Launch of the Irish Universities Study

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The President of UCD and IUA, Dr. Hugh Brady, today launched the Irish Universities Study. Using advanced internet survey techniques the longitudinal study will capture key information from undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in our universities. Areas covered include the education experience, economic expectations, personal development and health. The sector-wide survey is a major innovation providing the universities with the ability to formulate policy for students and researchers based on sound evidence. Ultimately the results will play an important role in improving the standard of living for students in Irish universities and contributing to the development of university education in Ireland. The project will run for three years and is funded equally by the HEA Strategic Innovation Fund [SIF] and the seven universities. Speaking about the study Dr. Hugh Brady says: "This pioneering research programme will enable the universities to make strategic policy decisions and will inform the development of key resources including teaching and learning, quality assurance and students services, informed by student feedback". The study is being carried out by the Geary Institute in UCD on behalf of the Irish Universities Association [IUA]. Speaking today at the launch the Director of the UCD Geary Institute, Professor Colm Harmon said "The study is a particularly important and timely one. It will produce a fine set of academic publications, will be the foundation for creating a new higher education research capacity at UCD, but will also be firmly embedded into the planning process for the Irish higher education system". The keynote address was given by Professor Ronald Ehrenberg of Cornell University, one of the most prolific and well regarded labour economists of the last 30 years. Professor Ehrenberg stressed the economic and social value of education, the need to nurture this belief in secondary school, and the critical need to avoid underinvestment in fourth level areas. He emphasized the importance of carrying out research to gather information of the type the Irish Universities Study (IUS) will capture. This study will play a central role for the future development of higher education policy in Ireland. ends

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New Dean of Graduate Studies at NUI Galway

Monday, 14 April 2008

NUI Galway has appointed Dr. Pat Morgan to the newly created position of Dean of Graduate Studies. Dr. Morgan has previously served as Dean of College of Science at the University (1998-2004) and more recently as Pre-clinical Vice-Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Sciences. NUI Galway has some 3,500 postgraduate or 'fourth-level' students, and offers over 400 full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. With the number of postgraduate students expected to grow quickly in line with growth in research activity at the University, Dr. Morgan will focus on maintaining the high quality of PhD programmes. Dr. Morgan will also support the development of new Graduate Schools at NUI Galway. Alongside NUI Galway-based initiatives, there will be a focus on encouraging inter-institutional cooperation and in attracting high calibre international students to the programmes. Commenting on the appointment, NUI Galway President, Dr. Jim Browne, said, "The University is committed to the development and provision of high quality research and taught graduate programmes. Postgraduate programmes are based on the University's traditional areas of academic strength, and increasingly draw on our well-established Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering Science, Human Rights, Film & Digital Media, Regenerative Medicine and Marine Science." Speaking about her appointment, Dr. Morgan said, "Ireland has seen rapid growth in the number of students studying at fourth-level. What is critical is that such growth does not compromise the student experience and that we provide the range of skills and training that a fully-rounded graduate student needs." Working with the 'fourth-level' theme, NUI Galway's graduate education opportunities are now under the banner go4th™. An online prospectus of all that is on offer at NUI Galway is available at www.go4th.ie -ends-

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Déan Nua Staidéir Iarchéime in OÉ Gaillimh

Monday, 14 April 2008

Tá an Dr. Pat Morgan ceaptha ag OÉ Gaillimh sa phost nua – Déan Staidéir Iarchéime. Roimhe seo bhí an Dr. Morgan ag obair mar Dhéan ar Choláiste na hEolaíochta san Ollscoil (1998-2004) agus le píosa anuas bhí sí ag obair mar Leas-Déan Réamhchliniciúil i gColáiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte. Tá 3,500 mac léinn iarchéime nó 'ceathrú leibhéal' in OÉ Gaillimh, agus tá os cionn 400 clár iarchéime lánaimseartha agus páirtaimseartha á tairiscint aici, lena n-áirítear cláir mháistreachta theagaisc agus thaighde agus roghanna taighde dochtúireachta. Táthar ag súil go dtiocfaidh méadú ar an líon mac léinn iarchéime ar aon dul leis an méadú i ngníomhaíocht taighde na hOllscoile, agus díreoidh an Dr. Morgan ar chláir Ph.D. ar ardchaighdeán a sholáthar. Chomh maith leis sin, tacóidh an Dr. Morgan le forbairt na Scoileanna Iarchéime nua in OÉ Gaillimh. Le cois tionscnaimh bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh, cuirfear béim ar chomhoibriú idir institiúidí agus ar mhic léinn idirnáisiúnta ar ardchaighdeán a mhealladh le dul i mbun clár anseo. Le linn don Dr. Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, a bheith ag labhairt faoin gceapachán dúirt sé go bhfuil "an Ollscoil tiomanta do chláir thaighde agus theagaisc iarchéime ar ardchaighdeán a fhorbairt agus a chur ar fáil. Tá cláir iarchéime bunaithe ar réimsí láidre acadúla na hOllscoile agus béim go háirithe ar ár nIonaid Taighde atá bunaithe le fada, agus réimsí ar nós Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine, Cearta Daonna, Scannáin & na Meáin Dhigiteacha, Leigheas Athghiniúnach agus Muireolaíocht." Le linn don Dr. Morgan a bheith ag labhairt faoina ceapachán dúirt sí go bhfuil "méadú as cuimse tagtha ar an líon mac léinn atá ag staidéar ag an gceathrú leibhéal. Is é an rud is tábhachtaí nach gciallaíonn an fás as cuimse seo go mbeidh taithí na mac léinn thíos leis dá bharr, agus a chinntiú go gcuirimid an raon scileanna agus oiliúna ar fáil le freastal ar riachtanais mac léinn iarchéime." Bunaithe ar an téama 'ceathrú leibhéal', tá deiseanna iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh anois á bpoibliú faoi go4th™. Tá réamheolaire ar líne maidir leis na cúrsaí ar fad atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh le fáil ag www.go4th.ie - críoch -

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Olympic Rowing Team Train at NUI Galway

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Seven Irish Olympic Heavyweight Rowing team were in training on the Corrib recently during a break between training camps in Southern France. Head Coach Harald Jarling requested the use of the NUI Galway Boat Club facilities and the assistance of some extra personnel to complete an eight-man team. Three members of the Olympic team are NUI Galway rowers, Alan Martin (Salthill), Cormac Folan (Barna) and James Wall (Limerick). For the weekend's training, they were joined by Evin Donnelly and Ruadhán Cooke, of NUI Galway Boat Club. Ruadhán Cooke, NUI Galway Boat Club, said, "We had a wonderful if exhausting two-day training session. The Galway based squad members thoroughly enjoyed being back on their home patch for a few days. Evin Donnelly and I really appreciated the opportunity of linking up with our club mates and experiencing training at this level". Head Coach Harald Jarling, himself a double Olympic Gold Medallist with the former East Germany, was very pleased with the mini-camp during which the squad clocked up over 120 kilometres on the Corrib. The Irish rowers have already qualified a Heavyweight Coxless Four for Beijing and currently train in a Four, Pair and Single Scull. The squad is striving to also qualify the Pair and the Single Scull at the final Olympic selection regatta in Poland in late June. The squad were welcomed to NUI Galway by Vice-President for Physical Resources Keith Warnock, Club Captain Matthew Carroll and Coach Tom Tuohy. Also present to meet the Olympic team were sponsors of NUI Galway's fleet of top-class boats, Tom Forde of the Bank of Ireland and Paul Brennan of Michael McNamara & Company. The eight-man boat used by the squad on the Corrib is sponsored by Seán Stewart of the JSL / Stewart Group. -ends-

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Tracy Piggott to Honour Pupils in NUI Galway's Uni 4 U Initiative

Friday, 11 April 2008

Over 100 pupils from primary schools across Galway will be honoured by RTÉ sports commentator Tracy Piggott at a special ceremony at 7pm on Wednesday, 16 April, for their participation in NUI Galway's 'Uni 4 U 2008' programme. The children will receive medals and certificates from the TV personality in recognition of their involvement in the three-year programme which promotes education, school attendance and personal development through sporting, cultural and academic activities on the University campus. 'Uni 4 U' is developed and delivered by NUI Galway's Access Office in partnership with Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and St Michael's Boys School, Mervue. Now in its eighth year, the programme includes a homework and sports club which is run on campus in conjunction with Áras na Mac Léinn. The children are helped by undergraduate volunteers for two hours a week in completing their homework and playing sports. Explaining the significance of the programme for those involved, Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer, said, "Specifically, this programme aims to help students by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sports activities. In addition, there is a focus on their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeric and literacy skills". Brenda Foy, Home School Community Liaison Co-ordinator with Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue, commented, "The Uni 4 U programme is an excellent introduction to the University for the pupils of Mervue. They can enjoy the atmosphere and develop serious aspirations for continuing their education onto third-level. Not alone does it benefit the children but it also involved their parents, many of whom might never have stepped onto the University grounds. The Uni 4 U programme has made third-level education a given for our children and look forward to it continuing in the future". Easter and Summer camps facilitated by university staff volunteers have introduced the children to topics in science, engineering, languages and the humanities. This enables the children to get a feel for their subject choices in secondary school and encourage them to participate more actively in their own learning. New initiatives in 'Uni 4 U' during 2008 included a storytelling course and performance where the children told stories they had created themselves in seanchaí style. The programmes' success includes the participation of parents with their children in the study skill and homework support workshops run by the Access Office. -ends-

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