UU is text speak for sympathy. If anyone knows why please say because it’s a mystery to me! Hope none of us need any today!


Top of the google list for UU is Unitarian Universalist. This denomination is something that had never crossed my path before. That’s a great thing about bantering something new can be uncovered every day.


Of course U lends itself to a number of Universities, Utrecht, Uppsala and of course ULSTER!

The University of Ulster is the second largest in Ireland yet it was founded only in the 1960s.

Across the UK at that time action was being taken to expand access to Universities to give everyone equal opportunity to attend.

Initially in Northern Ireland a plan was made to transform the long established Magee College into a university. This plan was scuppered because of the location of Magee in a predominantly Catholic area by the predominantly Protestant government of Northern Ireland led by, wait for it, Ulster Unionists


So instead Northern Ireland got what was referred to as the NEW University of Ulster. It was set in the very beautiful area that man you may have seen if you watched the recent British Open golf tournament. It offered new degree courses like nursing and campus living that hadn’t been experienced in the province before.


The UU was at first seen as an underdog to the long established Queens University of Belfast. It went on though to prosper and grow rapidly, ironically in part through merger with Magee!

Today it has one of the highest success rates for post graduation placement of students of any university in the world and it no longer plays second fiddle in any way to any other establishment.

It has an interesting Chancellor too a very successful Hobbit called James Nesbitt who before he took up acting studied French at UU.

As the University grew with clear areas of focus and amalgamation the Ulster Unionist, who dominated Northern Ireland politics since the country’s inception, went  into a free fall of division and decline.

An epic tale of infighting, inflexibility and vociferous back stabbing that even Tolkien himself could not have dreamed up.

Blessing # 433 – Degrees of Distinction

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