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Hitting back over Sinn Fein's criticism of Magee

You published a letter from Sinn Fein representatives (Write Back, June 6) criticising the University of Ulster's work at its Magee campus.

The Magee campus is now larger than ever, has more students than ever and continues to flourish.

In 1984, it had fewer than 300 students. It now has more than 4,500 and is growing. The university is at the forefront in delivering its commitments under the city's One Plan.

Within the last two years, we have secured 572 extra undergraduate places for the campus.

The university has also committed to placing at the Magee campus any additional full-time undergraduate places allocated by DEL. The signatories to the letter represent the second largest party in the Executive and that Executive has made a conscious decision to cut the funding of higher education here. That is the real issue.

It is to the Executive that questions about constraints on the expansion of Magee should be directed.

The letter insinuates that degrees awarded to students who chose to study at Magee are of no value. We reject these insults and reject the cast of mind that imagines that, by denigrating the achievements of Magee, the cause of Derry is somehow advanced.

PROFESSOR RICHARD BARNETT

Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster

PROFESSOR DEIRDRE HEENAN

PV-C and Provost of Magee Campus,

University of Ulster

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