The Derry University Group held successful meetings with influential figures at Westminster this week and pressed upon them the need for an independent university in the city.

The Labour peer Andrew Adonis is now to speak at a public debate in Derry later this autumn on the need for an independent university for the NW. The former Transport Minister - who recently called for a review of Higher Education provision in Derry - hosted a meeting at Westminster yesterday.

Both Labour MPs Mike Amesbury and Mike Kane, who visited Derry this summer and have since raised questions in the Commons about HE provision in the city, attended yesterday’s meeting, and also intend to attend the autumn debate.

Conal McFeely and Garbhan Downey presented the representatives with a detailed briefing, calling for the establishment of a new university to mark 1500 years of the NW’s scholastic history.

The DUG also met Shadow Education minister Angela Rayner
and asked her to back the campaign for an independent university. Next year marks 60 years since the issue of an independent uni for Derry was first raised at Stormont by a cross-community group of NW politicians.

A spokesperson for the DUG told the Derry News it held a "great series of meetings" during which "massive interest" was shown in the issue. "There is genuine shock that Derry has been lobbying for 60 years. More and more believe Ulster University and Stormont have both let Derry down and are keen to help."

Photo: Members of the DUG, Garbhan Downey and Conal McFeely at Westminster with Mike Amesbury, Andrew Adonis and Mike Kane. 

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