We are a university with a national and international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement, making a major contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland. Our core business activities are teaching and learning, widening access to education, research and innovation and technology and knowledge transfer. Look at our courses and see how we're preparing students for tomorrow's world today.As Northern Ireland’s civic university, Ulster University is grounded in the heart of the community and strives to make a lasting contribution to society as a whole. Renowned for its world-class teaching, Ulster aims to transform lives, stretch minds and develop the skills required by a growing economy. The outcomes of our research have global significance with local relevance, and contribute to the social, economic and cultural betterment of our region. Although the University can trace its roots back to the Victorian era, our sights are set firmly on the future. Our students are at the centre of everything we do, and each of our four campuses provides a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that will engage our students and give them the skills they need to carve out their careers. This is a new era for Ulster University as we are embarking on an ambitious plan for the next five years with a strategic vision that will take us to our fiftieth anniversary in 2034. At Ulster University we want to build on our successes and leave a legacy that is strong and dynamic. At Ulster we have a strong sense of civic responsibility. As we are the only university spread across Northern Ireland we have the opportunity to fully participate and deliver meaningful impact across the wider community. We support our students and give them the necessary skills so they can build a better future for those around them. Our University has an outstanding reputation for teaching and research; this can be seen in the NSS survey and our results in the latest Research Excellence Framework. Academic excellence permeates every aspect of our endeavours. We have an outstanding reputation for teaching as well as world-class teaching facilities, coupled together, this creates an educational experience that develops skills, raises ambitions and prepares future leaders.Global VisionOur research is world-leading and globally relevant, we work with other universities around the world to deliver ground-breaking research that can help future generations. At Ulster University we are proud of our multi-cultural community, we have many international students and staff, and promote a strong, internationally-relevant curriculum.Throughout our campuses we have a vibrant community of staff members, all talented and skilled individuals, that inspire our students and prepare them for life after university. We encourage integrity and diversity allowing our University to reflect the makeup of the global society we serve.In 1963, the Government of Northern Ireland appointed a committee to review facilities for university and higher technical education in Northern Ireland, modelled on the committee on higher education in Great Britain chaired by Lionel Robbins which had reported that year. The Northern Ireland committee was chaired by Sir John Lockwood, Master of Birkbeck College, London. The Robbins Report had recommended a substantial expansion of higher education in Great Britain, partly triggered by the Anderson Report of 1960, which increased demand by instigating a student grants scheme. The Lockwood committee was expected to recommend a second university in Northern Ireland, after Queen's University Belfast. In Derry, groups led by the University for Derry Committee hoped that Magee University College would become the new university. Founded as a Presbyterian training college in 1865, Magee was associated with the Royal University of Ireland which existed between 1880 and 1908, and then with the University of Dublin until 1953. However, the Lockwood Report criticised Magee's cramped site, complacent culture, and "eccentric" and "barely workable" administration; it found its claim to be based on historical entitlement rather than planning for future. Instead, the report recommended a greenfield university in Coleraine and closing Magee. This was controversial, with many nationalists suggesting the unionist O'Neill ministry favoured a unionist-majority area rather than nationalist-majority Derry. Disgruntlement fed the Northern Ireland civil rights movement which helped spark the Troubles. The "New University of Ulster" (NUU) enrolled its first students at Coleraine in 1968. Magee was not closed but incorporated in the NUU, which obtained a charter in 1970.Following a review of higher education in Northern Ireland under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Chilver in 1982, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) decided to merge NUU with another Lockwood Report foundation, the Ulster Polytechnic in Jordanstown. The NUU charter was surrendered and the merged University of Ulster (dropping "New" from the name) got its charter on 1 October 1984. Later the Belfast School of Art and Design (founded in 1849) became part of the university. Campus One, the Virtual Campus of the university, was launched on 8 October 2001 which successfully facilitated the provision on undergraduate and postgraduate level courses via distance learning. The university now simply refers to this as distance learning. The university formerly had a laboratory named 'The University of Ulster Freshwater Laboratory' at Traad Point on the shore of Lough Neagh in Ballymaguigan. The Freshwater Laboratory, although not a campus, was a site of the university and consisted of on-campus accommodation, classrooms and testing labs. Courses offered were in agriculture, the wildlife of Lough Neagh, water testing and other aquatic courses. The site is now owned by Magherafelt District Council. By 2010, the area had become popular with the locals for camping, fishing and sailing.In autumn 2011 Vice-Chancellor Barnett announced a programme of financial restructuring with the aim of reducing the number of staff employed by the University from 3,150 to 3,000. Staff at the University expressed concern about the proposed means and impact of the restructuring, citing "the use of the threat of compulsory redundancy to bully and intimidate staff" and the belief that the University was "abdicating its responsibilities to the wider community that funds it". In April 2012, the Ulster University branch of the University and College Union (UCU) declared a formal dispute with university management over its implementation of the restructuring, stating that the recourse to "premature deadlines and unwarranted threats of compulsory redundancy" was "unreasonable as well as contrary to University policy and corporate goals".The reasons for cuts are not, however, unique to Ulster University. First of all, there was the Great Recession that began in 2008 and engendered a change in government and a sharp reduction in public spending. Secondly, there were issues pertaining to tuition fees. As a result of political devolution in the United Kingdom (mandated from 1998 onwards), fees differ in the four countries that make up the union. For undergraduate tuition they are currently £9,250 in England but only £4,030 in Northern Ireland. For a while, the low fees in Northern Ireland were hailed as a triumph for devolution and seemed a tool to facilitate access for less advantaged students. Universities in Northern Ireland fared reasonably well financially. However, as Pritchard and Slowey point out, if the government does not make up the shortfall, low fees left Northern Ireland universities at a disadvantage compared to their English counterparts. In 2015, the government reduced the funding allocation for Higher Education Institutions by 8.2%. Both Northern Ireland universities had to make cuts. Queen's University announced immediate job cuts of 236 and student number reductions of ca. 290 (1,010 over the next three years). Ulster also announced its intention of cutting over 200 jobs and 250 student places in 2015/16 (1,200 over the following three years).
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