SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has said expansion at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster is the best way of delivering and sharing the benefits of higher education growth in the North so that we don’t continue to export a university every year.
Speaking after the Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry told BBC Radio Foyle this morning that he still doesn’t have the money for expansion at Magee, Mr Durkan said:
“This is a familiar restatement by the Minister about his departmental budget that he gave to the civic delegation which travelled from Derry to Stormont to meet him last August.
“We need to see the higher education budget uplifted because we need not just an expansion of Magee within the existing student numbers in the region but in the context of a strategic expansion of higher education in the North.
“Expansion at Magee is the best way of delivering and sharing the benefits of higher education growth in the North so that we don’t continue to export a university every year.
“Competing as a region cannot simply be based on a headline rate for corporation tax but must build skills and capacity through further and higher education as we have seen in the South and as we are seeing in ‘city regions’ in Britain.
“Stephen Farry told us last August that if the Executive had a strategic policy commitment to expanding higher education at Magee and framed this in its budget then he and his department would do all that they could to deliver it.
“We all have do everything to hold the Minister to his word about his willingness to hold the University of Ulster to the commitment it has voiced and to encourage and assist the Executive and Assembly in developing the policy and delivering the budget support it needs.”