Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Council meeting, where the Ballyarnett representative will table a motion calling on the NI Executive to work in partnership with Ulster University and the Irish and UK Governments to finally deliver university expansion, Mr Farrell said,
“The deal to restore Stormont contained several commitments on Magee expansion and those must be honoured. There is a commitment to increase student numbers to 10,000.
“There is a commitment to establish a medical school. And there is a commitment to bring forward proposals on how these will be delivered.
“The argument for university expansion has been made and won. We now need action from the NI Executive and Ulster University.
“And the British and Irish Governments, as key brokers in the Stormont deal, have a role to play in ensuring that those commitments are realised.”
The motion also calls on the Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds, to lift the cap on university student numbers to allow for the planned increase at Magee.
Her department controls the number of undergraduate places available at Ulster University and Queen’s University for students from Northern Ireland and those from outside the UK.
Mr Farrell added: “The current Maximum Student Numbers cap is a critical barrier to university expansion.
“It will need to be lifted if we want to see Magee grow and flourish, unless Ulster University takes the unprecedented step of moving 6,000 student places away from Belfast or Coleraine.
“The Minister must make the necessary adjustments to the student cap, for exclusive use in Derry, to allow planned expansion to become a reality. Failure to do so will leave the entire project in limbo.
“University expansion has been a source of great frustration in Derry for 55 years.
“There is widespread anger that our city has been neglected and that our economy has suffered as a result.
“Magee expansion must be delivered as the people of this city will not accept any further false dawns or false promises.”