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College merger is sad but just tip of iceberg

It was sad but not surprising to see an Ulster Unionist minister launch the public consultation on the "merger" (in other words closure) of Stranmillis University College this week.

Attempting to rush through the formalities before the May Stormont Assembly election, one wonders just why Mr Kennedy is in such a hurry to surrender a stronghold of unionist heritage?

But I fear this is only the tip of the iceberg; if teacher-training moves to Queen's University the presence of the Protestant ethos in our schools will be steadily eroded too.

Doesn't the announcement this month by the IFI, that they are funding a €1m joint venture between Stranmillis University College and St Mary's University College, point to a better way forward for our university colleges, one in which both of Northern Ireland's major traditions are upheld, respected and working vibrantly together?

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