Stranmillis University College: Financial Viability

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Employment and Learning – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 3rd March 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance 2:30 pm, 3rd March 2015

I have not had a direct meeting with Stranmillis in the couple of weeks since the Executive took their decision. We are, however, continuing to engage with other stakeholders about the future system because the process of reform, and seeking consensus on reform, has to continue. I have received correspondence from Stranmillis about its emerging thinking on the way forward, and my officials continue to work with it. The possible merger of Queen's and Stranmillis, which the Member seems to advocate be reconsidered, was on the agenda in 2011. However, at that stage, his party was very clear that it was not prepared to contemplate such a merger outside wider reform of the teacher training system. In that context, if I had moved the legislation to facilitate the review, it would have tabled a petition of concern to block it. If the Member and his party are reconsidering their position, I would be very pleased to meet them to discuss their change of heart.