Northern Ireland news

Doc Hollywood Roma Downey opens new teaching centre

Derry actress and film producer Dr Roma Downey shared a story with Professor Paddy Nixon vice chancellor at the opening of the new teaching centre at the Ulster University's Magee campus. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.
Seamus McKinney

Hollywood actress and Ulster University honorary graduate, Roma Downey has officially opened the new £11 million teaching centre at the university's Magee campus.

Dr Downey, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 2014, was joined by academic staff, students and other guests at yesterday's official opening.

The new four-story teaching centre, which opened for business in January, caters for 1,000 students and includes three lecture theatres, 20 teaching rooms, a café and open plan student hubs.

Derry native, Ms Downey said she was pleased to be opening such an impressive facility in her home town.

“This is a great asset not only for staff and students but also for the city, offering first class facilities with spectacular views of our beautiful city. The teaching centre will help showcase the very best of what Derry has to offer,” she said.

Ulster University vice-chancellor, Paddy Nixon said the new facility provided a world class teaching space.

“It has greatly enhanced the offering at Magee, underpinning the university's commitment to developing the campus,” he said.

Professor Nixon said the university provided students with a dynamic and high-quality teaching environment.

“Today represents the latest in a series of continued i9nvestment in our Magee campus and demonstrates our commitment to expansion. Our plans for this campus and the city are ambitious,” he said.

The new facility would open the way for more students through enhanced teaching capacity. It would also provide the “world class conference facilities” needed to attract more local and international visitors to Derry, Professor Nixon said.

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