Colum Eastwood speaking in Westminster.
The newly-elected MP for Derry has paid tribute to the Vice Chancellor of Ulster University,who is to step down from his role in February.
Professor Paddy Nixon is to take up the position of Vice Chancellor at the University of Canberra in Australia.
SDLP leaderP Colum Eastwood said that an incoming vice-chancellor must have the resource and political direction to expand the University and deliver a Medical School for Derry.
He said: “Paddy Nixon has led Ulster University during a challenging time for the organisation and for higher education in Northern Ireland.
"I have found him to be an engaged and passionate advocate for university education and for Derry over the last five years. We have worked well together and I want to wish him all the best as he moves on to the University of Canberra.
“The next vice-chancellor of Ulster University must finally oversee the expansion of the university at Magee, including a significant uplift in student numbers and the delivery of a Medical School for Derry.
"This is a political priority for me, for the SDLP and it is an economic priority for this city. It is a key ask for us in the current talks.
He added: "We need to call time on the needless export of talented young people from Derry and the North West. We need to provide them with an opportunity to fulfil their ambitions and build a life for themselves in our community.
"To do that, we need power sharing institutions at Stormont and Ministerial sign off on this critical project. The time for failure is over. This city deserves delivery.”
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