The New Decade, New Approach deal which saw the restoration of the Stormont Assembly in January 2020 contained a commitment to bring forward proposals for the expansion of Magee to 10,000 students.
Expansion proposals have not been produced despite the fact that Derry City & Strabane District Council has written to the First Ministers three times in the past year on the issue. No responses have been received and council will now write for a fourth time.
Addressing the meeting, the Ballyarnett representative said: “At this meeting last February, we agreed to write to the Executive to understand plans to deliver the New Decade, New Approach commitment of expanding Magee to 10,000 students.
“We’ve had no response and we’ve had no response to either of the subsequent letters that were sent.
“At the City Deal launch yesterday, the First Ministers spoke about their commitment to the North West. We would like to see them commit to actually responding to letters from the North West.”
Cllr Farrell added: “We’re mindful that the Vice Chancellor of Ulster University, Paul Bartholomew, presented to Council two weeks ago and he stated that getting over 6,000 students at Magee would require an increase in the Maximum Student Numbers Cap.
“We’re equally mindful that Ulster University could choose to move more courses, in addition to Health Sciences, to Magee to increase the student numbers, but they would risk of incurring the wrath of Diane Dodds.
“There is a very clear commitment in black and white in New Decade, New Approach to expand Magee to 10,000 students.
“The 6,000 that Paul Bartholomew is currently talking about, and is saying that is currently achievable, is not our ambition.
“In fairness, 10,000 students is an interim ambition for us.”
Cllr Farrell concluded: ““We need to see concrete proposals from the Executive on how the 10,000 target will be delivered, and we need to see them now.
“So, I am proposing that we write again, one year on, to understand when the Executive will bring forward proposals for the expansion of Magee to 10,000 students.”
The proposal gained unanimous support.Tags: