Ulster tries to bridge divide

May 24, 1996

Noel McAdam (THES, May 3) gave a misleading impression of segregation at Northern Ireland's two universities by stating Protestants travel "up to 25 miles to avoid studying in the same universities and colleges as Catholics".

The article quoted anecdotal evidence to support the assertion in the case of further education colleges, but the only reference to universities was for teacher training. While segregation does exist in teacher training, there are important reasons other than sectarianism, for example segregated primary and secondary schools with a strong church ethos. In my experience, members of one religious affiliation in Northern Ireland do not attend one of Northern Ireland's universities in preference to the other. The choice of 18-year-olds is based on the same factors as those that influence their counterparts anywhere else in these islands.

D. J. Cleland Waringstown Craigavon.

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