Success for NUI Galway at Irish National Rowing Championships

Success for NUI Galway at Irish National Rowing Championships-image

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

NUI Galway's Boat Club successfully defended its senior titles and status as kingpins at the Irish National Rowing Championships last weekend in Cork. On Saturday afternoon, the NUI Galway rowers snatched victory in the main event, the Men's Senior Eights, claiming the 'Big Pot' by just 3 feet (0.19 seconds) from Queens University, Belfast who were hotly tipped to topple the reigning champions after a very successful season both at home and abroad. In an almost exact repeat of last year s epic showdown, NUI Galway came from behind to once again win on the line by the narrowest of margins. This year s victory was a more polished and confident performance from a very experienced and much-decorated group of athletes, who after this latest win boasts a staggering total of 75 Irish Senior Championship titles between them. The winning crew was Eddie Mullarkey, Jason Wall, Dave Mannion, Paul Giblin, Evin Donnelly, Alan Martin, Cormac Folan, James Wall and Ruadhán Cooke. The crew was coached by club stalwart Tom Tuohy. Four of the winning Eight had already retained their own Senior Fours Championship the previous day with an impressive display over an in-form UCD crew, recently victorious at Henley Royal Regatta. Male and female crews in the Novice and Intermediate grades represented the club with distinction and can draw inspiration from the success of the senior men for future campaigns. Speaking of the Boat Club s success, Gary Ryan, Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway, said: "It is a fantastic achievement for the crews and their coach to win the two most prestigious men s events at the Irish National Rowing Championships. All of the rowers and coaches across the club deserve enormous credit for their work in making the NUI Galway Boat Club consistently one of the strongest clubs in Ireland and one which we are very proud of". -Ends-

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NUI Galway among the big winners in PRTLI 5 Award with over €60m grant

NUI Galway among the big winners in PRTLI 5 Award with over €60m grant-image

Friday, 16 July 2010

NUI Galway named in top 3 universities to secure research funding Over €60m granted in capital and research programmes 3 new buildings funded at a cost of €50m 14 NUI Galway projects funded in total NUI Galway was named in the top three big winners, securing over € 60 million in research funding under PRTLI Cycle 5 - the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, announced today (Friday, July 16), by An Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen T.D. The NUI Galway projects funded today include three new world-class research facilities, an Arts Humanities Social Sciences Research Building and two buildings dedicated to Biomedical Science Research, with a combined cost of €50m. The Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences Research Building will provide a unique research environment to transform Galway's rich cultural resources into social and economic opportunity. The new facility will be a national and international resource that integrates research and training in the Humanities, Digital Cultures, Creative Industries, Business, Social Sciences, Rights, Advocacy, and Public Policy. Funded under the theme of 'Advancing Medicine through Discovery', two new buildings for medical science research will enable NUI Galway to build on its existing strength in the biomedical sciences area, established through its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). The proposed infrastructure consists of two new facilities, a Biosciences Research Building on the main campus, and a Translational Research Facility, which will house basic, translational and clinical research teams on the site of Galway University Hospital. Today's result is of both regional and national significance as it enhances the infrastructure of the biomedical sciences research hub at NUI Galway, which is located at the centre of the medical device and healthcare industries in Ireland. The new facility will enhance the national capacity and international standing of Ireland in the biomedical sciences arena. In a major boost to graduate education, NUI Galway also received funding to lead two new structured PhD programmes, with a combined cost of €7m. A new Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine graduate education programme, which includes international and Medical Devices industry partners, will train graduates to be R&D and product development leaders in industry. A second PhD programme in clinical and translational biomedical research will focus on patient and disease oriented research and aims to produce scientists trained to translate discoveries into clinical and commercial application. NUI Galway is also a partner in several other funded projects including a Digital Arts and Humanities structured PhD programme which is linked to the new Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences Research Building. Welcoming the announcement, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "I am delighted to welcome this very substantial investment, which is a strong endorsement of NUI Galway's research activities. It is also a recognition of the work of the University's Foundation and its donors, who have provided very significant match funding for the major projects funded today. It is particularly gratifying to note the broad spread of the funding across projects in the Medical Sciences and in the Humanities and Social Sciences." "This is great news for NUI Galway, as well as for the broader higher education sector and for Irish industry. Today's announcement is a clear signal of the Government's commitment to delivering the knowledge economy. The investment in research infrastructure right across the country will have an immediate benefit in bringing much-needed jobs to the construction industry. Concentrating resources on biomedical science and arts, humanities and social sciences research at NUI Galway will have a major impact on the medical technologies and the creative arts industries in the West of Ireland. We have the opportunity now to provide two distinct Irish industry sectors with relevant, world-class research solutions, transforming national leadership into global competitiveness." Ends

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Whizzkids Multimedia Summer Camps return to NUI Galway

Whizzkids Multimedia Summer Camps return to NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 15 July 2010

This week sees see the return for the fifth consecutive year of Whizzkids Summer Camps to NUI Galway. The summer camps offer fun and varied multimedia training to children and teenagers aged 8-15 years. The camps take place over two weeks, the first began on Monday, 12 July, and the second on will start on Monday, July 19. Children can engage in these hi-tech camps that cover web-design desktop publishing, movie-making and a host of hi-tech challenges in their "Spy Academy". Designed for children of all abilities, the week-long camp mixes indoor and outdoor action, with sports, stop-motion video, video game programming, code breaking and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI). The structured programme combines education and entertainment in way that allows children to explore the creative side of technology while acquiring valuable skills along the way. Participants of each camp have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment that is normally only available to third level students. Each child has access to their own computer and get hands on time with mobile technologies such as digital cameras, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA s) and Blackberrys. The "Spy Academy" has proven a very popular facet of the summer programme during which children go on "missions" using digital cameras and hand held computers. Throughout the camp, attendees will learn to design their own website. They will also create a movie by putting together a storyboard, shooting the scenes on campus and editing the film. The videos are premiered at the end of the week on the big screen and each Whizzkid receives a copy of their video on CD along with their website as a keepsake. Garry Lowe, General Manager of Whizzkids Summer Camps, says "NUI Galway is the ideal setting for our hi-tech summer camp. The computing facilities are first class and the beautiful campus has a range of old and modern buildings that we can use for backdrops to our movies which range anything from a Harry Potter spoof to Espionage thrillers." Classes in the camp are broken up by age and those attending are supervised at all times by fully qualified teachers. There is a maximum of 60 places per week of camp and these are broken into three groups of 20. Full day camps are offered to 9-15 year olds from 9.30-3.30 each day. Half day camps are available for 8-ll year olds from 9.30 to 1.00 each day. For further information contact: 061 339178 or visit www.whizzkids.ie Ends

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Funding Secured for Orthopaedic Implant Research at NUI Galway

Funding Secured for Orthopaedic Implant Research at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway, developing innovative orthopaedic implants for hip and knee replacements, have been awarded an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Development Grant. The new implants will be more effective for patients with decreased bone stock in the joint, particularly those who are receiving an implant for the second time and have lost bone from surgery to remove the first implant. Dr Pat McDonnell and Dr Noel Harrison, based in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) in NUI Galway, were awarded €400,000 to build on work completed from a previous Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Proof of Concept grant. The award will also see the continuation of a successful collaboration with orthopaedic consultant surgeon Bill Curtin of Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway. The implants will be made from titanium and will be designed to give better bone in-growth into the implant to improve the lifespan. Over 3,000 hip replacements are performed in the public sector in Ireland each year. Professor Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES, said: "The use of new engineering approaches to develop orthopaedic implants with enhanced properties is a central part of the NCBES research effort. I am delighted to see that this exciting and innovative project will be initiated in the near future". The project will run for two years where world-class biomechanical engineering facilities will allow the researchers to carry out detailed design, mechanical testing and histological analysis of the new implants, in order to validate the technology to attract potential industry partners and investors. The goal of the project will be to develop the technology to a stage where a partner orthopaedics company can be identified to bring the new implants through to clinical trials. This will be achieved with the support of the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway. Professor Peter McHugh, Head of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "This project demonstrates the wonderful synergy that can be achieved by integrating engineering, biology and clinical applications; this approach has been the cornerstone of NUI Galway's international achievements in biomedical engineering and of the development of the crucially important medical technology industry sector in the West of Ireland". Dr McDonnell and Dr Harrison both completed their PhD theses in the Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Department while based in the NCBES in recent years, and their success in achieving this grant demonstrates the progression from fundamental research to innovative product development that is crucial for the enhancement of the knowledge economy in the West of Ireland. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Sees Dramatic Rise in Demand for Places for 2nd Consecutive Year

NUI Galway Sees Dramatic Rise in Demand for Places for 2nd Consecutive Year-image

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

CAO First Preferences for NUI Galway increase by 18% in 2 years Figures released by the Central Applications Office (CAO) following the Change of Mind deadline of 1 July show another dramatic rise in demand for places at NUI Galway. First preference applications for undergraduate degrees at NUI Galway have increased by almost 18% in the last two years, as the University's popularity continues to soar. The current Sunday Times University of the Year, NUI Galway's share of the University sector's first preference applications now stands at 14.3%. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented on the rising demand to study at the University: "We are seeing a phenomenal demand for places at NUI Galway. This is driven in part by the 20 new undergraduate courses which we have brought on stream over the last three years. There are also a range of new sports, arts and academic facilities on our state-of-the art campus. Another critical factor in attracting applicants is the University's commitment to providing our students with a learning experience that has relevance for the real world". Newer courses at NUI Galway include the extremely popular Energy Engineering, which was developed in direct response to calls from the energy sector for more energy engineers with the right combination of skills. Also popular is the new Engineering Innovation degree, combining traditional electronic engineering with business and entrepreneurship. The University also offers a Sports and Exercise Engineering degree, which is the first of its kind available in Ireland, and new students can look forward to the opening of a stunning new €40 million Engineering Building next year, which will be the largest School of Engineering in the country. Of the University's traditional courses, the Commerce degree has seen a huge increase in popularity, with a 25% increase in applications in recent months. Much of this success is due to innovative programme developments over the last year, including the addition of an industry-led module on innovation, creativity and enterprise where students are mentored by business leaders. The latest figures also show a dramatic increase of more than 60% in first preference applications to the Computer Science and Information Technology programme at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has also brought eight BA Connect degrees on-stream, in a radical departure from traditional Arts degrees. These four-year degrees are designed to increase the employability of graduates by developing distinctive skills and creating connections with life beyond the campus. This year, a new BA Connect degree with Latin American Studies was introduced, alongside the existing BA Connect programmes with either Children s Studies, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Human Rights, Irish Studies, Women s Studies or Theatre and Performance. At present, NUI Galway is the only Irish university offering a denominated degree in marine science and it now has the highest concentration of marine scientists of any institution in Ireland. This degree also offers training on board national training vessels in the third year of study. NUI Galway is also offering the first Podiatry degree in Ireland, which will train healthcare professionals who specialises in the medicine of the foot and leg. -Ends-

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Protein Identified which Helps Cancer Cells to Survive Stressful Conditions

Protein Identified which Helps Cancer Cells to Survive Stressful Conditions-image

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway have made a discovery that could lead to the development of more effective treatments for a number of diseases. They have shown that a protein produced when cells are stressed interacts with a stress sensor allowing cells to survive conditions of intense stress. Understanding this interaction may help scientists interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. These findings are published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Healthy cells are not usually under stress, but unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, are often under considerable stress because they grow rapidly in places where they are not supposed to grow. When a cell is under these stressful conditions, the stress protein Hsp70 is activated to help the cell. Professor Afshin Samali, lead author of the publication and head of the Department of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, and his team have discovered that under cell stress conditions Hsp70 interacts with a receptor in the cell, activating survival mechanisms and preventing apoptosis, the normal cell death mechanism. By understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function, allowing unhealthy cells to succumb to stress and die . This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumor cell death. In contrast in diseases where there is too much cell death such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and Diabetes, increasing the levels of Hsp70 could potentially be used to help these cells to survive stressful conditions. Professor Samali added: "Our results have identified a novel protein-protein interaction that helps cancer cells to survive stressful growth conditions. By interfering with this interaction we hope to develop a new class of anticancer drugs. This work was funded by Science Foundation Ireland and will have a significant impact on cancer research and drug design". -Ends-

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NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research

NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

Eleven NUI Galway research students were recently awarded Summer Student Scholarships by the Health Research Board (HRB). The aim of the HRB Summer Student Scholarships is to encourage an interest in health research and to give students an opportunity to become familiar with the research process, research techniques and methodologies through conducting a summer project. Nine of the NUI Galway awardees are from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway: Catherine O'Connor from Dunmore, Co. Galway; Maria Costello from Grattan Road, Galway; Blathnaid Murphy from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath; Caitriona Fahy from Loughrea, Co. Galway; Bríd Reale from Murroe, Limerick; Kate Fitzpatrick from Clonmel, Co. Waterford; Ruairí Irwin from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Nicola Kavanagh from Arklow, Co. Wicklow; and Andrew Carroll from Knocknacarra, Galway. Also included in the scholarships were John Birrane from Ballina, Co. Mayo and Noreen Lenihan from Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry, from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The Scholarship scheme is open to undergraduate students who are studying in a health-related discipline in a university in Ireland and who are not in the final year of their degree course. The research project must be in one of the following research areas: applied biomedical research, clinical research, health services research and population health sciences research. The Scholarship will support the students' participation in research over the summer and they will receive €250 per week for a maximum of eight weeks. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: "The School of Medicine is delighted and proud of our medical students who have been awarded Summer Research Scholarships from the HRB. These awards are highly competitive and reflect the calibre of our students and supervisors. The strategic plan for the School of Medicine aims to embed research as an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum and encourage all students to become research active. These awards will promote this aim". -Ends-

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Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme

Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2010/11. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Friday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes get better at their sport while they are succeeding academically at university, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past it is an award to help you get better in the future". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: "Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals" For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/campus-activities/sports.html-Ends-

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2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced

2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway and Leitrim County Council have announced that the fourth John McGahern International Seminar commemorating the work of the renowned Irish writer, will take place from 22-24 July in Co. Leitrim. Last year's International Seminar attracted more than 150 participants from Ireland and overseas. The theme of the seminar is 'Literature and Education', and the keynote lecture will be given by Fintan O'Toole of The Irish Times. Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway says: "It is particularly exciting this year to have Fintan O'Toole as our keynote speaker. Not only is Fintan one of the foremost journalists in the analysis of modern Irish society and politics, as he demonstrates again in his recent book Ship of Fools, but he has also long been one of our most astute cultural and literary critics. His lecture promises to be an ideal combination of attention to McGahern's own work and the context of education in Ireland today". Other speakers at the event will include Dr Stanley van der Ziel of University College Dublin; Professor Joan Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway; and the American short story writer, David Means. Dr John Kenny added: "This year's theme is especially appropriate at a time when Irish education at all levels is experiencing enormous challenges. As the son of a teacher and as a trained primary teacher himself, McGahern had a natural lifelong interest in education and this is deeply reflected in his fiction. He was an articulate exponent of the key role of reading and imaginative development in education – again and again in his essays and lectures he extolled the virtues of literary study". There will also be a viewing of the screen adaptation of McGahern's major novel, Amongst Women, after which the screenwriter, Adrian Hodges, will give a talk and discuss his encounter with McGahern's work. The Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the publication of volume 3 of The John McGahern Yearbook, edited by Dr John Kenny. The Yearbook is a lavishly illustrated hardback and it includes proceedings of the 2009 Seminar as well as a range of articles by writers and critics. The book will be launched on the opening night by Professor Seán Ryder, Head of English at NUI Galway. In addition to the public seminar, NUI Galway has organised the third intensive International Summer School on McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 27th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern and his life and times in 20th Century Ireland. The Summer School incorporates the International Seminar and continues at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim the week after the Seminar. The 2009 Summer School was attended by students from Italy and the United States as well as Ireland. Contributors to this year's Summer School, directed by Dr John Kenny, will include David Means; Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Irish authors Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York. Special guest writers will discuss the creative and local contexts of McGahern's life and work. Announcing the McGahern events, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School NUI Galway is working to broaden access to the study of the craft of writing. We are delighted to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this important archive in the West of Ireland, we hold in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and especially for this region which we have served for over 160 years. I wish the 2010 McGahern International Seminar & Summer School every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". Speaking at the launch of the 2010 programme, Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire, said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to work in partnership with NUI Galway in organising the fourth International Seminar and Summer School. The Seminar is now an important part of Ireland's literary calendar and presents an excellent opportunity for both academic and general readers to engage richly with the work of John McGahern". For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar & Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Ends-

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PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick

PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick-image

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The University of Limerick and NUI Galway today (Thursday, 1 July) launched a new four-year structured PhD in New Media and Film. This development is one of the initiatives to come out of the NUI Galway-UL Alliance recently launched by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D and will start in September 2010. Also announced at the launch was a Fellowship initiative to support the joint PhD through the award of a Doctoral Scholarship to the value of €15,000, to a student of the programme at each institution. The Scholarships are tenable for a maximum of four years. This structured doctoral programme is run jointly by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway and the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication at University of Limerick. It aims to promote research that integrates theoretical discourses on the impact of digital media on cultural and social expression with practical concerns and the media industries. Dean of UL's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Professor Pat O'Connor, welcomed the announcement: "This exciting development at fourth level exemplifies the way in which cross institutional collaboration can advance the Arts and Humanities in an innovative medium. The collaboration demonstrates that the combined strengths of universities can create innovative teaching programmes and move research to a higher level". Professor Pat O'Connor added: "The issues this new research initiative promises to address are of great significance for the art of cinema and for culture. The impact of digital technologies on the way audio visual works is produced and, importantly, how they are received and understood by audiences, will be at the centre of media research for some time". Dr Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: "Access to a wider range of complementary courses in a neighbouring university will enhance the possibilities for research in both institutions and build on our strengths". Contemporary work in this area is at the leading edge of study linking digital media to the traditions of narrative and image making. Whilst academically strong, the research should also lead to new concepts that are applicable to practice. It is based on the complementary nature of developed areas of teaching and research at both institutions. Dr David Coughlan, of UL's School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication: "Recent recognition of Irish achievements in film and visual effects shows that Ireland can compete internationally in the fields of new media and film, combining artistic brilliance with technical excellence. In the context of a media industry constantly seeking technical innovation and original vision, this unique programme, the result of UL's alliance with NUI Galway, represents an important investment in, and commitment to, Ireland's creative future." The NUI Galway-UL Alliance is an institution-wide alliance across all areas of activity including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The new Alliance will see NUI Galway and UL collaborate extensively in the area of teaching and learning. Exciting new initiatives include a unique 'Link to Learn' student exchange programme, which will enable students at either university to choose modules from the other institution as part of their programme. Other developments include the creation of a new joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals, in addition to the development of a programme of activities to respond to the national objectives of building strong foundations in mathematics and science in primary and second level education. -Ends-

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