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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

Coleraine at 50 Updates

Ulster University unveils ‘Towards Tomorrow’- a public art project to mark its 50th anniversary in Coleraine

Designed by and for the local community under the direction of local visual artist Sara Cunningham-Bell, ‘Towards Tomorrow’ reflects Ulster University’s unique and continued contribution to the local area.

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  • 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

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We want to hear from our Coleraine graduates

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Alumni & Supporters

Discover the benefits of being an alumni member

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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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Katy Chilvers

Student Ambassador

Katy Chilvers
Student Ambassador

Katy Chilvers has taken up the post of student ambassador for the Coleraine at 50 celebrations, replacing Lauren Wilson who graduated in December 2018.

Katy commenced a psychology degree at Coleraine in September 2016 and is now in her third year, currently on placement in the Psychology Department at the University. She has held a wide variety of roles within Ulster University over the past 2 years, including course representative, Ulster Edge ambassador, PASS leader, resident assistant, and society chairperson. In her time on campus she has worked with the School of Psychology, Career department, the Mind Your Mood initiative, Residential Services, and the Students’ Union as the Chairperson of the Choral Society.

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Coleraine at 50 Archive

Coleraine Historical Society illustrated talk by Ken Ward

Ken Ward, historian, and one of the first members of staff in the former Department of History, delivered an illustrated talk on the evolution and growth of the campus and its importance to Coleraine.

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