Durham City MP, Mary Foy, has re-established the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Friends of Durham University.
The group, which was first established by Foy’s predecessor, Roberta Blackman-Wood, is chaired by Mary Foy, and Richard Holden, MP for North-West Durham, Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield, and Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West, will serve as Vice-Chairs.
Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, will serve as secretary, while Kate Osborne, MP for Jarrow, will be an officer of the group, with Durham University acting as the secretariat.
Mary Foy chaired the first meeting of the APPG on Thursday 20th May, saying: “I am really proud to represent a constituency that is home to one of the best universities in the world. Hopefully, by re-establishing the APPG, we will be able to increase academia’s role in policy-making and to promote the work of Durham University at a national level.”
The purpose of the APPG is to connect academia and policy-making. The group also aims to highlight how Durham University’s teaching and research can inform policy challenges in County Durham, the North-East and beyond.
Durham University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge said: “Durham University welcomes the inauguration of the APPG for the Friends of Durham University. We see this forum as a place where we can listen, share and contribute to collective responses to some of the issues facing the region in which we are located, as well as the significant challenges confronting society at this time.”
Sir Graham Brady MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG for Friends of Durham University said: “Durham University gave me great opportunities and I am pleased to be able to offer this great institution my support. I am sure that the APPG will help parliament to gain from the work of the university as well as being a forum for those of us who are keen to support a great northern university”
Mary Foy attends regular meetings with Durham University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, to discuss how the University is coping with the pandemic and to raise the concerns of her constituents.
In January, Foy co-signed an open letter with President of Durham Students’ Union, Seun Twins, which called on landlords and Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) providers to refund students unable to use their accommodation in Durham.
Image: Office of Mary Kelly Foy MP