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Finding Common Ground, Building Community- New Report from RIA

The Royal Irish Academy has published a discussion paper which examines higher education policy and provision across the North-west of Ireland.

A new discussion paper published by the Royal Irish Academy examines current and potential future approaches to higher education policy and provision across the North-West region of the island of Ireland. Supported by funding from the Government of Ireland-Irish Research Council New Foundations scheme and the Shared Island Unit, Department of An Taoiseach, it builds upon previous work by the Royal Irish Academy’s Higher Education Futures Taskforce which inter alia explored the regional provision and impact of higher education. The report is intended to be a contribution to this important wider debate and it is hoped that it will stimulate further discussion and dialogue with the ultimate aim of benefitting the North-west region.

The paper notes high levels of historic underinvestment in the greater North-West region of the island of Ireland across both jurisdictions. This applies to higher education provision but also to infrastructure generally, particularly road and rail. It argues that the benefits of higher education expansion cannot be fully realised without addressing the overall infrastructure deficit.

The findings in the report are drawn from published data, stakeholder meetings and discussions and roundtable discussions with UK academics and stakeholders. It was further informed by the discussions arising from three separate events held in Derry-Londonderry with the John and Pat Hume Foundation at which a cross-section of the academic, business and civil society communities shared their views and debated potential pathways to address regional inequalities in the North-West.

It should be noted that while the report was funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundation Scheme, it is an independent piece of research and does not represent the views of the funders.