John Hume, Derry and a university


Sir, – I completely agree with Paul Gosling (“How best to remember John Hume”, Letters, August 8th) that an independent university in Derry, for which John Hume campaigned early in his political career, would be a worthy tribute to one of Ireland’s greatest statesmen.

As a former member of academic staff for almost four decades at Ulster University’s Derry campus, I have witnessed the failure of Magee University College to grow and develop, despite numerous promises to the contrary from the 1970s onwards. Magee College’s development has been stifled by institutional opposition and political neglect.

The establishment of a full-sized independent university in Derry would mark the completion of John Hume’s long-term political agenda for his home city. It would provide the driving force for Derry’s economic and social regeneration.

This city badly needs the capital investment, employment prospects and the psychological boost to its citizens’ morale that an autonomous university would provide. – Yours, etc,