QUB Announce £200m Investment Programme
Speaking at the beginning of the summer graduation ceremonies, the Vice-Chancellor said: “Today’s announcement is good news for Queen’s University the local economy and the education of our young people. The funding settlement for higher education agreed last year by the Northern Ireland Executive creates more places for local students, allows for an increase in international students and, in turn, will provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
“The investment programme will allow us to enhance the quality of the student experience through improved services and facilities, to invest in world-class teachers and researchers and extend our commitment to promoting graduate employability.
“Over the past decade our investment in new buildings and facilities has supported over 10,000 jobs in the construction industry. The investment plan we are announcing today will lead to more construction jobs, support local businesses and inject much needed money into the Northern Ireland economy. It will also support the University’s objective of doubling the number of its international students, which will inject an additional £20 million of spending power per annum into the local economy.
“In addition to increasing international student numbers, we will provide more opportunities for our students to take international internships, invest in world-leading research programmes and support the City Council in its ambition to make Belfast a leading, global learning city.”
Minister for Employment and Learning, Stephen Farry said: "The University is to be congratulated for continuing to invest in the future of our students and for its efforts to attract international students to Northern Ireland. The Programme for Government will fund up to 700 additional higher education places here by 2015 and these will be taken up by Northern Ireland students. It is good news to hear that the increase in international students will bring with it a much needed economic injection and that the announced capital investment will be a welcome boost for the local construction sector. This demonstrates that higher education is about much more than just teaching and research. The higher education sector is an important economic driver that we must continue to support and I am pleased to see Queen's University leading the way."
Welcoming the announcement, Chair of the Employment and Learning Committee, Basil McCrea MLA said: “There is no greater challenge for Northern Ireland than to provide sustainable employment for our young people, particularly those who have invested years in study and exams. I welcome the acknowledgment from the University that investment in research skills and finding employment for graduates are core activities of any modern university and I look forward to seeing the particular outworking of this strategy”.
Professor Gregson continued: “The impact of Queen’s is one that benefits everyone within Northern Ireland. Our reputation as a University of international significance grows steadily, and will continue to grow. And all of us in Queen’s will play our key role as Northern Ireland continues to build for the future, a future that will be forged by our students and graduates – those who are graduating this week and those who will graduate in the years to come. Our investment in them is an investment in Northern Ireland and it is an investment in the global community in which they are set to play a part”.