Queen's and Northern Ireland

Queen’s University plays a pivotal role in the life of Northern Ireland, a region described by the prestigious Lonely Planet travel guide as a 'must-see' destination.

And this role has been endorsed by the Sunday Times, which has described Queen’s as “a casebook study of how a university can help drive the regeneration of the city and region in which it is located”.

This is nothing new. One of the core principles at the heart of Queen’s mission is contribution to the community it serves.

With more than 17,000 students, over 3,500 staff, and an annual turnover of some £290 million, Queen’s plays a crucial role in the region’s educational, cultural, economic and social life.

It produces the region’s professionals and many of its civic and political leaders. It plays a key role in promoting community relations, both by leadership and example. It is one of the most inclusive universities in the United Kingdom, and it is an active patron of the arts.

There is another, much more material dimension to Queen’s contribution to the community – as one of the most dynamic forces in creating jobs and wealth for Northern Ireland. The University is the UK’s leading higher education institution in terms of the annual turnover of its spin-out businesses and it contributes to economic development through cutting-edge research, access to technology and consultancy and networking activities.

Queen’s is located in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, one of the world’s most welcoming and fulfilling places in which to live and work. The city offers the highest number of restaurants per head in the UK, a thriving arts scene, an excellent shopping experience and an astonishing array of entertainment and cultural venues, from the Odyssey Arena to the Waterfront Hall to the Grand Opera House.Northern Ireland’s stunning scenery becomes apparent only a few short miles outside the city centre. Indeed, one 19th century travel writer once dubbed the city a ‘northern Rio’. Although only the size of Yorkshire or Connecticut, Northern Ireland has an astonishing variety of landscapes, cultural and leisure opportunities, a fascinating history and has made a contribution to the world out of all proportion to its compact size.

Within 50 miles of the Queen’s campus you can climb a wild mountain, plunge into Atlantic surf, travel through mystical glens, visit some of the best golf courses in the world, indulge in superb fishing and water sports, and enjoy a cordon bleu meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Northern Ireland is, as one local author suggests, ‘a great country, pretending to be small’.

One of the key benefits of this small corner of the world is its high standard of living. The country’s education system has long been recognised as among the best in Europe. Nearly a fifth of public expenditure is spent on education and Northern Ireland consistently out-performs all other UK regions in academic qualifications. The region also offers a world-class healthcare service, a range of affordable and desirable property, and has a crime rate less than half the UK average.

Travelling to and from Northern Ireland is both easy and economical. Most major British cities are within an hour’s flying time from Belfast’s two splendid airports which are both quickly accessible from the University area. These airports offer flights to many locations in Ireland and mainland Europe, as well as several direct services to North America. Dublin is a quick two-hour train journey from Belfast and there are regular ferry services to Scotland and England.

Northern Ireland has undergone a transformation in recent years, as it looks towards a new era of economic prosperity and cultural development which celebrates the innovation and creativity of its people. Queen’s University is central to this process.

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