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Queen's University Belfast showcases impact of higher education

The event was attended by, from left, James O’Kane, QUB Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston, Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council and QUB vice chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston

AN event showcasing the importance of higher education in creating a "competitive knowledge economy" was held yesterday in Belfast.

The need for investment in higher education was outlined by Queen's University at the discussions at Belfast City Hall, which demonstrated the university's substantial impact on the city.

The event also celebrated the university's partnership with Belfast City Council and examined the opportunites offered by the Belfast Agenda, which was created by key city partners, residents and community organisations to look at long-term ambitions for the city's future.

More than 30 interactive exhibitions from a range of world-leading experts and researchers showcased the work of the university with experiments and demonstrations to allow the public an opportunity to join in and hear about the ground-breaking work by staff and students from Queen's.

QUB vice-chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston said: "We are incredibly proud of the contribution Queen's has made to Belfast for over 170 years, but we are also proud of the role that we will play in Belfast's future.

"The opportunities for this city and Northern Ireland are limitless and now, more than ever, we must work together in partnership to deliver for our people and our place.

"Queen's is ready to embrace that challenge and will continue to work in constructive partnership with the council to realise the ambitions and opportunities contained in the Belfast Agenda.

"We also fully support the council's aspiration to secure a City Deal for Belfast which would have a transformational impact on the city and the region, delivering improved quality of life for all of our citizens.”

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council, said: "The Belfast Agenda is our 20-year strategy for the city focusing on both economic growth and addressing issues like economic inactivity.

"We aim to grow the Belfast population by 70,000 people and create 50,000 new jobs during the next 20 years and Queen's, with the 6,500 employment-ready graduates it produces each year, will play a key role in achieving our goals."

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