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Conferring of an Honorary Degree Jointly by the Universities of Ireland North and South on Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney
Thursday, 6 September 2012
The universities of Ireland, North and South, today conferred an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies. The degree was conferred to give public honour and thanks to Chuck Feeney for his incredible support of the Irish universities over the past twenty years. It was also conferred to convey to the people of Ireland just how radical and transformative this continued support has been. This is the first time that the universities on the island of Ireland have come together to confer their highest award on an individual. Since 1989, The Atlantic Philanthropies have donated almost €800 million to Irish universities, North and South. Introducing Mr Feeney, Dr Patrick Fottrell, Chair, Science Foundation Ireland, said that ‘Chuck strongly advocated a “think big”, ambitious approach to third level research funding. He wanted to transform rather that “tinker at the edges” with the Irish research landscape’. ‘Thus, the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) was launched in 1998 by the Higher Education Authority..., Atlantic funded 50% of the first cycle which was vital to kickstart the Programme. Levels of funding in the 100s of million euro which had been available in other competitive countries for many years, now became available in Ireland for the first time. Five cycles of the Programme have now been completed with an investment of 1.22 billion euro which includes government and private matching funds. The programme has provided key physical facilities and personnel for research in the humanities, sciences, engineering, technology and the social sciences including business and law’. Outlining Chuck Feeney’s contribution to the universities of Northern Ireland, Dr Fottrell referred to the joint initiative developed between the Department of Employment and Learning and Atlantic Philanthropies called The Support Programme for University Research (SPUR). The aim of this Programme was to support and strengthen the research capacity of both universities enabling them to increase the number of Research Centres capable of being assessed as being of the highest world quality in the Research Assessment Exercise which is a periodic assessment by the UK Government of the quality of research in third level institutions’. Dr Fottrell emphasised the impact the additional resources provided by Atlantic have had on raising the status of Irish research internationally. ‘For example’, he said, ‘independent ratings agencies now rank the quality of research in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland in the top 20 in the world. About ten years ago the Republic of Ireland was 40th in the world. Also, in strategically important areas of food and life science, rankings as high as the top three in the world have been attained. These are remarkable achievements’. Dr Fottrell also acknowledged the support of the Irish Government for continued commitment to research funding ‘especially in our recent difficult economic times’. He recognised the roles of the Higher Education Authority and the Departments of Education and Skills as well as Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The degree was conferred jointly on behalf of their respective universities by: Professor Brian Mac Craith, President, Dublin City University Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway Professor Philip Nolan, President, NUI, Maynooth Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor, National University of Ireland, Dr Michael Murphy, President, University College Cork Dr Hugh Brady, President, University College Dublin Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, Belfast Professor Don Barry, President, University of Limerick Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ulster Dr Mary Robinson, Chancellor, University of Dublin. The Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD and the Minister for Education & Skills Mr Ruairí Quinn TD were guests of honour at the ceremony. Link to event at Dublin Castle: http://www.nui.ie/news/2012/post_ChuckFeeney_HonCon.asp -Ends-
Making the Most of Festivals
Monday, 10 September 2012
Dr Eric Jensen, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, will present a lunchtime seminar entitled Making the Most of Festivals at NUI Galway. Hosted by the Community Knowledge Imitative (CKI) at the University, the seminar will take place on Friday, 14 September from 12.30-2.30pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. Many universities are involved in festivals, including organising their own festivals, participating in other festivals, and students working with organisations at music festivals and creating their own. These festivals can be an effective opportunity to engage with the public, making the most of the knowledge and talents of staff and students. Dr Eric Jensen will share his research findings on successful student engagement in festivals as well as tools to measure the impact of a festival. There are a number of challenges to evaluating festival impacts, and this seminar will discuss creative solutions to these challenges. This seminar will be based on discussion and will offer a space to share experiences and opportunities for reflection and development. Holding a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, Dr Eric Jensen teaches advanced modules on the practice of social research, statistics, surveys and science engagement. He is a widely published expert in the evaluation of learning and engagement activities in non-formal settings. Making the Most of Festivals will appeal to festival organisers, members of the public who contribute to and run festivals, marketing and tourism specialists and student volunteers. Lunch will be served so those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure adequate catering. -ENDS-
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Expert Medical Student Selector to Speak at NUI Galway
Monday, 10 September 2012
International medical student selection expert Dr Jon Dowell, Reader of Medicine, University of Dundee will undertake a two-day visit to Galway, hosted by the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, from 27-28 September. During his visit Dr Dowell will demonstrate how the University of Dundee, one of the top ranked medical schools in the UK, selects its medical students. Dr Dowell has led the use of the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), originally developed by McMaster University in Canada, which is an interview format that uses many short independent assessments, typically in a timed circuit, to obtain an aggregate score of each candidate’s soft skills. This will be the first time that the MMI has been held in the Republic of Ireland. Dr Dowell said: “Medical school selection is an important but imprecise art. Increasing evidence is emerging and the MMI is the new kid on the block. So it is an exciting time to be working in this field. I am delighted to be visiting NUI Galway which has developed a very promising computer-based scoring system and is initiating its own research in this area.” As part of his visit Dr Dowell will also deliver a lecture entitled “Achievement, Aptitude and Interviews. Where are we with Medical School Selection these days?” on Friday, 28 September at NUI Galway. Dr Maureen Kelly, Lecturer at NUI Galway and event organiser, said: “Medical student selection is a highly emotive topic. The best way to make decisions regarding the introduction and use of medical student selection tools is to continually examine the evidence which supports their use and to pilot the use of novel tools. Our new collaboration with Dundee will help inform the debate on medical student selection in Ireland.” -ENDS-
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Gender and Employment in Europe
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Leading researchers from across Europe will discuss findings from the latest research into aspects of gender and employment at a conference in NUI Galway from 6-7 September. The conference, jointly hosted by the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway, highlights the advantages of analysing gender and work issues across an individual’s entire life time. Entitled ‘Gender and Employment in Europe across the Lifecourse’, the event is an interim conference of Research Network 14 of the European Sociological Association (ESA). Some of the key issues to be discussed include: The gendered impact of recession and austerity budgets on pensions, employment and poverty. An exploration of the relationship between care provision and labour force participation. The implications of extending working life. In the current economic environment, the conference aims to contribute to policy debates on the restructuring of the welfare state and provide rich empirical evidence on the consequences of such restructuring. The plenary address will be given by Professor Nicky le Feuvre, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Professor le Feuvre is currently leading several research projects on gender and the labour market, with a particular focus on the transformation of gender inequalities from a comparative European perspective. She has published widely on the feminization of a number of occupations (doctors, lawyers, academics, domestic workers) in the UK and France and is currently working on the employment experiences of male and female seniors (50 years+) in Switzerland. The conference will take place in CA110 in the JE Cairnes Building, NUI Galway. The event is supported by the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, Global Women’s Studies, the School of Political Science and Sociology, Gender Arc and the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. -ends-
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NUI Galway to Feature in San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
NUI Galway’s Discipline of Spanish will run a series of Mexican themed performances and talks on Saturday, 8 September as part of the San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival in Clifden. From 2-4pm members of the public will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in talks such as: An Introduction to the Mexican Revolution and Art and the Revolution by Dr Lorraine Kelly; The Novelist Juan Rulfo and the Mexican Revolution by Professor Bill Richardson; and a Performance of some Corridos, Songs from the Revolution by Yolanda Reyes and Ivan Kenny. At 5pm, there will be a special screening of the famous Mexican film El Violin, introduced by Ivan Kenny. Author and poet, Dr Michael Hogan will present a talk on The San Patricios Batallion: the Irish Soliders of Mexico at 2pm on Sunday, 9 September. NUI Galway’s Moore Institute, in collaboration with the Discipline of Spanish and the Mexican Embassy, are giving the public another opportunity to listen to Dr Hogan’s talk. Taking place in the Moore Institute Seminar Room on Monday, 10 September, at 4pm, the talk will be followed by a launch of Dr Hogan’s new book, The Irish Soliders of Mexico. Running from 7-12 September the five-day San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival celebrates the life of John Riley of Clifden, the leader of the San Patricios Battalion. Professor Bill Richardson, Head of Spanish at NUI Galway, emphasised the unique quality of this link between Mexico and the West of Ireland: “The story of John Riley and his comrades in the San Patricios Batallion is one of a fascinating adventure and reflects the courage and commitment of those Irish people who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom in an adopted land, thousands of miles from their home. Students and staff in Spanish are looking forward with great excitement to Dr Hogan’s lecture and to our involvement in this festival.” For more details on the San Patricio Mexican-Irish Festival visit www.clifden2012.org. -ENDS-
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NUI Galway Celebrate Volunteering with Eleventh Annual Fair
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
NUI Galway’s eleventh annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 26 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 1-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair will be officially opened by Galway City Mayor, Councillor Terry O'Flaherty. Over 80 charities and community organisations will showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities in Galway. The Fair is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway, the culmination of which will coincide with the National Day of Volunteering on Friday, 1 October. Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “The student volunteering programme ALIVE has been supporting and enabling students to engage in the Galway city community for ten years and we extend a thank you to our community partners which have hosted students through hundreds of meaningful volunteering opportunities. Students are actively seeking volunteering prospects with homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students benefit enormously from getting involved and gain valuable experience, while bringing energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.” Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: RehabCare, Gorta, Goal, COPE Galway, Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, Age Action, Irish Wheelchair Association, Blue Tea Pot, Child of Haiti and Music for Galway. Ms Tansey added: “We are delighted to not only welcome community organisations to highlight their work and opportunities for volunteers but also to welcome members of the public onto campus.” ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Through this programme students can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 7,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. To book a stand or for further information, please contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email email@example.com. -ENDS-
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Galway Science and Technology Forum and Boston Scientific Announce CERN’s ‘Accelerating Science’ is Coming to Galway
Monday, 3 September 2012
CERN, the world's leading laboratory for particle physics will bring ‘Accelerating Science’, its flagship travelling exhibition exclusively to Galway this month in partnership with the Galway Science & Technology Forum and sponsored by Boston Scientific. NUI Galway and GMIT with assistance from Science Foundation Ireland are also participating in this exciting Exhibition by providing physics experts for Facilitated Tours. The announcement was made at Boston Scientific Galway, the Exhibition’s sponsor, today (Monday, 3 September). This unique Scientific Exhibition is coming exclusively to Galway from CERN, Geneva, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for fundamental physics and scientific research. The exhibition will open from 16 September to 2 November at Leisureland, Salthill, Galway and will take visitors on an extraordinary journey on which they will learn about the History of the Universe, activate a model of the Large Hadron Collider, understand how a particle detector works and see what happens when particles collide at almost the speed of light! ‘Accelerating Science’ is suitable primarily for students aged between 11 and 18 years. The exhibition is available exclusively for Secondary School tours from Monday to Friday and is open to the public at weekends and during midterm break. Teachers and members of the public are encouraged to prebook their place on www.eventelephant.com/galwayscience. Commenting at the announcement Mike O’Flynn, Managing Director and Vice President of Operations, Boston Scientific Galway said: “We’re delighted to support this unique exhibition. It’s essential for our future success that we encourage the next generation to take up science, technology and maths-based subjects at school. This exhibition is aimed at doing just that - inspiring budding young scientists and engineers of tomorrow to make a big bang with their career.” Speaking from CERN, Geneva Dr Rolf Landua, Head of Education and Public Outreach said: “The first time that a CERN Exhibition comes to Ireland just happens to be when the elusive Higgs Boson might have been discovered. The Exhibition is particularly suited for school students from 11-18 years, their teachers and their parents. It shows how CERN’s researchers try to find out more about the laws of Nature, the origin of the Universe, the LHC and the huge particle detectors. I am looking forward to attending the official opening of the CERN Exhibition on Sunday, 16 September at Leisureland, Galway.” Welcoming the arrival of CERN’s “Accelerating Science” to Galway Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway added: “It is a real coup that Ireland is hosting the CERN Exhibition in Galway. The Exhibition will help us build on the current groundswell of interest in science and the public understanding of the role physics plays in our everyday lives. Physics is the fundamental science which helps us to understand naturally occurring phenomena in the world around us and enables Irish Physicists to apply those phenomena to benefit mankind. Many technologies, including MRI scanners and sat-nav systems, owe their existence to fundamental physics research. Indeed, the fundamental laws of physics find application in almost every branch of science, engineering and technology.” Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Forum and coordinator of the ‘Accelerating Science’ Exhibition, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this fantastic exhibition to Galway. This is a wonderful opportunity for young students to engage with science in a fun and interactive way; the exhibition will inform students about the Higgs Boson and the Big Bang Theory. This is a unique opportunity for all second level students, their teachers and indeed their parents to visit this truly exciting Exhibition from CERN, here in Galway over a seven week period.” CERN’s flagship Exhibition will educate those curious about the origins of our universe, the nature of the particles from which we are all made and the power of fundamental science. Setup in five modules, ‘Accelerating Science’ takes the visitor through the early-21st-century scientific adventure and discover how fundamental science has changed the world, as we know it. Starting with the Big Bang, which explores the world’s largest scientific experiment, the particles, the mysteries of the universe and the LHC’s (Large Hadron Colliders) exploration of matter guide. For school bookings visit www.eventelephant.com/galwayscience or for general enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.galwayscience.ie Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. -Ends-
NUI Galway Joins Forces with Bank of Ireland to Launch New Student Loan Scheme
Thursday, 2 August 2012
NUI Galway has teamed up with Bank of Ireland to introduce a new College Finance Loan to students and their parents. College Finance is an easy and affordable way for parents/guardians to cover the cost of University tuition from September. A new loan scheme from Bank of Ireland, College Finance enables parents/guardians of full-time undergraduate students to borrow the cost of the Student Contribution Charge, which is currently €2,250 and applies to all Undergraduate Degree courses. The loan is offered at a preferred rate for the length of the course, for up to five years. Once the course is completed the standard Graduate loan interest rate applies and the loan is repaid over three years. All applications must be received by the Bank of Ireland by 31st October 2012. The College Finance scheme is designed to give parents/guardians and students peace of mind as the full loan, for the duration of the course, is approved up front. NUI Galway is one of 25 Higher Education Institutions participating in the new Loan scheme, and only parents/guardians of students attending participating institutions are eligible to apply. Commenting on the Loan scheme, President Jim Browne of NUI Galway, said: “The cost of Third Level education has risen steadily over the last four years and, in the current difficult economic climate, we are aware that many parents and students are increasingly struggling to make ends meet. The Bank of Ireland College Finance Scheme is a welcome development which will help families to support their child’s education, ensuring that access to Higher Education remains open to as many students as possible.” Donal Flynn, Regional Manager, Bank of Ireland, said: “Bank of Ireland is proud to be able to deliver meaningful products and services to Ireland’s students and graduates. We are very conscious that in the current economic climate Ireland’s future generation of employees need initiatives such as this to enable them upskill for a changed environment. We look forward to working with NUI Galway to provide finance to enhance their skills and their prospects for their future careers.” Ends
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NUI Galway Lecturer Recognised with National Teaching Award
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
NUI Galway Lecturer in Geography, Dr John Morrissey, is among fifteen higher education staff representing six different institutions recognised as exemplifying excellence in teaching at the annual National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) awards. The award presentations will take place at a special ceremony in Dublin in September. Now in its fifth year, the NAIRTL awards recognise higher education teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their teaching and have made an exceptional impact on student learning. This year’s winners are no exception and were chosen from thirty-one detailed submissions from fourteen different Higher Education Institutions across Ireland. The 2012 winners represent disciplines as diverse as Business, Chemistry, Geography, the Humanities, Paediatrics, and Physical Sciences, and were nominated by senior staff in their institution to go forward for the highly competitive award. Dr Morrissey is a Lecturer in Geography and Director of the MA in Environment, Society and Development at NUI Galway. His research interests are in geopolitics and post-conflict development, which he has published on widely. He was an IRCHSS Fellow in 2007/2008. His teaching is driven by a passion for engaging his students and to this end he is a keen advocate of both field-based learning and technology-enhanced learning. In 2011, Dr Morrissey won NUI Galway’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2012 he completed an MA in Academic Practice at NUI Galway. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is great news that Dr Morrissey has been recognised by NAIRTL as an exemplary teacher. NUI Galway has a successful record at the NAIRTL awards, with awards being presented to our lecturers each year since the formation of NAIRTL. This is a huge achievement and a testament to the quality of nominations put forward by this University. Dr Morrissey was a recipient of our internal awards for teaching excellence in 2010-11. This scheme recognises the outstanding efforts academic staff make to ensure NUI Galway students receive the highest quality learning experience. We look forward to continued collaboration with NAIRTL and to further success in the national awards scheme in 2013.” NAIRTL was established in 2007, and its vision is one where research and teaching go hand in hand. Previous recipients of the National Award for Excellence in Teaching include senior and junior staff members from thirteen different Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. -ENDS-
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The Universities of Ireland to honour Chuck Feeney
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
The universities of Ireland*, North and South, will jointly confer an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Charles F. "Chuck" Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies on 6 September next. This is the first time such an honour will have been conferred jointly by all the Universities on the island of Ireland. The universities are coming together to honour Chuck Feeney’s remarkable contribution to Irish society, and in particular to the universities. Chuck Feeney’s philanthropic purpose in Ireland has been to create a brighter future and a better society for the people of Ireland. He believes that one way to achieve this is to enable Ireland to become a full participant in the knowledge society and to compete in the knowledge economy. The Atlantic Philanthropies, which he founded in 1982, identified Irish universities, which of their nature are devoted to the transmission of knowledge and the generation of new knowledge, as institutions central to this purpose. Since 1990, Atlantic has donated nearly €770 million to Irish universities, North and South. The physical manifestations of this philanthropy can be seen today most notably in the transformational research infrastructure which has been created on university campuses. This is providing a new generation of researchers with facilities their predecessors could only dream about. Human capital development in the universities had been supported through endowed chairs, scholarships and other forms of student support. University projects have also included support for new libraries and student on-campus housing and projects in the fields of health and ageing. In the longer term, the impact of the funding provided by Atlantic can be expected to be even more significant. The Atlantic Philanthropies (http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org) is a limited life foundation. It has announced that it will complete its grantmaking in 2016. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., and Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., will attend the conferring ceremony. NUI is co-ordinating the special ceremony which will take place in Dublin Castle. -ENDS- * The Universities of Ireland: Dublin City University; National University of Ireland; National University of Ireland, Galway; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Queen’s University Belfast; Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin; University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick; University of Ulster.
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