Northern Ireland news

Hume Foundation to address university and higher education in north west

As a young teacher in 1965, John Hume led a motor cavalcade to Stormont along with Irish Nationalist Party leader, Eddie McAteer (right) and Ulster Unionist mayor, Albert Anderson (centre). Picture by Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive
Seamus McKinney

THE John and Pat Hume Foundation is one of the backers of a conference in Derry examining university and higher education in the north west.

The issue of higher education provision in the area first brought the late Mr Hume to public prominence.

In 1965, it was through the failed campaign to have the north’s second university sited in Derry that Mr Hume became known to a wider public.

As the region’s second city, it was assumed the University of Ulster would be located in Derry. However, the Unionist government at Stormont opted instead for Coleraine.

Then a young teacher, Mr Hume along with Irish Nationalist Party leader Eddie McAteer and Ulster Unionist mayor of Derry, Albert Anderson led a motor cavalcade from the city to Stormont to hand over a petition to the government.

The issue of a university for Derry has remained a key political topic ever since.

The conference, organised along with the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) will examine the future of university and higher education throughout the north west.

Hume Foundation secretary Tim Attwood said it was intended to enable discussion on enhancing, planning g and organising third level education for greater economic and social development in the area.

“This includes examination of the historic under-investment in higher education and associated economic infrastructure in the north west and the need for focussed cross-border planning.

“It will explore a future in which higher and further education contributes strongly to economic, social and cultural development and wellbeing, that tackles historic regional imbalances in infrastructure investment, but also advances a democratic society founded on rigorous analysis, evidence, truth, fairness and tolerance,” Mr Attwood said.

Chaired by Professor Seán Farren (Hume Foundation) and Dr Mary Canning (RIA president), keynote speakers will include Professors John Fitzgerald (Trinity College, Dublin), Gerry McKenna (RIA), Simon Marginson (University of Oxford) and John Goddard OBE (emeritus professor, Newcastle and Birmingham universities).

The conference takes place at the Ebrington Centre in Derry on Tuesday October 11. Places can be reserved (cost £16) at:

Northern Ireland news