Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin has welcomed discussions on developing a cross-border learning zone in the North West.
Maeve McLaughlin was speaking after it was revealed the Minister for Employment and Learning (DEL) Stephen Farry was in discussion with his southern counterpart Ruairi Quinn.
Maeve McLaughlin said:
“I welcome the response to a question I posed to the DEL Minister on cross-border learning zone.
“The issue of learning provision in the North West was discussed by the minister at a recent meeting with southern Minister for Education and Skills, Ruari Quinn.
“They agreed to produce a joint interim paper on cross-border further education issues for consideration by ministers in the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) in June.
“The beginning of the Magee expansion business plan process was announced in January with the expectation that it would be presented to the minister by September.
“The commitment by outgoing University of Ulster Chancellor Richard Barnett that the business case will be backed by the university is welcome.
“I hope his successor will have the extension of Magee and third level education in the North West as a priority.
“I look forward to working with him to achieve the full potential of Magee in educational provision and as a key driver in the regeneration of the North West economy.
“The joint paper from both ministers at the June meeting of the NSMC and the appointment of a new UU Chancellor could provide us with a fresh opportunity to be ambitious in what we wish to achieve in educational delivery in the North West.
“With Magee as the Gateway University in collaboration with Letterkenny Institute of Technology, North West Regional College and Sligo IT we can create a dynamic further education cross-border learning zone.”