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Ulster Business School to Establish Centre for Economic Policy

The University of Ulster is to establish a new research centre reviewing the performance of the Northern Ireland economy.

The Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy (NICEP), which will be based at the Ulster Business School with start-up funding provided by a range of sources including the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the First Trust Bank, will regularly assess the state of the economy and inform and critique Northern Ireland Executive policies.

As the University invited applications for the post of NICEP Director, Ulster’s Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett, who chaired The Independent Review of Economic Policy for Enterprise, Trade and Investment commissioned by Minister Arlene Foster, said the Centre would both challenge and inform decision makers.

“NICEP represents an exciting new chapter in the history of the Ulster Business School which has had a very strong regional presence as an innovative and dynamic business school,” he said.

“The new Centre will carry out policy orientated economics research, focusing on the performance of the Northern Ireland economy.

“It will focus on reports accessible to all those involved in the formulation of economic policy, its implementation and evaluation.

“And while it will provide a regular commentary on the state of the Northern Ireland economy, NICEP will also encourage debate on the direction Northern Ireland must take if its economy is to grow."

It is expected staff will produce a periodic economic survey reporting on the state of the Northern Ireland economy and forecasting likely future performance.

Staff will also contribute to the teaching of economics within the University and the development of its curriculum.

NICEP will initially be based on the Jordanstown campus but will transfer to the new Belfast City campus when it opens in 2018.

The Ulster Business School is one of the largest business schools in Britain and Ireland with 6,000 students and approximately 140 academic staff.

It is a leading provider of professionally accredited courses and has relationships with a range of professional bodies.

These include the Chartered Management Institute, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

It has six Departments – Accounting, Finance and Economics, Business and Enterprise, Hospitality and Tourism Management, International Business, Management and Leadership and Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy.

The Ulster Business School, which teaches on all four campuses of the University, also has a Business Institute which focuses on professional development and management training programmes and a Graduate Research Centre which co-ordinates the School’s postgraduate and research degree programmes.

The Business and Management Research Institute performed well in the last UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise with 85 percent viewed, at minimum, as being “internationally recognised” and 35 per cent, at minimum, as being “internationally excellent”.