Belfast Telegraph

Ulster University faces 'critical' 10% funding cut over three years

Ulster University could be set to face "critical" funding cuts, according to a letter sent to the leaders of Northern Ireland's political parties.

The letter from Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University Professor Paddy Nixon, which has been seen by the BBC, says the university has been advised by the Department of Economy it faces a 3.5% cut in 2018/19, and a 4.5% cut in 2019/20.

Taking account of the 2% cut in 2017/18, it works out at a 10% cut in funding over three years.

The letter has been sent to the leaders of Sinn Fein, the DUP, the SDLP, the UUP, the Alliance Party as well as Secretary of State James Brokenshire and UK Universities Minister Jo Johnson.

In the letter, Professor Nixon said: "Whilst the current situation is unsustainable the prospect of further cuts communicated by the department has turned a serious situation into a critical one."

For 2016/17 Ulster University received core funding from the Northern Ireland Executive of £70.8m.

The cuts come at a time when Ulster University is already facing the potential loss of £17.5m in EU funding after Britain leaves the European Union.

Earlier this week it was revealed the development of a £250m Belfast campus by Ulster University had been put back by a year, with the predicted completion date for the building work now the end of 2019. 

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