Senior Management at NUI Galway go 'Back-to-the-Floor'

Senior Management at NUI Galway go 'Back-to-the-Floor'-image

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

18th October 2006: Library staff, mail-room personnel, gardeners and administrators at NUI Galway received a boost in numbers today (Wednesday) when nine senior managers went 'Back-to-the-Floor' for an initiative aimed at increasing mutual understanding between staff at all levels in the rapidly expanding university. Each of the nine senior managers, including President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, assumed the role of a front-line administrative or service worker at the University, taking on the full range of their tasks for the day and working alongside their colleagues to gain an insight into the issues facing them on a daily basis. NUI Galway is one of the largest employers in Galway city, employing over 1,800 people. In the last five years, staff numbers have risen by almost 40%, to support the growing number of students and education programmes. NUI Galway management is intent on ensuring the lines of communication between management and staff remain open and that the University's inclusive and cohesive atmosphere is retained. Having sorted post in the mailroom and answered student queries at the Students Union front desk, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, was very enthusiastic about the initiative, "This was a great opportunity for me to really appreciate the fantastic work carried out at ground level in this University. It allowed me to have a real feel for the issues confronting staff and students daily on the front line. It's very important to ensure the lines of communication stay open between all levels at our university and it's part of our culture to promote openness and inclusion, building a positive working environment for our staff, resulting in a better learning environment for our students." The 'Back-to-the-Floor' initiative was originally the brainchild of a staff member at NUI Galway, submitted through the University's staff suggestion scheme, and employees were asked to vote on positions for senior management, contributing €2 per ballot to charitable causes. - ends - Note to Editors: Roles undertaken by NUI Galway senior managers on Back to the Floor Day: 1. Dr. Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, President: University Mail Centre and Students Union 2. Prof. Jim Browne, Deputy President and Registrar: Admissions Office Reception Desk 3. Ms Mary Dooley, Bursar: Accounts Payable Office 4. Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna, Rúnaí: Exams Office Reception desk 5. Mary O'Riordan, Vice-President for Student Services & Human Resources: Students Services Information Desk 6. Marie Reddan, James Hardiman Librarian: Library stewarding 7. Mr. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources: Gardening and Grounds 8. Dr. Kieran Loftus, Director of Computer Services: User Support 9. Chris McNairney: Director of Human Resources: HR Reception Desk

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Secondary School Students Challenged to Mathematics Contest

Secondary School Students Challenged to Mathematics Contest-image

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

18 October 2006: Tomorrow, (Thursday), nearly 7,000 students in 200 secondary schools across the country are taking up a maths challenge from NUI Galway. The inaugural PRoblem-solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians (PRISM) contest is the brainchild of NUI Galway mathematicians Dr. James Cruickshank and Dr. Rachel Quinlan, and aims to encourage students to take an interest in problem-solving from an early age. Each participating school will hold separate hour-long contests for pre-Junior Certificate and post-Junior Certificate students. The contests will feature a series of twenty problems, in multiple-choice format, to challenge the problem-solving dexterity of participants. Marking of answer sheets will be carried out at NUI Galway and other universities. "We are amazed by the huge interest in and positive response to the contest, commented Dr. James Cruickshank of NUI Galway's Maths Department. "One of the key skills in mathematics is the ability to solve problems. It is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of mathematics - anyone who enjoys a sudoku, or who has solved Rubik's cube can attest to the satisfaction of solving a hard mathematical problem. Mathematical contests, such as PRISM, are a good way to introduce young people to the challenges and rewards of solving interesting mathematical puzzles and problems. We hope that at least some of the PRISM contestants will be inspired by the contest to further develop their problem solving skills". Another aim of the contest is to identify interested and talented students who might enjoy and benefit from participating in a mathematical enrichment programme at NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCC, UCD or UL. Successful participation in one of these programmes will entail regular attendance at lectures and problem-solving sessions at one of these centres, as well as extensive independent practice at problem solving, supported by correspondence with mentors. Participants in the enrichment programmes usually expect to compete in the Irish Mathematical Olympiad, which takes place in May 2007. "There has been much talk lately of declining standards in second level mathematics. Amid this negativity, it is often forgotten that there are still many excellent teachers and talented students who are interested in mathematics. These people deserve recognition and encouragement from their colleagues in third level institutions. We hope that initiatives like PRISM will help us to develop links with our post primary counterparts, so that students can be encouraged to develop their mathematical skills outside the school curriculum", commented Dr. Rachel Quinlan, NUI Galway's Maths Department. PRISM is being co-organised by Dr Mark Dukes, School of Mathematical Sciences, UCD, Gordon Lessells, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UL and Dr Richard Watson, Department of Mathematics, NUI Maynooth. A list of participating schools can be found on - ends -

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Graduate Recruitment Fair Features Best of Business

Graduate Recruitment Fair Features Best of Business-image

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Over 75 national and multinational companies will feature at NUI Galway's Graduate Recruitment Fair, which takes place in Áras na Mac Léinn/Student Centre from 12.00pm to 4.00pm, on Tuesday 31 October 2006. The annual event is an ideal opportunity for current students, graduates and post-graduates to meet prospective employers and find out what's on offer in the job market. Organisations from across a wide range of sectors will attend, including Accenture, IBM, Intel, Kerry Group, KPMG, Medtronic, Quinn Group, SAP, Johnson & Johnson, The Marine Institute, Kingspan, Engineers Ireland, Pfizer, Ulster Bank, Masterfoods and Hewlett Packard. The Public Appointments Service, which recruits for all government departments will also be in attendance and interested in meeting graduates from all disciplines. The Graduate Recruitment Fair is very timely for those who intend getting a foothold on the career ladder as this year it follows one week after some 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway. A special service provided at the Fair is a 'CV Clinic', where the NUI Galway Careers Service will review CVs and provide advice and recommendations on how this key document may be improved. Peter Keane of NUI Galway Careers Office, advises those wishing to attend to bring their CVs and take advantage of the opportunity of having so many prospective employers present in the one place, ready to recruit staff. He comments, "Every year, this event goes from strength to strength. The prospective employers will be recruiting for scientists, engineers, administrators, business analysts, language specialists – the list goes on. NUI Galway graduates have an excellent reputation for being highly motivated, used to working in project groups and often with valuable work experience, having participated in our Professional Employment Programme (PEP). It is not surprising that there is almost 100% employment among our graduates every year." The event is co-ordinated by the Careers Service at NUI Galway in association with the Bank of Ireland. Tom Forde, Manager, Bank of Ireland, University Branch, said that he was pleased to continue the bank's involvement in this important and successful event. Individuals and companies interested in participating should contact the Careers Service Coordinator, Deirdre Sheridan, on 091 493 169 or by e-mail at

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Symposium on 'Ageing and Values' at NUI Galway

Symposium on 'Ageing and Values' at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 16 October 2006

16 October 2006: An international conference at NUI Galway is to examine the meanings people attach to their lives as they grow older, including religious and spiritual values, and the ways in which society values – or fails to value - people as they age. The conference 'Values and Norms in Ageing', 20-22 October, has been organised by Dr. Ricca Edmondson, of the Department of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and Hans-Joachim von Kondratowitz at the German Centre for Gerontology in Berlin. The conference will also address the question of wisdom, which was traditionally expected of older people in times gone by. Reviving and appreciating the idea of wisdom, which provides the individual with a set of critical and constructive skills based on experience, could help transform the role of older people in society – encouraging society to take seriously what people learn from life and to put it to good use. Speakers will also discuss the differing welfare-state provisions across Europe and how they might reflect prejudices about the contributions older people make to society. Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, Professor Eamon O'Shea, commented, "A crucial aspect of our lives which is often neglected is the part played by values. Huge demographic changes are ahead, in Ireland we can expect one in four people will be over the age of 65 by 2050, compared to the current figure of around one in ten. With such a growing proportion of older people, we urgently need to know more about the values they have and how we can use the wisdom of older people to transform economic, social and cultural life". Main speakers and topics of 'Values and Norms in Ageing' include: Prof. Peter Coleman, University of Southampton, UK Faithful unto death? Late-life questions about religious belief Prof. Michele Dillon from the University of New Hampshire; US Religion, spirituality and positive ageing Prof. Haim Hazan, University of Tel Aviv, Israel Beyond Dialogue - Entering the Fourth Space in Old Age Prof. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, University of Leipzig, Germany Atheist convictions or keeping things open ? The event is the 36th international symposium of the European Behavioural and Social Science Research Section of the IAG (International Association of Gerontology), which is being held in co-operation with the Research Network on Ageing in Europe of the ESA (European Sociological Association) and the Galway Wisdom Project. -ends-

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NUI Galway to host Alumni Professionals Conference

NUI Galway to host Alumni Professionals Conference-image

Monday, 16 October 2006

NUI Galway will be this year's venue for the bi-annual Alumni Officers Network of Ireland (AONI) Conference. Alumni professionals from Ireland and Northern Ireland's universities and third-level colleges will attend this two-day event on October 19-20. The conference will focus on a wide range of issues facing Ireland's alumni functions in the context of an increasing focus on alumni support and partnership in educational institutions. The event is being hosted by the Alumni Office at NUI Galway, where Director, JB Terrins, commented, "The strategic importance of fostering relationships and contact between alumni and their alma mater, is well practiced in North America, and is being increasingly recognised in Ireland, and indeed across Europe. This growth in awareness is welcomed by the sector here and brings with it challenges in terms of benchmarking, measuring performance and further professionalising of operations. This conference has been a feature of the sector's annual calendar for some years and continues to provide knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities for alumni practitioners". The NUI Galway Alumni Office creates and maintains a vital connection with the University's 60,000 graduates worldwide. Working in conjunction with the Alumni Association, the office keeps graduates informed of University developments, helping to sustain that vital link with their alma mater. The Alumni Office maintains alumni records, manages alumni events and produces the alumni publications Cois Coiribe, the Alumni Newsletter, the Cumann Caoga Bliain Souvenir Journal and a monthly e-Newsletter, Alumni Links. The Alumni Office is always interested in hearing from graduates and welcomes their ideas and comments. For further information visit - ends -

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NUI Galway Pioneers Third-Level Education in Connemara

NUI Galway Pioneers Third-Level Education in Connemara-image

Friday, 13 October 2006

………..supporting sustainable knowledge-based Gaeltacht economies……………. 13 October 2006: Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs today (Friday), at the official opening of the newly refurbished NUI Galway's centre in An Cheathrú Rua, commended NUI Galway's commitment to addressing the demand for highly-skilled, Irish speaking professionals through its educational programmes. The University has developed a network of Gaeltacht-based centres which are run by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's national institute pioneering third-level education through the Irish language. NUI Galway's commitment and focus on the development and provision of third level courses in Gaeltacht areas will contribute in a positive manner to the social, economic, cultural and linguistic life of these regions. The University's centres provide programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate levels in areas such as; applied language skills, translation studies, information technology, communication studies, teaching methodology, drama studies and language planning. In addition, NUI Galway now offers Ireland's first B.A. in Communications, as Gaeilge, at its centre in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway. These innovative and flexible programmes help nurture enterprise initiatives as well as promoting businesses which are related to the Gaeltacht regions' uniqueness in knowledge intensive fields such as eco- and cultural tourism, music, arts, education and multimedia. Increased demand for highly qualified professionals working through Irish has been triggered by official status being granted by the EU to the Irish language. The implementation of the Irish Language Act has also increased the use of Irish in government institutions which in turn creates a demand for professional translators and interpreters. NUI Galway is demonstrating leadership in ensuring that there is a constant supply of highly skilled graduates in translation, interpretation and applied language skills to meet this demand. Minister Ó Cuív stated, "There is a requirement for highly-skilled graduates who are competent to work through Irish in a range of disciplines. I congratulate NUI Galway for implementing innovative Irish-medium programmes and research activities in Gaeltacht centres, in partnership with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Údarás na Gaeltachta, which boasts the latest educational technology and facilities. This is working towards the Government's strategic aim of developing a sustainable knowledge-based economy". Over 170 undergraduate and post-graduate students throughout the country have come to study in An Cheathrú Rua this academic year. An Cheathrú Rua is one of Ireland's strongest Gaeltacht areas with over 85% of its population speaking Irish daily, which in addition attracts hundreds of students to the centre annually to attend short term and specialised Irish courses and classes. The 2,500 square metre centre combines facilities at Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain and the former Coláiste Columba. This centre generates more than €5 million annually to the local economy and supports the University's strategic community outreach initiatives. Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said, "Our outreach centres around the country are part of the University's policy of bringing education to the community. Essential to this vision is the development of a third level education model that can be emulated by other minority language communities as a vehicle for their sustainable development". The President thanked Minister Ó Cuív and his Department for the support in the form of current and capital finance given to An tAcadamh for the development of an Irish language University in Gaeltacht centres. He also thanked Údarás na Gaeltachta for the help they have given An tAcadamh and its students in the Gaeltacht over the years. It is obvious that the education being delivered in the Gaeltacht centres is an integral part of the Gaeltacht's infrastructure. An Cheathrú Rua outreach campus is part of a network of Gaeltacht centres, including Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal and Carna, Co. Galway. Plans are underway for the establishment of a fourth centre in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Kerry. -ends-

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Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh tús leis an Oideachas Tríú Leibhéal i gConamara

Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh tús leis an Oideachas Tríú Leibhéal i gConamara-image

Friday, 13 October 2006

……… tacú le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe inmharthana na Gaeltachta……………. 13 Deireadh Fómhair 2006: Rinne Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., An tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, OÉ Gaillimh a mholadh go hard as tabhairt faoin éileamh ar Ghaeilgeoirí gairmiúla oilte a sholáthar trína cláir oideachais, ag oscailt oifigiúil ionad nua OÉ Gaillimh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá líonra d'ionaid Ghaeltachta curtha le chéile ag an Ollscoil agus iad rite ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, institiúid náisiúnta cheannródaíoch OÉ Gaillimh atá tiomanta d'oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. Cuirfidh tiomantas agus béim OÉ Gaillimh ar chúrsaí tríú leibhéal a fhorbairt agus a chur ar fáil sa Ghaeltacht go mór leis an saol sóisialta, eacnamaíoch, cultúrtha agus teanga sna réigiúin seo. Cuireann ionaid na hOllscoile cláir fochéime agus iarchéime ar fáil i réimsí cosúil leo seo a leanas; scileanna teanga feidhmí, léann an aistriúcháin, an teicneolaíocht faisnéise, staidéar na cumarsáide, modheolaíocht teagaisc, staidéar na drámaíochta agus pleanáil teanga. Chomh maith leis sin, tá OÉ Gaillimh ag cur an chéad B.A. sa Chumarsáid, as Gaeilge, ar fáil san ionad ar an gCeathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe. Cuireann na cláir nuálacha sholúbtha seo tionscnaimh fiontraíochta chun cinn chomh maith le gnónna a bhaineann le huathúlacht na Gaeltachta i réimsí dianeolais cosúil le héiceathurasóireacht agus turasóireacht chultúir, ceol, ealaíon, oideachas agus na hilmheáin. Tá éileamh anois ar dhaoine gairmiúla ag oibriú trí Ghaeilge mar gheall ar an stádas oifigiúil a thug an tAontas Eorpach don Ghaeilge. Le cur i bhfeidhm Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla tá méadú tagtha ar úsáid na Gaeilge in institiúidí rialtais agus ciallaíonn sé sin go bhfuil éileamh ar aistritheoirí agus ar theangairí gairmiúla. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag léiriú ceannaireachta trína chinntiú go bhfuil soláthar seasta céimithe oilte san aistriúchán, sa teangaireacht agus sna scileanna teanga feidhmí chun an t-éileamh seo a shásamh. Dúirt an tAire Ó Cuív, "Tá gá le céimithe oilte atá in ann oibriú trí Ghaeilge i réimsí éagsúla. Comhghairdeas le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh as cláir nuálacha agus gníomhaíochtaí taighde trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn in ionaid Ghaeltachta, i gcomhar leis an Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta agus Údarás na Gaeltachta, ina bhfuil na háiseanna agus an teicneolaíocht oideachais is fearr amuigh. Tá sé seo ag teacht le haidhm straitéiseach an Rialtais maidir le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe inmharthana a fhorbairt". I mbliana, tá breis agus 170 fochéimí agus iarchéimí ó cheann ceann na tíre tagtha le staidéar ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá an Cheathrú Rua ar cheann de na ceantair Ghaeltachta is láidre ó thaobh na Gaeilge de. Labhraíonn os cionn 85% de mhuintir na háite an Ghaeilge ar bhonn laethúil, rud a mheallann na céadta scoláire chuig an ionad le dianchúrsaí gearra agus ranganna Gaeilge a dhéanamh gach bliain. Tá 2,500 méadar cearnach san ionad ina iomláine agus teacht ar áiseanna in Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain agus san áit ina mbíodh Coláiste Cholumba. Cuireann an tIonad seo breis agus €5 mhilliún gach bliain isteach sa gheilleagar áitiúil agus tacaíonn sé le tionscnaimh for-rochtana straitéiseacha na hOllscoile. Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, "Tá na hionaid for-rochtana ar fud na tíre ina gcuid lárnach de pholasaí na hOllscoile oideachas a thabhairt chomh fada leis an bpobal. Tá forbairt ar mhúnla oideachais tríú leibhéal ríthábhachtach don fhís seo, múnla ar féidir le pobail eile a labhraíonn mionteanga aithris a dhéanamh air mar uirlis dá bhforbairt inmharthana féin. Ghlac an tUachtarán buíochas ó chroí leis an Aire Ó Cuív agus lena Roinn as an tacaíocht in airgead caipitil agus reatha atá tugtha don Acadamh ar mhaithe le forbairt na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Ionaid Ghaeltachta. Ghlac sé buíochas chomh maith le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta as an gcúnamh atá faighte ag an Acadamh agus ag mic léinn an Acadaimh sa Ghaeltacht ón Údarás in imeacht na mblianta. Is léir go dtuigtear go soiléir anois gur cuid lárnach de bhonneagar na Gaeltachta an t-oideachas atáthar a sholáthar sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta. Is cuid de líonra ionad Gaeltachta an campas for-rochtana ar an gCeathrú Rua, lena n-áirítear Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Dhún na nGall agus Carna, Co. na Gaillimhe. Tá pleananna á gcur i dtoll a chéile don cheathrú ionad i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Chiarraí. - críoch -

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'Litríocht agus Cultúr' Conference at NUI Galway Dedicated to Máirtín Ó Cadhain

'Litríocht agus Cultúr' Conference at NUI Galway Dedicated to Máirtín Ó Cadhain-image

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

(English version below) Reachtálfar Comhdháil: Litríocht agus Cultúr na Gaeilge in Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ, Gaillimh, Dé hAoine agus Dé Sathairn seo chugainn, 13-14 Deireadh Fómhair. Tá comhdháil na bliana seo tiomanta do Mháirtín Ó Cadhain agus beidh na haoichainteorí ag díriú ar ghnéithe éagsúla dá shaol agus dá shaothar: Alan Titley (iriseoireacht an Chadhnaigh), Brian Ó Conchubhair (úrscéalta an Chadhnaigh) agus Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (rútaí an Chadhnaigh). Ina theannta sin beidh cúigear den 19 cainteoir eile ag plé leis an gCadhnach, ms, Nollaig Ó Gadhra ag trácht ar an gCadhnach agus Óglaigh na hÉireann, agus Pádraigín Ní Cheallaigh ag caint ar an gCadhnach mar ollamh ollscoile. Seolfaidh Seán Ó Cadhain Cré na Cille, dlúthdhioscaí an leagain dhrámatúil le Johnny Chóil Mhaidhc Ó Coisdealbha (RTÉ, Raidió na Gaeltachta agus Cló Iar-Chonnachta) ar a sé a chlog Dé hAoine, agus léireoidh Aisteoirí Bulfin An Eochair, leagan drámatúil de ghearrscéal cáiliúil an Chadhnaigh, i dTéatar Chearbhalláin ar a hocht oíche Dé Sathairn. Ina theannta sin bronnfaidh Joe Steve Ó Neachtain cóip de bhunscríbhinn Baile an Droichid ar Mharie Reddan, Leabharlannai na hOllscoile, tar éis a léachta féin tráthnóna Dé Sathairn. Osclóidh an Dr Caitriona Clear, Leas-Déan Dhámh na nDán, an chomhdháil tráthnóna Dé hAoine ag 3.15. Tuilleadh faisnéise ó Rúnaí Scoil na Gaeilge: ----------------------------------------------------------- A conference entitled Litríocht agus Cultúr na Gaeilge (Irish Language Literature and Culture) will be held in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway on Friday and Saturday, 13-14th of October. This year's conference is dedicated to Máirtín Ó Cadhain and the guest speakers will focus on different aspects of his life and work: Alan Titley (Ó Cadhain's journalism), Brian Ó Conchubhair (Ó Cadhain's novels) and Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (Ó Cadhain's background). Five of the other nineteen speakers will also discuss Ó Cadhain, e.g., Nollaig Ó Gadhra will speak of Ó Cadhain and the IRA, and Pádraigín Ní Cheallaigh will talk about Ó Cadhain as a university professor. Seán Ó Cadhain will launch Cré na Cille, CD recordings of Johnny Chóil Mhaidhc Ó Coisdealbha's dramatisation of the novel (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and Cló Iar-Chonnachta) at six o'clock on Friday, and Aisteoirí Bulfin will be on stage with their version of An Eochair, a dramatised version of Ó Cadhain's well-known short story, in Téatar Chearbhalláin, Áras na Gaeilge, at eight o'clock on Saturday night. Joe Steve Ó Neachtain will present Marie Reddan, the University Librarian, with a copy of Baile an Droichid's original manuscript, after his own lecture on Saturday afternoon. Dr Caitríona Clear, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, will launch the conference on Friday afternoon at 3.15pm. Further information from the Scoil na Gaeilge secretary: - ends -

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NUI Galway to Host Biodiversity Workshop

NUI Galway to Host Biodiversity Workshop-image

Monday, 9 October 2006

NUI Galway will host a workshop entitled, 'Building a Biodiverse Galway: Practical, Social, and Environmental Considerations', on Wednesday 18 October, from 9am – 1pm. Five experts will discuss the planning and building aspects, and the human and environmental importance, of sustainable living and maintaining biodiversity in Galway City. The morning promises to be lively and informative, admission is free and open to all, but participants need to register in advance by emailing The event will take place at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), The Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. Sarah Knight, Communications and Outreach Officer, ECI, NUI Galway commented: "Galway is growing rapidly, but we must ask whether we are creating a city we will want to live in. Recent years have seen a rapid rate of change from rural to urban land use in Galway city, but at the expense of our natural landscape. The social and environmental benefits of preserving some of the amazing biodiversity in Galway city are often overshadowed in the push to build to meet population demand". 'Building a Biodiverse Galway: Practical, Social, and Environmental Considerations'will feature the following speakers and topics: 'The social consequences of not considering a whole system approach to waste management', with Dr. Niamh Clune, Social Entrepreneur. 'How planners can incorporate natural landscapes', with Hendrik W. van der Kamp, Town Planner & President of the Irish Planning Institute. 'Building a green home in Ireland: design and materials', with Doug Johnson, Advocate of Alternative and Sustainable Technologies. 'Construction activities and their impact on the environment and communities', with Gerry Carty, Director, RPS Consulting Engineers, Galway. 'Community-derived green mapping in Galway city', with Dr. Frances Fahy, Department of Geography, NUI Galway. For members of Engineers Ireland, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for participation in this workshop are available. The workshop takes place during the annual Biodiversity Week for Galway City, 'Go Wild in the City!', which has been initiated to further the awareness of the wealth of biodiversity in the city, by the Habitats Sub-Group of the Galway City Development Board's Natural Environment and Waterways Mechanism. As well as the general promotion of public awareness of environmental issues in the city, the second main objective of this week is to provide a platform for informative interactions between city council staff, planners, developers, environmental researchers and campaigners, and interested members of the public, on the subjects of sustainable development and biodiversity in the city. - ends -

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Plans Unveiled for Ulster-Connacht Medical School

Plans Unveiled for Ulster-Connacht Medical School-image

Monday, 2 October 2006

Plans for a medical school shared between the University of Ulster s Magee campus and NUI Galway were recently unveiled at a conference in Sligo. Academics, politicians and medical experts from the north and west of the island of Ireland came together to back a proposal that would put the Ulster-Connacht region on Ireland s medical education map. The proposal draws on the strengths of both institutions to create a compelling proposition that will open up new opportunities in cross-border healthcare service provision, medical research and economic development, as well as medical education itself. The initiative will also addresses the problem of attracting GPs to the region, as research has shown that graduates are more likely to seek employment in the area where they were educated. As part of the proposal, NUI Galway and the University of Ulster will each provide a four-year programme for graduate entrants, with an additional five-year option available at NUI Galway. While the final three years of each programme will be interchangeable, the UU programme will have more emphasis on Primary Care. Hospitals and primary care centres involved will include, in the North - Derry, Omagh, Enniskillen, and Coleraine, and in the South - Ballinasloe, Mayo, Sligo, Letterkenny and Roscommon. The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at NUI Galway will adopt a mentoring role for the School at UU s Magee campus, providing academic expertise in programme development, sharing courses and, where appropriate, clinical teachers, and also developing the student assessment process in order to achieve the highest standards. Common, jointly developed, distance learning packages will be used to deliver curricular content at affiliated sites. This will be facilitated by the University of Ulster s world-leading strength in web-based distance learning. Clinical placements in affiliated hospitals and practices, and special study modules will be shared, and interchangeable, giving students experience of two health care systems, and facilitating inter-professional learning opportunities. According to Professor Gerry Loftus, Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences, NUI Galway, "Our science, technology and research capabilities have developed and expanded over the past number of years and in building this partnership with Ulster University, we are adding to the facilities available at NUI Galway and strengthening our position as a world-class university. The Government's Fottrell Report, specifically addressed medical education and underlined the need to provide further opportunities for medical education both at undergraduate and graduate entry level. Working together, the medical experts and institutions in this Ulster-Connacht region have the potential to create a significant critical mass which will open up many new educational and research opportunities for students." Professor Loftus went on to say that NUI Galway are working towards a total intake of 160 undergraduate and graduate entry medical students at NUI Galway in the coming years. With closer ties and the support of the local hospitals in the Ulster/Connacht region, clinical placements for such numbers of students could be achieved. Professor Bernie Hannigan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Ulster, said: "The north-west region of the island of Ireland presents many challenges to the delivery of high quality medical services. One solution is to ensure a supply of well-educated doctors who have received their training in the region, and so developed a connection with the area. "Together, the University of Ulster and NUI Galway are proposing a model of a joint medical school to do just that. All students in the Ulster-Connacht Medical School would experience the same excellent foundation in medical sciences, and undergo training in the hospitals and primary care centres on both sides of the Border." "This is a single, highly creative, cost-effective solution to problems that affect people identically, whether in Northern Ireland or in the Republic." Professor Hannigan added that the university partners to the project are working closely with project supporters and are hoping soon to get the green light to proceed to more detailed planning stages. Their current conviction is that the many benefits it would bring to the community must make the project a high priority for future spending plans. - ends -

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