Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Londonderry is most deserving of a university

I READ that a group of citizens from Derry are lobbying for a new university in the city. Although not associated with the group, I am writing from afar to add my voice in support of their efforts.

Whether intentional or not, a grave injustice was perpetrated on the citizens of Londonderry when it was bypassed as the site for Northern Ireland's second university.

While the expansion of some University of Ulster functions to Magee may have mitigated some of the damage, the establishment of a new university in the historic city is as compelling today as it was some 40 years ago.

The economic advantages of a university as an integral part of a town or city are well-known.

Notwithstanding the immediate employment opportunities from expanded commerce, there is the wider potential universities offer as engines of industrial development linked to research activities.

There is no better location for a new university than the Derry area. An educated population remains the essential key to future growth - now, more than ever.

GERALD R McSHEFFREY

Professor and dean emeritus, Arizona State University

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