Mansergh says ‘deficiencies’ in university provision in Derry/Donegal needs cross-border solution

Martin Mansergh has said ‘deficiencies’ in third level provision in the north west would ideally be addressed on a ‘cross-border basis’ in Derry and Donegal.

The former Fianna Fáil minister, who was heavily involved in the talks that led up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago, has said more needs to be done to improve university level education in the north west.

“Because we live in a mixed economy, a lot of the dynamic in any economy comes effectively from the private sector and so on with encouragement from the Government.

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"One area which there are deficiencies, and I have been involved in a committee in this regard in the Royal Irish Academy, is in respect of higher education in the North and in particular the lack of higher education in the north-west, which in an ideal world would be done on a cross-border basis because Derry-Donegal is one region,” he said.

Martin Mansergh
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Mr. Mansergh referred to the fact that the north is exporting the equivalent of a full university to Britain annually.

“How it serves the unionist interest to have such large numbers of people going across the water and then staying there I find impossible to fathom. Anyway, that is their business,” he remarked.

The former T.D. and senator made the observations at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The RIA Higher Education (HE) Futures Taskforce’s 2021 discussion paper, 'The role of regions and place in HE across the island of Ireland', has linked the poor economic performance of the north west with a lack of progress on third level provision.