Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Action needed to reduce high campus costs

BRIAN Martin (Write Back, November 11) made a valid point on the rising cost of the Belfast campus for the University of Ulster, from its original £250m to £305m now, the latter including pending loan support of £150m from the European Investment Bank.

It does appear that most – if not all – publicly funded construction projects in Northern Ireland inevitably end up going well over budget.

The Northern Ireland Audit Office has reported on such projects over recent years ad nauseum. The rather depressing thing is that it is still continuing without any proper audit controls.

Why the university needs an additional £150m is, perhaps, because it has to run four campuses here and one in Birmingham, at the same time moving from Jordanstown, hence its account books must be well empty.

Would it not be logical to reduce the number of campuses and, hence, the overall costs?

GEORGE STAPLETON

Holywood, Co Down

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