Ulster University: Magee business case sent to Stephen Farry

Magee campus
Image caption A petition signed by thousands of people calling for the expansion of Magee was presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2013

The business case for the expansion of the Ulster University's Magee campus has been sent to the Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry.

The preferred option would see student numbers in the city increase by more than 5,000 over the next 10 years.

In August, Mr Farry said plans to expand the Londonderry site were "off the table" due to budget cuts.

The business case was presented to the city's strategy board last week.

'North west'

The consultants were commissioned by Derry City Council, the Ulster University, the urban regeneration company Ilex and the lobby group U4D in March.

The report sets out the need for increased student numbers, the potential benefits and the obstacles it might face.

It said the plan would cost £20m a year to implement but that it would bring double that amount to the Northern Ireland economy.

It also said that it would create 260 jobs across Northern Ireland, including 170 in the north west.

The report weighed up a number of options but recommended one that would see the number of full time undergraduates at Magee almost double to 6,000 by 2021.

It would also see 750 more students at the North West Regional College over a similar time frame.

Whether the Northern Ireland Executive can find the initial investment to adopt the plan remains to be seen.

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