Distinguished Graduate of University of Ulster Pat Loughrey returned to his alma mater in Coleraine this week for his inaugural visit as Visiting Professor in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. Recently appointed Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London, Professor Loughrey is former Director of BBC Nations and Regions, one of the UK’s largest broadcasting operations.
During his three-day visit to the Coleraine campus Professor Loughrey met with media students and staff, both formally and informally and shared with them his wealth of experience in the media industries. After meeting the students, Professor Loughrey said he was most impressed by the calibre of the students across the range of media courses at Coleraine.
“I was impressed by their level of understanding and ability to engage on a wide range of topics, but also by their commitment and determination to succeed,” he said.
The School of Media, Film and Journalism Ulster currently offers three Masters programmes in Journalism, Documentary Practice and Film and Television Management and Policy. After meeting with a cross section of the postgraduate students, Professor Loughrey said he was most impressed, not only with their level of understanding and ability to engage on a wide range of topics but by their commitment and determination to succeed.
Head of School Dr Sarah Edge said Professor Loughrey’s outstanding personal experience and his willingness to share his insightful knowledge of the media industry would be invaluable for all the students.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to have constructive debate about the challenges facing the media industries. Throughout his distinguished career, Pat has been to the forefront of innovation. His commitment to quality broadcasting is well known and his input into how the School develops in the future will be vital. We offer a number of undergraduate programmes three of which, BA Hons Media Studies and Production and BA Hons Interactive Media Arts and BA Journalism offer the students the chance to gain skills in professional media production. I am confident that Pat’s expertise will make a great contribution in this area and help these courses grow and we are all looking forward to working with him in the future.”
Documentary Practice student, Wes Nolan from Wexford, said he appreciated Professor Loughrey’s ‘refreshingly honest’ approach to questions asked by the students and the way he challenged them to look at other perspectives.
Professor Loughrey studied Contemporary History at what was then the New University of Ulster, Coleraine from 1973 – 1976. He began his career as a teacher and freelance broadcaster for UTV, BBC and RTE before joining the BBC as an Education producer in 1984.
In 1987 he was responsible for the highly acclaimed radio series ‘The People of Ireland’ and edited the subsequent publication of the same name. In 1988, he was appointed Head of Educational Broadcasting, BBC Northern Ireland, moving on to become Head of Programmes, Northern Ireland with responsibility for all local and network output before becoming Controller, BBC Northern Ireland in 1994. In 2000 he took over as Director Nations and Regions and during his time as Director Nations & Regions, the BBC outside London flourished.
He headed up Project North, which resulted in the creation of pioneering Media City and the move of 1700 staff from London to Salford and helped secure an agreement, which will more than double the level of network television production from Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.