A standalone university in Derry would promote and better facilitate a larger programme of North-South student exchanges, according to Fine Gael TD Colm Burke.
Furthermore, expanding university provision in Derry would provide additional opportunities and more choice for students.
Deputy Colm Burke said, “We’ve seen a range of North-South initiatives effectively create more pathways in areas such as healthcare. A university in Derry would only serve to enhance student exchanges across an array of fields.
“Although we’ve seen an increase of nine percent in CAO applications from British students this year, applications from Northern Ireland have barely changed over the past two years, going from 1,418 to 1,408.
“A cross-border university would encourage more students to apply and would promote the Irish Peace Process with a larger programme of North-South student exchanges.
“Two years ago, I proposed a motion to establish a cross-border university for the North-West to honour the memory of John Hume and encourage a North-South student exchange programme.
“Since then, we’ve seen incredible progress with Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, opening a Technological University for the West and North-West.
“This has improved higher education access and spearheaded regional development by providing opportunities for students, local businesses and communities. Following this milestone achievement, I am inspired that we can continue to deliver for our students”, concluded Deputy Burke.