite the possible relocation of INCORE teaching staff to Belfast that the Chair in Peace Studies will be remaining in Derry.

After last week’s announcement that almost £9 million in cuts will be placed across the institutions four campuses, Ulster University stated that it will not be in a position to give final figures on course relocations or job cuts until a voluntary redundancy process is completed.

A statement from Ulster University last week said that it anticipated that it will shed 1,250 student places and over 200 staff jobs.

Specialist research units exist within INCORE including ARK - the Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive; the Centre for Young Men’s Studies that amongst other things conduct research with young males aged 11-16 about their experiences of growing up in Northern Ireland; The Peace and Conflict Research Group which addresses issues related to cross-community contact, sectarian attitudes and forgiveness in Northern Ireland and the UNESCO Centre established formally in February 2001. The Centre is a recognised research centre within the University and received significant funding from Atlantic Philanthropies to support research and development work in education for pluralism, human rights and democracy.

Magee currently offers a range of post-graduate degrees in the Peace Studies field including a MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies a MSc in Social Research Skills. It has also hosted an International Summer School andoffers a PhD in the field as well.

As part of the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of INCORE the Dalai Lama addressed the institute in 2013.

Other notbale visitors have included former Basque president Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu, former Irish President Mary McAleese and former Italian prime minister and former president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi.