Ulster University has confirmed that the School of Health Sciences undergraduate programmes will relocate to its Magee campus in Derry from September 2022.
The relocation will bring over 800 undergraduate students to the Magee campus.
Postgraduate Health Sciences teaching will move to the University’s Belfast campus at the same time.
Announcing the relocation decision, Professor Carol Curran, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences at Ulster University explained: “Now, more than ever, in the context of a health service that continues to face sustained challenge in tackling COVID-19, we are acutely aware of the vital contribution of our allied health professionals.
“The Magee campus will best enable the NHS strategic emphasis on development of multi-disciplinary teams and rich opportunities for interprofessional learning.”
The programmes will be delivered alongside Magee’s new Paramedic teaching provision, and Graduate Entry School of Medicine, both of which are recruiting students for the start of the 2021 academic year.
UU’s award-winning School of Nursing which ranked 7th in the UK has operated in the city for 20 years.
Magee campus also runs one of only three Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) competency test centres in the UK, established to increase nursing capacity and help alleviate pressures in the health sector.
Professor Curran added: “Bringing these programmes together will open up opportunities for an interdisciplinary student learning environment, as well as building on existing research collaborations in personalised medicine and cognitive analytics based at Magee.
“Belfast is the most appropriate location for postgraduate provision - supporting the existing health sciences workforce to access continued professional development, alongside our current postgraduate nursing provision.
“We value the input of the healthcare stakeholders, partners, students and colleagues who contributed to the public consultation carried out and look forward to working with them as we prepare for the first cohort of students in September 2022.”
A UU spokesperson said the decision reflects the University’s unique regional mission operating across 3 campuses at Derry, Coleraine and Belfast / Jordanstown, enabling access to educational opportunity across Northern Ireland and supporting wider efforts to achieve better regional economic balance.
The University has made the decision following a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA), as well as review and analysis of responses to a public consultation that closed in early December.
Professor Curran concluded: “We look forward to working with our colleagues, student body, Trade Unions, all the HSC Trusts and our many partners in Derry~Londonderry to welcome students and staff to this progressive school on our beautiful campus in a vibrant university city.
“Together we will provide the next generation of highly skilled health professionals so urgently required to meet the needs of the healthcare workforce and patients.”
The School of Health Sciences is the regional provider of most of the Allied Health Professions workforce for HSC in Northern Ireland.
This includes diagnostic radiography, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language therapy, radiotherapy and oncology, as well as healthcare scientists.
Workforce planning within Health and Social Care (HSC) highlights the need for continued growth in this group of employees, the second largest in HSC.
In January 2018, the University confirmed that the relocation of allied health and health sciences provision from Jordanstown to Coleraine would be paused to enable further consideration in the light of healthcare needs, the vision for transforming healthcare to meet those demands, the growing potential for the opening of the Medical School at the Magee campus and the University’s centres of excellence in teaching and research.
The School of Health Sciences will remain at Jordanstown for the 21/22 academic year to enable sufficient time for transition arrangements to the new locations.
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