The university’s vice chancellor presented to Council’s Governance & Strategic Planning committee on the day of the Health Sciences relocation announcement.
Addressing the committee, the Ballyarnett representative said: “It is great news that Health Sciences undergraduates will be based at Magee from next year onwards.
“It is a welcome step towards our interim goal of 10,000 students at that campus.
“I’m mindful of the fact there has been a flurry of announcements in the past year. We’ve had the medical school. We’ve had paramedic practice. Now we have Health Sciences and they’re all extremely positive.
“But, the 10,000 target remains unmet. The One Plan envisaged 10,000 students by 2020. It’s 2021 and we don’t have 10,000 students.
“New Decade, New Approach which was published last January said that the Executive would bring forward proposals for the expansion of Magee to 10,000 students and there have been no proposals as yet.
“At a recent Executive Committee meeting it was revealed that an updated business case was still to be received by the Department for the Economy.”
Added Cllr Farrell: “So my question is, where are we with the business case?
“How are we going to get to 10,000 students at Magee. Which courses will the 4000 extra students be doing. What’s the timescale for expansion and how is it all going to be financed and resourced.
“I am mindful that a lot of your focus in the presentation was about the Maximum Student Numbers cap.
“And obviously that presents a massive difficulty and that’s going to be a decision that needs to be made by the Executive in consultation with university providers in the North.
“I am conscious that our corporate position in Council is that there should be an increase in the MaSN cap, for exclusive use in Derry, to allow expansion to happen.
“So, I don’t want to detract from today’s announcement, which was brilliant.
“The medical school is coming online and that’s really positive. Paramedic Science is really positive.
“The potential for more nursing places again is extremely positive. And the raft of City Deal innovation projects – it’s all excellent news.
“But, when can we expect detail on wider expansion plans?”Tags: