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Visit of SDLP delegation

 

Mr Alex Attwood MLA, Minister for the Environment, Dr Alasdair McDonnell, SDLP leader, and Professor Peter Finn, College Principal.

 

Pictured during a recent visit to the College are Mr Alex Attwood MLA, Minister for the Environment, Dr Alasdair McDonnell, SDLP leader, and Professor Peter Finn, College Principal.

SDLP Leader, Dr Alasdair McDonnell MP MLA, has warned the Employment and Learning Minister that the closure of St Mary’s University College will have a detrimental impact on our economy.

Speaking after leading a party delegation to visit St Mary's University College on Belfast's Falls Road, including West Belfast MLA Alex Attwood and party colleagues, Mr McDonnell said St Mary's was a high quality educational environment that must be protected.

Dr McDonnell said:

"I didn't need convincing of this but this visit has again reconfirmed my belief in the need for small specialised colleges in our university system which emphasise high quality pastoral care.

The blind approach, however, by Employment and Learning Minister, Stephen Farry, to try and dismantle St Mary's University College and to demolish its contribution to our educational achievements year on year is both foolish and damaging, not just to the educational system but to the future economic prosperity of Northern Ireland.

I am calling on him not to take any precipative action which could affect the future of St Mary's. We need a debate, not about closure, but about how such niche colleges can contribute to filling gaps in our education system.”