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The future development of higher education in the North-West


Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 09:00 - 16:00


Playhouse Theatre 5-7 Artillery St Londonderry BT48 6RG


Ticket price includes lunch £15.00 +£1.76 Fee. Members of the Academy contact

The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) and the John and Pat Hume Foundation are hosting jointly a one-day conference in Derry / Londonderry.

The John and Pat Hume Foundation and the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) are hosting jointly a one-day conference in the Waterside Theatre, Derry/Londonderry, on 11 October on ‘The Future Development of Higher Education in the Greater North-West of the Island of Ireland’.

A major spur for the conference was the publication in November 2021 of a series of reports by the RIA on Higher Education Futures and, in particular, the report on ‘regions and place'.

The North-West of the island has suffered from regional under-investment within both jurisdictions in Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) as a result inter alia of the inevitable disadvantages associated with being a border region, and its peripherality from the main centres of political, governmental, and financial power, namely Dublin and Belfast.

The conference is intended to enable discussion of ways of enhancing, planning and organising the contribution of tertiary education to the economic and social development of the greater North-West region without undue jurisdictional constraints. 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.

The conference will be introduced by Dr Mary Canning MRIA, President of the Royal Irish Academy and Professor Seán Farren, Chair, The John & Pat Hume Foundation


09.15 - Opening Remarks: Dr Mary Canning MRIA, President, Royal Irish Academy, and Professor Seán Farren, Chair, John & Pat Hume Foundation


09.30 – Professor John Fitzgerald MRIA, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin

“The economic consequences of an underdeveloped North-West”

10.15 – Professor Gerry McKenna MRIA, Senior Vice President, Royal Irish Academy, and Chair, RIA HE Futures Taskforce

“A proposed model of HE cooperation and collaboration for the North-West”

10.45 - Coffee Break

Session 2

11.30 – Professor Simon Marginson, Director of Global Higher Education Centre, University of Oxford and University College London

“International examples and trends in trans-national education”

12.15 – Professor John Goddard OBE, Emeritus Professor, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University; Professor of Universities and Cities, University of Birmingham

“Regional Strategies for Higher Education”

Caitriona Mullan, Association of European Border Regions and International Centre for Local and Regional Development and Professor Paul Arthur

13.00 – Lunch

Session 3

13.45 – Break-Out Sessions economic, higher education, political issues

- Economic

- Political Issues

-Higher Education

15.00 – Feedback

15.45 – Closing Remarks and Proposed Follow-Up (Hume Foundation representative?)

16.00 – Conference Close

For further information contact: Tim Attwood, Secretary to Hume Foundation Tel: 7802279939 or Róisín Smith, Programme Manager, Policy and International Relations, RIA

This conference is being delivered with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.

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