Ulster University celebrates
Coleraine at 50



In 2018, Ulster University marks 50 years since its foundation in Coleraine in 1968.

Fifty years is a significant landmark in our history and, during the course of the year, the anniversary will be marked with a programme of selected events and celebrations at Coleraine.

This is an exciting time as we reflect on our history of excellence, innovation and breaking boundaries, as well as present our ambitious plans for the future.

Most importantly, we seek to share the journey of past, present and future with our staff, students, alumni and the greater Coleraine community.



Celebrating 50 years


Message from Ulster University Chancellor, Dr James Nesbitt
Welcome to the Coleraine campus


  • I love Coleraine campus because it gives a welcoming feeling as soon as you walk through the door. It creates a warm and friendly environment to enable us to relax.

    Shannon Claire-McAuley - (Student)
  • The facilities (in Coleraine) are amazing and it’s so handy to access everything you need as staff are very friendly and approachable.

    Cathy Yorke - (Student)
  • I love Coleraine campus because it's a great place to relax with the panoramic views and also the staff create a sense of community with students.

    Jade Nelson - (Student)




Events celebrating Coleraine at 50

Saturday 22 September
2:00PM - 5:00PM
Coleraine Campus Community Big Day Out

Coleraine Campus Community Big Day Out

The Provost of Coleraine would like to invite all students, staff and their families and friends to the Coleraine Campus Community Big Day Out.

Find out more  
Friday 19 October to Saturday 20 October
10:10AM - 4:10PM
Heritage Discovery Weekend: Coleraine campus

Heritage Discovery Weekend: Coleraine campus

This is a special weekend of discovery for our local community. As part of the golden 50 anniversary celebrations, the local community are invited

Find out more  






Tell us your story

We want to hear from our Coleraine graduates

Send us your story



Alumni & Supporters

Discover the benefits of being an alumni member

Visit Alumni & Supporters website






Coleraine through the decades




  • 1965 - Report of Lockwood Committee on Higher Education in Northern Ireland recommends that a university be established at Coleraine and construction commences in 1967
  • 1966 - Dr Alan Burges is appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor of the New University of Ulster
  • 1968 - New University of Ulster opens in Coleraine and first cohort of students commence teaching
  • 1974 - The Guy L Wilson Daffodil Garden is opened with 165 bulb varieties planted

  • 1975 - Student residences are ready for occupation
  • 1976 - Wilfred Halliday Cockcroft becomes the second Vice-Chancellor
  • 1977 - Queen Elizabeth II visits the campus where she holds her Garden Party
  • 1977 - The Riverside Theatre is commissioned and, within a few months of opening, wins the prestigious Architect’s Award for one of the UK’s best public design features
  • 1984 - The New University of Ulster merges with the Polytechnic in Jordanstown to become the University of Ulster
  • 1984 - Sir Derek Birley becomes the founding Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster

  • 1991 - Trevor Arthur Smith, Baron Smith of Clifton, becomes Vice-Chancellor
  • 1992/93 - Further student residential blocks are created overlooking the River Bann
  • 1994 - Rabbi Julia Neuberger becomes Chancellor of the University of Ulster

  • 1999 - £1/4m ‘incubator’ unit for businesses in the science sector is opened, the first economic initiative of its kind in Northern Ireland
  • 1999 - Professor Gerry McKenna becomes Vice-Chancellor
  • 2000 - Northern Ireland’s First Science Research Park is launched at Coleraine campus by Sir Reg Empey MLA
  • 2002 - The Millennium Arboretum is unveiled as a treasure trove of Ireland’s horticultural heritage
  • 2002 - The former Northern Ireland Hotel and Catering College at Portrush is integrated into the University of Ulster
  • 2002 - £4m research centre, The Centre of Excellence for Functional Genomics, is established
  • 2004 - The University formally opens the new Cranagh Student Village at Coleraine

  • 2005 - The University opens the new £14.5m Centre for Molecular Biosciences (CMB)
  • 2006 - Professor Sir Richard Barnett becomes Vice-Chancellor
  • 2006 - £3.1m Centre for Media Research is launched
  • 2007 - Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh attend a Garden Party hosted by The Rt Honourable Peter Hain MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • 2008 - £1.2m wind turbine generator is erected at the Coleraine campus
  • 2008 - £3.5m learning resource centre (LRC) is opened
  • 2010 - Honorary graduate Dr James Nesbitt is formally installed as the fourth Chancellor
  • 2011 - The University signs historic agreement to establish a Confucius Institute to foster closer ties between China and Northern Ireland
  • 2014 - The University is rebranded to Ulster University

  • 2015 - Professor Paddy Nixon becomes Vice-Chancellor
  • 2015 - £5.1m three-storey teaching block is opened at Coleraine
  • 2016 - The New Media Centre is established at Coleraine, to include the largest newsroom in Northern Ireland
  • 2017 - £5.1m sports centre is officially opened by Chancellor Dr James Nesbitt
  • 2017 - Northern Ireland’s first Enterprise Zone, Atlantic Link Campus, is officially launched


Our people and ambassadors

Dr Karise Hutchinson

Provost of the Coleraine campus
Ulster University

Dr Karise Hutchinson
Provost of the Coleraine campus - Ulster University

Dr Karise Hutchinson is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and holds a number of positions outside the University including, Affiliate of the Authentic Leadership Institute in Harvard, USA, Vice-Chair of the Causeway Enterprise Agency, Council member of the British Academy of Management and Faculty Board member of the Chartered Management Institute UK. Her experience includes business engagement across a range of industry sectors, where she has led several Knowledge Transfer Projects, organised a wide range of large-scale events for business owners and policy stakeholders, as well as invited keynote speaker.

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Frances Lundy

Founder and Managing Director
Riada Resourcing

Frances Lundy
Business Ambassador

Frances Lundy is founder and managing director of Riada Resourcing. She started her career in London, building her own successful sandwich business. An opportunity to travel to Australia arose so they moved to Sydney for three years where she worked as an assistant to the financial controller of Ernst & Young. Her husband convinced her to return to her roots and the family has now been back for over 25 years. For almost 20 years Frances has invested her energy and passion in building a people-focused recruitment agency which has been awarded a Gold accreditation from Investors in People

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Dr Rosemary Peters-Gallagher

Community/alumni ambassador

Dr Rosemary Peters-Gallagher
Community/alumni ambassador

Dr Rosemary Peters-Gallagher OBE has long-standing connections with the University. She graduated from Ulster with a BSc Hons Economics with Accounting and in 1984 qualified as a chartered accountant, having trained with the predecessor of Moore Stephens (NI) LLP. She took up a post as a senior accountant within the University’s finance department in 1984, returning to Moore Stephens in 1986 and has been a partner in the practice since 1987.

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David Jackson MBE

Civic Society Ambassador

David Jackson MBE
Civic Society Ambassador

David was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the recently constituted Causeway Coast and Glens District Council, overseeing the creation of a new local authority area in 2015 comprising the former Coleraine, Limavady, Ballymoney and Moyle Councils. He was previously the Head of Support Services at Coleraine Borough Council, prior to which he was a senior manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Lauren Wilson

Student Ambassador

Lauren Wilson
Student Ambassador

Lauren is in her fifth year of study at Ulster University. She graduated in 2017 with BA Hons Media Studies and Production and is currently completing a master’s in journalism.

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Join the celebrations

Sign up for an event, read our stories or share your memories!

Get in touch via Coleraine50@ulster.ac.uk





Coleraine at 50 Archive

Memo on expenditure

Harry Taylor (Finance Office) recommends ten cost-saving tips for administrative staff.

Read more