Saturday 21 April 2018

University would give serious clout to the sunny south-east

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the civil rights movement in the North. It will be remembered that the presenting reason, the straw that broke the camel's back, was the refusal of the Unionist government, in coming to a decision on the location of a second university, to recognise the claim of the north-west, the City of Derry, and, in particular, of Magee College.

This was seen not only as a deliberate attempt to disadvantage the area, but a snub to a historic city and a proud and talented people.

Now, 40 years on, much water having passed under the Foyle bridges (and not a little blood), Derry has its university, a vigorous and lively campus of the University of Ulster, embedded in the city, interacting with the community and providing not only academic excellence but a broad range of new and exciting opportunities to young people on both sides of the Border.

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