The North

There are two universities in Northern Ireland:

Whether the Open University in Ireland should also count as an Irish university for this purpose may be a matter of semantics; it is certainly a university with a significant presence. There are also two university colleges, St Mary’s (Website¦Wikipedia) and Stranmillis (Website¦Wikipedia).

The legal and funding framework for the North differs somewhat from the Irish position. Both QUB and UU have statutes. There is no “binary line” between universities and ITs/polytechnics. Government funding and oversight are conducted by the Department for Employment and Learning. Funding is strongly influenced by the Research Assessment Exercise, which is a cross-UK metric.

An umbrella organisation, Universities Ireland, exists to promote co-operation and collaboration among the nine universities on the island.

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