Dr Colin Davidson- an internationally renowned artist who has painted portraits of figures such as Her Majesty The Queen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Irish President Michael D Higgins and former US President Bill Clinton, right through to local famous faces including Liam Neeson, Seamus Heaney, Adrian Dunbar, Jamie Dornan and Gary Lightbody- undertook a Foundation Course before completing a Design degree between 1987 and 1991.

Colin believes an integral aspect of the campus is its location: with sixty percent of jobs in Belfast located within two miles of new campus, it not only provides a unique opportunity for the University to build stronger relationships with local industry, but also, businesses in the city can tap into what the university is doing.

The new Belfast campus is also located a stone’s throw from the Cathedral Quarter, the city’s cultural hub, and Colin believes this to be another unique opportunity for the University.

What an amazing place for the university to have,  I can just see the impact of the students coming into that part of the city. I would love to see that spread and have an impact throughout the whole of Belfast, and beyond. I can only see this having a positive kind of influence” says Colin.

But it’s not all about location. Key to the University’s, and indeed the City’s mission, is to keep our talent here.

We want to keep the leaders of the future here. With this unique environment that has now been created, I think we have the potential to really help create, shape and encourage the leaders of future, he said.

Colin believes the new Belfast campus, with its word-class facilities and teaching, will go a long way to attracting overseas talent and solidifying the University’s global reach. But as well as this global aspect, for Colin, the word “lifeblood” comes to mind. He says:

Ulster University has been the lifeblood of this place. It was a place we could escape to; to lose ourselves in. Now, it can forge ahead and lead in its own right.

As Chancellor, I would encourage everyone to be part of it.

To hear more of Colin’s thoughts and aspirations on the new campus, watch this video:

Dr Colin Davidson was officially installed as the University’s sixth Chancellor at a ceremony in St Anne’s Cathedral last month.