The University of Ulster has been chosen to deliver a groundbreaking £370,000 Ulster-Scots education project.
The project, commissioned by the Ministerial Advisory Group For An Ulster-Scots Academy (MAGUS DCAL), will see the university spearhead an international team of researchers, educationalists and archivists in developing and promoting a range of Ulster-Scots teaching materials in schools, further education colleges, universities and the general public in Northern Ireland.
Dur to be completed by April 2015, the project will create a range of Ulster-Scots teaching materials suitable for the post-primary sector and compatible with both the Northern Ireland curriculum and selected exam specifications.
As part of this process, the project team will create an online Ulster-Scots academic library of at least one hundred digitised texts.
This will establish one of the most important online collections of free to access literary and historical texts in the British Isles, and demonstrate the significance of Ulster-Scots literature, history, heritage and culture to a global audience. There will also be a province wide survey of Ulster-Scots archives, a conferences programmea, writing competitions and the publication of two anthologies of literary and historical texts.
The project builds on the extensive research that the University of Ulster has conducted in Ulster-Scots Studies and Curriculum Development in Northern Ireland. The project team will be led by Dr Frank Ferguson, Dr Kathryn White (School of English and History) and Professor Linda Clarke (School of Education).
Dr Frank Ferguson said: “The Ulster-Scots dimension is something that everyone in the province can cherish as part of their cultural heritage.
"The key aim of the project is to develop an innovative model of educational materials for all post primary children in Northern Ireland. We will achieve this by working with schools and other key stakeholders across the province to deliver Ulster-Scots materials for pupils, teachers, educationalists and the general public through workshops, talks and online projects.’
Bill Smith, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group, welcomed the news of additional Ulster-Scots funding saying “We are delighted that Minister NÃ ChuilÃn is showing her continued support to the development of Ulster-Scots. Initiatives like the Education Project play a crucial role in educating and informing young people in our communities and bringing us closer to a shared all inclusive future.”