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NUI Galway pays tribute to the late John McGahern
Monday, 3 April 2006
The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid ÓMuircheartaigh today expressed his sadness at the death of John McGahern. Mr McGahern had a very close association with the University during his lifetime. Dr ÓMuircheartaigh extended his sympathy to Mr McGahern's family making the following statement: "The entire University community at National University of Ireland, Galway is deeply saddened to learn of the death of John McGahern. On behalf of the campus community, I express our sincere sympathy to his wife, Madeline; his sisters and his extended family. For over 30 years NUI Galway is proud to have had a close association and friendship with John and Madeline McGahern. From his involvement with the University s Writing Programme in the 1970s to his appointment at Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Irish Studies in 2001, faculty and students of this University have been privileged to gain insight into the literary mind and creative process of John McGahern - a writer who is foremost among the great Irish novelists. It is a source of deep pride that John chose the University to be the repository of his literary archive and papers. In holding this valuable archive in the West of Ireland, the University holds in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship and for the Irish nation. On the sad occasion of his death we reflect on John McGahern s literary legacy which may be summarised as a deep understanding of the human condition tempered with a genuine care for the world of the imagination and the world of the word." ENDS
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Expansion of NUI Galway postgraduate courses in Irish
Monday, 3 April 2006
A range of postgrad courses will be offered this autumn by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's Irish language college, as part of its continuing development of third-level education through Irish both on the main university campus and in its centres in the Connemara Gaeltacht. The courses include a new M.Sc. research scholarship programme in information technology; an M.A. in language teaching methodologies which is aimed primarily at Irish teachers and primary teachers; an M.A. in translation studies; and Higher Diplomas in information technology, drama, and applied communications. The M.Sc. trí Thaighde sa Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise is offered by the Acadamh in conjunction with NUI Galway's IT department, and is based in Carna. This new research initiative is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and aims to develop a new R+D culture in IT in the Gaeltacht, in areas such as information retrieval and filtering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, multimedia, information technology and society, networks and wireless technologies, E-learning, E-commerce, and computational linguistics. The M.A. i Modheolaíochtaí do Theagasc Teangacha (An Ghaeilge) draws on the significant advances in language teaching methodologies in recent years in an effort to promote best-practice teaching of Irish. The course is offered on a fulltime basis over one year or part-time over two years and is based in An Cheathrú Rua. The M.A. i Léann an Aistriúcháin is a fulltime course over two years and is also based in An Cheathrú Rua. It is designed to capitalise on the rapid growth in the demand for translation services in the public sector following the enactment of the Official Languages Act and aims to prepare students for a career as translators or interpreters with Irish as a target language. The Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach is a wide-ranging course in broadcasting and radio and television journalism with a strong emphasis on practical skills and work experience. It is a one-year fulltime course based in An Cheathrú Rua. Subjects covered during the Ard-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht include writing for theatre, acting, criticism, puppet work and theatre-in-education. This one-year fulltime course in offered in conjuction with NUI Galway's Scoil na Gaeilge and is based in Seanscoil Sailearna in Indreabhán. The Ard-Dioplóma sna Dána (Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise) is a fulltime course over one year and covers a range of issues in information technology including software programming and design. It is a fulltime course over one year and is based in Carna. For more information contact Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway at 091 492428. Ends
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Renowned folklorist Henry Glassie to address Irish Studies Conference at NUI Gal
Monday, 29 May 2006
Henry Glassie, Professor of Folklore and Co-Director of Turkish Studies at Indiana University, will be among the speakers at the First Galway Conference of Irish Studies, which runs from Wednesday until Saturday, 7-10 June, at NUI, Galway. The theme of the conference is 'Orality and Modern Irish Culture', and Professor Glassie will be joined by more than sixty lecturers from Ireland, Britain, Norway, America, and South Africa, including Angela Bourke, author of The Burning of Bridget Cleary, and Gearóid Ó Crualaoich, author of The Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wisewoman Healer. Among the topics to be discussed are 'Memory and Memoir', 'Women and Oral History', 'Orality and the Sense of Place', 'Collecting Tradition', as well as aspects of orality in modern Irish literature. Papers will be presented in Irish and in English, with a simultaneous translation facility provided for material in Irish. One of the more innovative features of the Galway conference will be the series of workshops in which Henry Glassie, Angela Bourke, and Gearóid Ó Crualaoich will provide a demonstration of their own working methods through a close reading of selected stories from the Irish oral tradition. The conference will also feature a presentation by Méabh Ní Fhuartháin and the renowned musician Joe Burke on the musical traditions of East Galway. Admission to individual sessions of the conference is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The full conference programme is available on the Centre for Irish Studies website at http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre_irish_studies/. Henry Glassie's Passing the Time in Ballymenone has been described as 'one of the most remarkable pieces of literature of the twentieth century'. His groundbreaking study of the life and work of a rural community in County Fermanagh was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as 'an extraordinarily rich and rewarding book … about the effort of one man to find for himself and us the life's breath of the people of Ballymenone'. It was later included as a notable book of the year by the New York Times. Not surprisingly, Glassie's influence on Irish scholars and writers has been considerable; his first book on Ireland, All Silver and No Brass: An Irish Christmas Mumming provided the inspiration for Vincent Woods' play At the Black Pig's Dyke. His latest book The Stars of Ballmenone revisits the community of Ballymenone at the height of the Troubles, when the people told 'their own tale at night, forgotten, while the men of power filled the newspapers and history books by sending poor boys out to be killed'. - ends – For further details, contact Samantha Williams at Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 091 492951.
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NUI Galway research highlights need for improvement in quality of life of older
Monday, 29 May 2006
A recent research report by NUI Galway on improving the quality of life of older people in long-stay settings in Ireland calls for improvements in both practice and policy in the sector. The study, which was funded and published by the National Council on Ageing and Older People, documents the experiences of residents, relatives and staff of public, private and voluntary long-stay facilities in Ireland. The research is the first comprehensive analysis of the factors influencing quality of life for older people in long-stay care in this country. Over 556 long-stay care facilities were surveyed and 101 older people and 48 staff were interviewed across 8 counties. Dr Kathy Murphy, Head of Nursing Studies at NUI Galway, who led the research, commented, "The report can provide the basis for major changes in the regulation of public and private long-stay care in the future. Our growing population of older people deserve a good quality of life and we need to address the issues in long-stay care which are impacting negatively on this". The results of the research suggest that there are four key domains which impact on a person's quality of life in long-stay care: 1. Physical environment and ethos of care. 2. The ability to maintain a sense of self and identity. 3. Meaningful activities. 4. Connectedness to family, friends and community. Physical environment and ethos of care The research found that physical environment, which impacts quality of life by allowing older people to live their lives with dignity and privacy, was lagging behind in the public sector. Many of the long-stay care public facilities could not provide the residents with single or double rooms and many older people still lived in 6-8 bedded wards. Differences in staffing levels and skill mix between public and private facilities were identified by the report, with public facilities having higher levels of registered nurses and higher staffing levels overall. The report showed that the ethos of care within residential care can help offset some of the negative effects of physical environment and staffing. According to Adeline Cooney, Deputy Head of the Department of Nursing, a member of the research team, "It is very simple. Where care is person-centred and homely, older people do better". The ability to maintain a sense of self and identity The report found that older people wanted to maintain their individuality. Having some personal belongings, living in an environment in which they could have some privacy and being treated as an individual, rather than one of many, was important to them. Meaningful activities Another finding of the report noted residents wanted meaningful activities and opportunities to maintain their independence. They would like to be consulted more on day to day life in the facility and want control over their day, including what time to get up or go to bed and mealtimes. Connectedness to family, friends and community Older people also valued their connectedness to family and friends. Visits from family and friends are very important to older people. Regular visits helped to maintain family bonds and keep the older person in touch with what is happening at home and in the local community. Recommendations The report made many recommendations including: Greater consultation with older people in long-stay care. Uniform national care standards. New investment in public long-stay facilities. Person-centred models of care. Enhanced training and education of staff in all types of long-stay care. Professor Eamon O Shea, Director,Irish Centre for Social Gerontology NUI, Galway, who was part of the research team, commented that, "Older people in long-stay care are more than just patients, they are individuals who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in an environment that is empowering, enabling and connected". - ends -
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Disability Discrimination Summer School 2006 to take place at NUI Galway
Monday, 29 May 2006
The second Annual Summer School on Disability Discrimination law will take place in the National University of Ireland, Galway, from 6-16 June 2006. It is the only such disability event in Europe and is partnered by a similar Summer School on racial discrimination in the University of Maastricht. It is hosted by the Faculty of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and co-financed by the European Commission. Last year it attracted participants from over a dozen countries. The main focus of the Summer School is the European Union Framework Directive on Employment which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities (among others) in the broad employment sphere. The Summer School appeals to lawyers and legal advisers to non governmental organisations (NGOs) interested in crafting test case strategies under the Directive on the ground of disability. It also makes the information accessible to non-legal audiences and has been successful in attracting NGOs interested in using the law to advance the rights of persons with disabilities. The Director of the Programme, Professor Gerard Quinn of the National University of Ireland, Galway, said, "The issues are interesting and varied and include topics such as medical testing and the law, the interaction of health & safety law with non-discrimination law and the vexed notion of reasonable accommodation." He added that, "The field is likely to grow as there is pressure on Brussels to adopt a much broader Directive covering fields such as housing and education. Indeed, the Directive has already provided the model for drafting the United Nations treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities which should be adopted by the United Nations later this year." The course itself will be taught by leading practitioners in disability law who have experience in litigating the issues before a variety of courts including the US Supreme Court (Professor Peter Blanck, Syracuse University), the House of Lords (Robin Allen, Queen's Counsel), the Canadian Courts (Patricia Bregman, Attorney), the European Court of Justice (Professor Marc De Vos, Ghent University) and the European Court of Human Rights (Professor Olivier De Schutter, Catholic University of Louvain). A highlight of the course is a moot court competition organised around practical issues that are likely to confront the European Court of Justice when dealing with disability discrimination issues. Further information is available from the Summer School website at: www.eusummerschool.info - ends - For further information contact Rachel Stevens, Faculty of Law, NUI Galway, Tel: + 353 (0)91 492085 Email: email@example.com
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Diversity to be focus of NUI Galway's Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning
Monday, 29 May 2006
June 8th – 9th, 2006 The topic of NUI Galway's 4th Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning in Higher Education is 'The Challenge of Diversity: Teaching, Support & Student Learning'., Speakers from around the world will focus on the key issue of student diversity and how approaches to teaching, learning and assessment can take into account an increasingly varied student population. The emphasis will be on practical, real world solutions and include an examination of international experience and best practice. The conference is being hosted by the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), NUI Galway. "The needs of non-traditional students are different to those of the traditional student body and teaching methods must adapt to provide the best level of education possible," according to CELT's Director, Dr. Iain MacLabhrainn. He added, "There is an increasing emphasis on widening participation in third level education and we must prepare for the new challenges that presents". Non-traditional learners include socio-economically disadvantaged students, mature students, students with a disability, part-time students, students who are members of the Traveller community or other minority ethnic groups, and international students. This conference brings together the leading minds and practitioners in the field of third-level education to share knowledge, experience and methods. "The time has come to extend the focus from widening access towards the facilitation of full participation, engagement and success in higher education of all students. This requires an examination and reconceptualisation of teaching, learning, assessment and student support practices, and our conference will address these key issues", added Elaine Keane, the Conference Organiser and CELT's Researcher in this area. Keynote speakers will include: Dr. Mary-Liz Trant, the Head of National Office for Equity of Access to Higher Education; Dr. Liz Thomas, Senior Adviser for Widening Participation at the Higher Education Academy (UK); Dr. Kerri-Lee Krause from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (University of Melbourne, Australia); Professor Alan Hurst (University of Central Lancashire), Professor Dai Hounsell ( University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Janette Ryan ( Monash University, Australia). The conference has proved to be extremely popular and is over-subscribed, with over 250 individuals registered from educational institutions in countries including South Africa, England, Scotland, the USA, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and, of course, Ireland. The conference is in association with the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the Dublin Institute of Technology. For further information contact Elaine Keane, Conference Organiser at 091 493621 or firstname.lastname@example.org - ends -
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Senator Feargal Quinn launches new innovative programme, "Universities must a
Tuesday, 23 May 2006
Senator Feargal Quinn, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NUI Galway, launched the new part-time Bachelor of Commerce, at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 May. This programme was developed by the Faculty of Commerce and has run in successive cycles for over twenty years. The programme has dramatically changed and will now be delivered using 'blended learning' techniques to accommodate mature students with work and family commitments. The new part-time Bachelor of Commerce aims to provide an educational experience in the key areas of business, leading to an internationally recognized qualification. Blended learning is a combination of face-to-face classroom lectures/tutorials, self-instructional learning materials, online discussions and activities, e-mail and telephone support. Participants will have access to course details and content at all times, from any location in Ireland. "Throughout my business career I have always argued that success comes from carefully listening to our customers and adapting what we offer them to their changing needs and preferences. The new programme we are launching here this evening is an excellent example of this principle in action. Through careful listening to its customers and to the business community, the Faculty of Commerce has identified emerging needs which it is now responding to. The result is a new format for the part-time Bachelor of Commerce degree." commented Senator Feargal Quinn, Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway. According to Éilis O'Regan, Programme Co-ordinator, Blended Learning NUI Galway, "Using the tools of blending learning we have tailored this programme to meet the needs of mature students. Students will attend six weekend workshops per year. In between workshops students will use their study packs and online support to progress through programme material. With the high level of off-campus support and the reduced time on campus, we hope to encourage students from all over Ireland to participate". The closing date for applications is June 23rd 2006, and the course will commence in September 2006. Prospective students are invited to attend a further information evening on 30 May, at 6.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. Please email email@example.com or call 091 493104 for further details. - ends -
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NUI Galway publishes unique book by active retirement group
Tuesday, 23 May 2006
A unique book of short stories and poems by the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group has just been published by the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, NUI Galway. 21 – An Anthology is edited by well-known Irish author Michael Gorman and contains the work of twenty-one senior writers from all over Ireland who have lived, worked in or retired to Galway. "The book encapsulates, in their own words, the vivid memories and experiences of a talented group of writers now in their senior years. It has been a precious opportunity to retrieve a rich written heritage from this talented group. The stories and poems are of a high quality, yet retain an authenticity and rawness in style which will delight readers," commented Michael Gorman, a Programme Director at NUI Galway's International Summer School for Writers, who facilitated and compiled the book. 21 – An Anthology has originality and range which is unusual for a publication of this kind as the group of writers originate from all over Ireland and have lived all over the world. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Centre has been involved in working with and supporting Active Retirement groups in Galway city and county for the past ten years. Under the tuition of writer Márie Holmes, the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group developed their writing skills over the course of many years. The culmination of these efforts has been the publication of 21 – An Anthology. Seamus O'Grady, Director of the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, commented on the book, "This anthology is a wonderful and tangible example of the talent among older people that NUI Galway has been working with and developing. The poignant part is that some of the authors have passed away since the time of writing and the book is dedicated to their memory. 21 – An Anthology therefore becomes an even more and precious collection of work". 21- Anthology is published by NUI Galway and can be purchased in local Galway bookshops and at Áras Fáilte, NUI Galway, for €10. - ends -
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CKI International Advisory Board brings high profile academics and professionals
Monday, 22 May 2006
Galway, 22nd May 2006 – NUI Galway will host its first International Advisory Board meeting for the Community Knowledge Initiative around the area of civic engagement in universities and society on 25th and 26th May 2006. This will be a joining of high profile academics and people who are committed to the vision of change in society, as well as an opportunity for the CKI to take recommendations for the future of the project. The role of active participation is being entrusted to less people and the area around the ability to identify and understand social and public policy in order to increase active engagement will be discussed. Amongst the high profile people that will be at this meeting will be Professor Ahmed Bawa, Academic Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, founder of Focus Ireland. Professor Bawa went from being a President's Awardee to the Ford Foundation and today works with the University of KwaZulu Natal around policy and the role of education in changing society. He contributes to the change of society of South Africa and beyond and takes a special interest in social responsibility. Sister Stanislaus was the first religious Sister to be appointed by the State as a member of a Health Board. She was a founder member of the National Federation of Youth Clubs, chaired what is now the Combat Poverty Agency, and founded Social Innovations Ireland to identify new and emerging needs. She is also an author of several books and has written a wide range of articles, as well as lectures on social policy issues. She has a vision of change in Irish society and works daily to contribute to that vision. Additionally attending will be Reverend Bill Lies, University of Notre Dame, Dr. Dean McGovern, Campus Compact, Professor J.M. Monaghan, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ms. Moira Swinbank, TimeBank, UK, and Ms. Elena Saraceno, The Unit of Consistency of Rural Development in the Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission. The CKI is a venture at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and instils in students a sense of civic engagement and active citizenship. Through a volunteering project entitled ALIVE and community based/service learning modules in academic programmes, the CKI hopes to connect the students on a deeper level with their community, underpinning each person's civic responsibility. - ends – For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Consumer protection is casualty of current housing law and policy in Ireland
Monday, 15 May 2006
An absence of regulation in the Irish housing market means there is a severe lack of protection for consumers, according to Dr. Padraic Kenna, a lecturer in law at NUI Galway and author of the newly published Housing Law and Policy in Ireland. "The massive imbalance in power between producers and consumers in Irish housing is breathtaking. Indeed, Irish State approval is symbolised by the lack of support for any consumer organisation devoted to housing, or representing house-buyers, private or social housing tenants. In this era of participation, partnership and inclusion, it is truly remarkable that the organised lobby of producers and suppliers largely influences legislation, policy and subsidy schemes. The Irish consumer is faced with a housing market that lacks effective competition, consumer protection or regulation - widely accepted controls on any properly functioning market system," comments Dr. Padraic Kenna. He continues, "Many Irish housing laws are rooted in centuries old legal principles. It is vital that concepts of property law are modernised to suit the needs of a global economy, but also to encompass consumer rights and indeed human rights. Effective legislation could ensure proper consumer protection, real competition, truthful descriptions, high standards and speedy, inexpensive remedies for defects." Dr. Kenna points out that, despite recommendations from the Law Reform Commission and others, consumers remain vulnerable to unfair contract terms and price fluctuations in the pre-contract stage of purchasing a new home. Further down the line, should individual consumers discover defects in their properties – walls which resonate with neighbours music, leaks, and other general defects, remedies can only be effectively pursued through lengthy and expensive court action. A more recent illustration of the weak position of consumers is the imposition of compulsory management agreements covering grass cutting, lighting etc., often with no limits on the exorbitant contributions payable". "There is now a growing culture and legal progression of housing rights across the world. In market economies where new housing is largely provided through the market, however, these housing rights standards often incorporate many consumer rights. Issues of equality in access, exploitation of vulnerable people, affordability, facilities for children, lack of segregation etc., are powerfully linked with consumer rights issues. Clearly, advocates could advance consumer rights as part of the promotion of housing rights. We need to re-examine the role of law in the housing arena. Is it enough for law to remain particularly supply-side oriented, (although solicitors remain the primary individual housing consumer rights champions)? Law provides the enforceable framework for the housing and mortgage market to operate. However, in modern societies it can also advance equality, consumer protection, competition and social inclusion within that same market system. In researching this book all the evidence shows that traditional housing law and policy approaches, based on simple property law concepts are being transcended by people-centred approaches. Strengthening the power of housing consumers would be an obvious move in this direction", added Dr. Kenna. Housing Law and Policy in Ireland, the first book on housing law and policy for the Irish market, offers a timely and important contribution to this hotly debated issue in Ireland today. Drawing on legislative, case law, policy and human rights norms, it offers a clear description of the origin and current status of Irish housing law and policy. Property rights, mortgages, planning, building standards, regulation, rural housing, private renting, State housing supports and subsidies are explained and analysed. Indirect measures which impact on housing law and policy, such as consumer rights, human rights, family and equality law and other developments are revealed, along with the emerging European dimension to all aspects of Irish housing law and policy. Housing Law and Policy in Ireland is published by Clarus Press and is available online www.claruspress.ie or by telephone order on 0567790 052 or 014150 439. The official launch of the book is taking place at NUI Galway on Thursday 18 May. - ends - For further information please contact Dr. Padraic Kenna, Faculty of Law, NUI Galway, Tel: 091 493230.
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