Following developments in Scotland and Wales to set up subcommittees to deal with devolved activity there, the focus is now moving to development in Northern Ireland where there also exists devolved activity. NPC also has been actively promoting its work to higher education institutions in Northern Ireland to help student representative bodies better support and represent their postgraduates. As affiliates are building up in Northern Ireland so there are hopes to begin a subcommittee within Northern Ireland through which an officer can be elected who is based there to help effective communication to the General Secretary and others in NPC on matters affecting postgraduates in Northern Ireland. NPC has also been meeting with and is working with the National Union of Students-Union of Students in Ireland (NUS-USI). Their website is at http://www.nistudents.org.
The Northern Ireland Assembly
The website of the Northern Ireland Assembly can be found at http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk. At present the assembly is currently suspended although it is expected that this will be active again in the not too distant future since the elections on the 26th November 2003. Once this does begin again there will no doubt be scope to begin lobbying the assembly on matters concerning postgraduates in Northern Ireland as well as consultations to respond to.
Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland
The main body where matters concerning higher education are discussed is the department for employment and learning in Northern Ireland (DELNI). The appropriate website can be found at http://www.delni.gov.uk. A consultation has been in process concerning the funding of higher education in the future as well as student complaints. NPC already has much existing policy on both these issues and has responded to the consultation as well as consequential responses. More details about this can be discussed on the Northern Ireland email list that NPC has set up. NPC will be continuing to lobby DELNI on postgraduate matters in the future.
Postgrad NI email list
The latest information about postgraduates in Northern Ireland can be found through the Postgrad NI email list, which can easily be subscribed to. Also messages are stored online so you can view them on the JISCmail list server which hosts our email. Everything you need to know is at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/postgrad-ni.html. If you have problems being added to the list feel free to email the General Secretary on email@example.com who will be more than happy to help. The more that join this email list the more assistance it will provide in engaging with postgraduates in Northern Ireland.
NPC is seeking volunteers in Northern Ireland to help more with its activity. If you are interested please do not hesitate to get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and wed be delighted to hear from you.