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University of Ulster Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett and St. Mary's College principal, Marie Lindsay, pictured with UTV's Paul Clarke at the launch of the University's, 'Ed.Link', portal for schools.

A new online resource designed to strengthen links between the University of Ulster and schools across Northern Ireland was launched at the Magee Campus today.

The Ed.Link portal gives schools a direct communication channel with the University. It provides greater access to information and contacts and allows schools to view opportunities for working more closely with Ulster.

The new portal merges data from the Department of Education, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the University and Colleges Admissions Service and the University’s business intelligence, making it available to schools in the one place, for the first time.
Ed.Link contains valuable information on admissions, widening participation and upcoming news and events, while also allowing the University to target tailored content to specific schools.

It will help the University target resources to specific schools and areas and identify patterns in student enrolment data and graduations.

The portal forms part of Ulster’s Schools and Colleges Engagement System, a web application which enables the University to better understand individual schools and the area in which they are based.

The launch took place at Ulster’s Principals’ Conference, which is being hosted over two days at Magee and Jordanstown. It brings together school principals from across Northern Ireland in what will become an annual event marking broader engagement with schools.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett, said:

“We are very proud of the links that we have developed with local schools and colleges and the launch of the ‘Ed.Link’ portal will help strengthen and develop these links further.

“Universities and schools play a crucial role in giving young people the chance to explore subject areas, widen their horizons and develop a lifelong passion for learning.

“Universities are uniquely placed to nurture abilities and build on strong learning foundations provided by our schools and colleges. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that the young people of today are educationally equipped to embrace and drive forward our economy.

“With over 132,000 graduates, in 116 countries, the University of Ulster is making a significant contribution to both regional and global economies.”

Principals attending the launch today welcomed the opportunity to build on the links between post-primary and higher education and the platform provided for further engagement.