Ulster's village for learning

11th February 2000 at 00:00
NORTHERN IRELAND's educational "village" has got the go-ahead, after seven years of delay.

In what is almost certainly one of the last acts before Ulster's short-lived assembly is suspended, Dr Sean Farren, minister for higher and further education, hasapproved Springvale Educational Village.

The village is intended to cater for 4,500 full and part-time students, in a novel institution combining community, further and higher education and training.

The Government will contribute pound;40 million of the pound;70m cost; the other pound;30m has been raised privately. Springvale will be managed by a board representing the University of Ulster, Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education and the disadvantaged community in north and west Belfast.

To counter any in-fighting between the university and institute, the minister has appointed Gerry Kelly, former chief exective of the Southern Education and Library Board, as chairman.

Springvale is intended to embody the "seamless robe" and clear progression proposed by Sir Ron Dearing in his post-16 Report. It will include:

* An outreach centre to stimulate access to education and training and serve as a focus for the University for Industry;

* A campus offering courses relevant to the economy such as informatics, and tourism; and

* An applied research centre to stimulate inward investment and develop local companies.

Dr Farren said the decision showed what the two-month-old executive could do for Ulster.

Professor Patrick Murphy, director of the institute, praised the speed of the minister's decision. He said: "It is sad that while progress is being made in education, the political institutions which made that possible now appear to be threatened."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today