NUI Galway Achieves Major Success in Funding Competition

NUI Galway Achieves Major Success in Funding Competition-image

Thursday, 26 October 2006

26 October 2006: Following a competitive process administered by the Higher Education Authority, the Minister for Education and Science has announced the award of 14 projects, across the third-level sector, to a total value of over €42m. NUI Galway has been awarded one of the largest individual amounts, a significant €7.3m, and is an active partner in eight of the other successful projects. Minister Hanafin's announcement is part of the Government's new €300m Strategic Innovation Fund aimed at supporting restructuring and reform in the Irish Third Level Sector in order to enhance the quality of higher education teaching and research. The funds awarded to NUI Galway are earmarked to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the University; to enhance the infrastructure underlying post-graduate education and research; to support the restructuring of academic units underway in the University; to enhance the successful access programmes; and to further develop innovative service learning and student volunteering activities. Speaking following the announcement by the Minister, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said, "I am delighted to welcome the announcement by Minister Mary Hanafin. NUI Galway's success in this competition reflects well, and indeed vindicates, the approach this University has taken to reform and restructuring at both third level and fourth level. Our ability to work effectively as a team inside the University and to develop strong, enduring and effective collaborations with partner institutions in the University and Institute of Technology sectors has been rewarded with our success in this programme. In particular, we welcome the success of our partnership with the Institutes of Technology in the BMW region, which will greatly expand our already successful and innovative access programme." -ends-

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Keynote Speakers to Address Society's Connection to Community

Keynote Speakers to Address Society's Connection to Community-image

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Galway, 24 October 2006 – A series of high profile keynote speakers will address issues that are facing Ireland's communities today during a keynote seminar series at NUI Galway. Set to occur between November 2006 and September 2007, this keynote series will focus on themes related to civic engagement and active citizenship. Organised and sponsored by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, this keynote series is a response to the increased alienation and declining social commitment that is common in today's communities and will host high profile people who are knowledgeable in these areas. Members of the public are invited to attend the free seminars and tickets will be available from CKI. KEYNOTE SEMINAR SERIES SCHEDULE: Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Ret. Leader and Chancellor of the NUI, Tuesday, November 14th, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on Civic Republicanism and Public Morality Mr. Alan Kerins, Alan Kerins African Projects, Thursday, 25th January 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the Cheshire House, volunteering and how important it is today. Mrs. Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, Thursday, 22nd February 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on her work with the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, the Special Olympics and active citizenship in Ireland today Mr. Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, Friday, 9th March 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the Guardian, as well as Journalism, New Media and Democracy. Mr. Maurice Mullard, University of Hull, Reader in Social Policy, Thursday, 19th April 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the University of Hull, citizenship, social policy and the war on terror. Ms. Caroline Casey, The Aisling Foundation, Thursday, 27th September 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on her work with the Aisling Foundation and active citizenship, as well as the role that volunteering plays in community. The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) was launched at NUI Galway in June 2001 as a project to promote partnership with communities and to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. "We very much hope that this keynote seminar series will serve as a means of reinvigorating the civic mission of universities as well as promote the concept of civic responsibility and service within higher education," said Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator. For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email Information from Christina McDonald Legg, - ends -

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NUI Galway Honours John Cunningham and Dónall Ó Luanaigh

NUI Galway Honours John Cunningham and Dónall Ó Luanaigh-image

Monday, 23 October 2006

23 October 2006: NUI Galway will confer Honorary MA degrees this week on John Cunningham, editor of the Connacht Tribune, and Dónall Ó Luanaigh, former Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland. The ceremonies will take place Monday 23 October and Tuesday 24 October 2006, in conjunction with the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which will see the graduation of over 4,750 students. John Cunningham will be recognised for his contribution to civic society through regional and national journalism and for his role as a lecturer of journalism. Since joining the Connacht Tribune as a reporter in the sixties, and as Editor since 1984, John Cunningham has been a consistent and steady presence in Irish journalism. He has also contributed to broadcast journalism as a commentator on RTE current affairs programmes. For the last 18 years, John has been a lecturer on the MA in Journalism programme at the University, recently adding a module on Government and Politics. According to Bernadette O'Sullivan, Department of Journalism, NUI Galway, "There aren't many who can compete with John Cunningham, and his particular brand of journalism teaching excellence. John is a passionate and gifted media practitioner. He is also a passionate and gifted teacher. Few have that dual talent: the talent for doing the job, and in equal measure, the talent for teaching the profession of journalism." Dónall Ó Luanaigh will be honoured for his immense contribution to research and scholarship in his role as Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). Born and educated in Galway, where he graduated with a Masters in French, Dónall went on to join the staff of the NLI in 1968, until his retirement this year, following 43 years of service. He was the acknowledged expert on the library's collections, and will be particularly remembered for his work on the 'Union list of current periodicals and serials in Irish libraries', and his editorial work on the three-volume 'Supplement to Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization', published in 1979. Marie Reddan, Librarian, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway said, "Dónall has a particular interest in Franco-Irish relations and has published widely on the topic. His attachment to his native city has never waned and he has contributed many articles of Galway interest, in Galway Roots and other publications. He has always been supportive and generous to the James Hardiman Library with his time and specialist knowledge of archives and special collections." - ends -

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NUI Galway Bequeathed Unique Property for Community Use

NUI Galway Bequeathed Unique Property for Community Use-image

Monday, 23 October 2006

Cartographers and publishers, Tim and Máiréad Robinson, have bequeathed their house on the sea wall at Roundstone, Co. Galway, to the National University of Ireland, Galway. According to Tim's new book Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Penguin, Ireland 2006) the Robinsons wish the house to be used "as a small conference venue, as accommodation for writers, thinkers and researchers on sabbatical or residencies … When we tell anyone of this plan, the response is always, "How generous!" - but as we will not be here to make any sacrifice in the matter, generosity does not come into it. However, this exchange serves to remind us that neither will be here to share in the delight and fun of other people's discovery of the place; and so we have begun to anticipate that future by opening up the house to such events … We feel relieved of the burden of ownership, as if we were now just the temporary caretakers of the house, and we revel in the freshening wind of futurity blowing through it, wafting away the spiderwebs of anxiety." The Robinsons continue to reside in the house, Folding Landscapes. At the same time the house will become a venue for the University to engage with the local community and to share the resources and knowledge of the institution's many visitors, academics and practitioners. The Robinsons have a long-standing relationship with NUI Galway. Tim received an Honorary Degree in 1997 from the University. Best know for his book Stones of Aran, he has published a range of maps, essays and books on the western region. 'We are honoured and grateful for the thoughtfulness of the Robinsons. The University will put every effort into creating at Folding Landscapes new connections with the cultural life of the region, while also contributing to the social and economic fabric of the village. Our shared plan is to exchange reflections and informed judgements about what is important in knowledge at this time", said Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has launched a Colloquium Series under the title Unfolding Ideas. The series provides a forum for scholars, educators, and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops, to be held at the Robinson home and in Roundstone's Community Hall. At the launch, Tim Robinson read from his latest publication Connemara: Listening to the Wind. Unfolding Ideas will be an annual series of events. The events in the house Folding Landscapes are by invitation. The events in the Community Hall are open to the public. - ends - The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. For further information contact Aileen Shaw 091-493879 or

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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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