Beneficial Effects of a Good Quality Environment on Human Health and Well-being are Considerable, Conference Hears

Beneficial Effects of a Good Quality Environment on Human Health and Well-being are Considerable, Conference Hears-image

Friday, 1 February 2013

“The beneficial effects of a good quality environment on human health and well-being are very considerable,” according to author Tony Juniper.  “Exposure to green space and the natural environment has been shown to improve our well-being, and that is very valuable to society, including in an economic sense,” the internationally-acclaimed environmentalist told some 300 delegates this morning at the ENVIRON2013 conference at the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway. Juniper is visiting Ireland to deliver the conference’s keynote lecture on ‘Nature for Health - Opportunities for People and the Environment’. Protecting our environment from pollution, abuse and mismanagement, and providing a good quality natural environment can do more to benefit our health and well-being than many other measures, he told the audience. In his new book released earlier this month, What Has Nature Ever Done for Us – How Money Really Does Grow on Trees, he highlights the potential economic benefits of working with nature instead of simply seeing it as a supplier of resources and a place to dump waste. According to Tony Juniper, nature provides the world economy with more than €100 trillion worth of goods and “natural services” every year.  He explained how the loss of these “natural services” can trigger huge economic costs. Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and one of the world’s most influential environmentalists. From 2003 to 2008 he was the Director in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of Friends of the Earth and from 2001 to 2008 he was the Vice Chair of the 70-strong network of national organisations that comprise Friends of the Earth International. For more than 25 years he has worked for change toward a more sustainable society at local, national and international levels.  Juniper presently works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, having previously worked (2008-2010) as a Special Advisor with the Prince’s Rainforests Project. He is a Senior Associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership working as a member of the teaching faculty. During his visit to NUI Galway he also launched the Centre for Health from Environment at the Ryan Institute, which was established to encourage research and teaching on the ways in which the environment benefits human health and well-being. The Centre brings together interdisciplinary researchers from areas of medicine, science, engineering, political science, geography, and other disciplines who are all working together to place sustaining health through environmental stewardship at the centre of public policy. The Centre’s on-going and planned research intersects four thematic areas: Air Quality, Water Quality, Public Policy, and Food and Soil.  “We benefit much more from clean air, pure water, good food and exercise and strong communities than we do from hospitals, medicines and clinics,” said Professor Martin Cormican, Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at the launch of the centre this morning. He stated that “In recent decades we have seen major improvements in outdoor air quality through control of emissions from coal and motor vehicles, improvements in indoor air quality through changes in cigarette smoking, improvements in water quality through control of discharges into rivers and lakes and we’ve witnessed important social changes that promote acceptance of diversity in communities. The Centre seeks to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the principle that if we take good care of the environment, than it takes good care of us.” Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute added: “The launch of the new Centre for Health from Environment is timely. Nature and biodiversity have often been considered only relevant to biologists or ecologists, but a growing body of research makes clear that it is equally relevant to health-related disciplines.” The ENVIRON 2013 conference continues until tomorrow, with a Career Expo as one of the highlights this afternoon. The ‘ENVIRON Career Expo and CV advice shop’ is open to all members of the public, and will feature representatives from NGOs, environmental consultancies, research institutes, and semi-state bodies who are all actively recruiting. The Career Expo takes place in the foyer of the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday, 31 January, from 1-5pm. -ends-

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NUI Galway Postgraduate Open Day to Highlight Career Opportunities

NUI Galway Postgraduate Open Day to Highlight Career Opportunities-image

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 12 February, from 12 noon to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will afford potential students the opportunity to meet academic staff and current students. With over 70 information stands, information will be available on courses, scholarships, fees and other practical considerations. Talks on funding opportunities will take place, along with presentations on how undertaking a postgraduate course in NUI Galway can boost your career opportunities. Valerie Leahy, from the Marketing and Communications Office at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 92% of our graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating. Making an online application to an NUI Galway postgraduate programme is so easy; it takes less than ten minutes and it could be the best ten minutes you’ll ever spend investing in your future.” NUI Galway offers many new and unique programmes, building on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative research centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. NUI Galway also offers postgraduate conversion courses, where students can change their study-direction at postgraduate level and perhaps then move into a more buoyant field. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre: “Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study can definitely boost employability. Over the last three years postgraduate numbers going in to employment has grown consistently. NUI Galway has extensive and well-established links with employers, professional bodies, research organisations, and commercial and voluntary sectors which can benefit you in your job search.” To book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or register on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Research Group Making Good on Government Investment

 NUI Galway Research Group Making Good on Government Investment-image

Monday, 4 February 2013

NFB delivers five-fold increase in initial exchequer funding The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), a multidisciplinary research group based in NUI Galway, is celebrating the award of its fifth successful coordinated EU grant. Over the past two years NFB has secured €14.2 million in EU-coordinated grants. This brings to €20 million the amount of funding which NFB has attracted, an almost five-fold return on initial exchequer funding through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). In addition to the initial investment from SFI in 2007, NFB has secured its additional funding from the EU, Enterprise Ireland and national and international industry partners. NFB is an SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster developing functional biomaterials which have clinical applications in orthopaedics, cardiovascular, neural and soft tissue repair. Through the coordination of EU grants, NFB has teamed up with ten academic institutions and fourteen industrial partners in eight countries, highlighting the strong industrial component and integrated nature of NFB’s research. One of NFB’s latest grant successes will fund research which aims to reduce the re-narrowing of arteries following implantation of stents through the use of novel cardiovascular stent material. Other projects being undertaken by the group include research into a medical condition known as ischemia which occurs when blood supply to a tissue is limited. The aim is to form new blood vessels to supply the ischemic tissue and restore function. Repair of damaged nerves is another research area being investigated with hopes to improve the lives of patients suffering from spinal cord damage. Biomaterials include both natural and synthetic materials, or a combination of both and these are placed within the body to restore cells and tissue that have become dysfunctional through disease or injury. Speaking about NFB’s success, its Director Professor Abhay Pandit said: “The research being carried out will have a real impact on patients’ lives and economic benefits will also be reaped by the country as the next generation of scientists and engineers are being trained for skilled jobs in the ever growing Irish medical devices market. Meanwhile, Vornia, a start-up medical device company that has been spun-out from NFB is expanding rapidly and bringing superior and consistently high-quality biodegradable biomaterial products to the market. As a medical device company, Vornia also uses its own superior grade materials to develop and scale up products in niche clinical targets including tendon regeneration, soft tissue repair and spinal cord repair.  -ends-

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NUI Galway Announce 2013 Alumni Award Winners

NUI Galway Announce 2013 Alumni Award Winners-image

Monday, 4 February 2013

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2013 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 13th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 9 March, 2013. The Gala Banquet will be presented by RTÉ’s Gráinne Seoige and will again be held in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 68 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O’Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. This year’s award winners come from right across the globe as the University celebrates The Gathering 2013. The winners of the five alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2013:  Alumni Award for Business, Public Policy and Law – sponsored by Bank of Ireland    -  Adrian Jones, Managing Director, Principal Investment Area, Merchant Banking Division,    Goldman Sachs.  Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Mary E. D’Alton, M.D. Willard C. Rappleye Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Alumni Award for Engineering and Informatics –sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Hugh O’Donnell, Saipem Spa deputy CEO and COO Drilling.  Alumni Award for Science – sponsored by Aramark  - Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President Global Innovation and Technology Development,Hollister Incorporated.                              Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies sponsored by AIB  - Joyce McGreevy, Author and a Supervising Editor for the Academic Division of National Geographic. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their chosen fields. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. In this year of The Gathering, we are delighted to recognise in a very special way graduates who have distinguished themselves internationally, and who return to their alma mater from various parts of the globe.  I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to campus for the Gala Banquet in March.” For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends   ENDS

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NUI Galway Celebrates 40 years of its MBA

NUI Galway Celebrates 40 years of its MBA-image

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Over 200 NUI Galway MBA graduates recently returned to the University to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Organised by the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the milestone was marked with a conference and gala dinner.  The conference, ‘40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future’ brought together a panel of 15 high-profile national and international contributors from business and academia, with the majority of speakers being NUI Galway MBA alumni.  Professor Jim Doolan, the first MBA Director in 1972, also addressed the conference and recounted the objectives of offering the first MBA which included serving the needs of managers and industry leaders at the time.  The first conference symposium focused on innovation and entrepreneurship with presentations from Joe McBreen, Founder, Chair and CEO Celtrak; Jill Holtz, Founder mykidstime.ie  and The Ahain Group; and Connor Flanagan, Director, LotusWorks. The session was chaired by Liam Bluett, General Manager, Ballybane Enterprise Centre. The second symposium focused on Ireland in the national and international economy with presentations from Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist & Lecturer, NUI Galway and Professor John McHale, Chair National Fiscal Council and Professor of Economics, NUI Galway.  The economics symposium was chaired by Brian Molloy, Director HC Financial Advisers and CEO Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd. The Global Mindset symposium included presentations from New York and Chicago based organisations and was chaired by Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway.  Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical reflected on the challenges and opportunities for Irish owned companies through export-led growth.  Seamus Kavanagh, Vice President, Innovation and Technology Development, Hollister Inc., Chicago and Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corp., New York and Chair of the NUI Galway US Foundation, reflected on the global business market. The final conference symposium reflected on issues of ethics, governance and leadership in driving organisational success with presentations from Conor McDonnell, Vice-President for HR, Fidelity Investments, Myles McHugh of Myles McHugh and Associates (formerly Irish Rail), and Paschal McCarthy, Vice President, GE Healthcare.  Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Programme Director and event organiser, said: “I was struck by the considerable success which our MBA alumni have achieved in challenging senior management positions nationally and globally.  It was refreshing to hear from our alumni who were very positive about the opportunities that lie ahead and the possibilities that can be achieved with the right frame of mind.” Over 200 attended the black tie gala dinner at the Ardilaun Hotel where guests enjoyed a keynote dinner address by Dr Leo Smyth, Adjunct Professor of Management at NUI Galway and former MBA Programme Director and Lecturer. Commenting on the NUI Galway MBA programme, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a highly regarded management development programme in the region.  It also enjoys a very good reputation nationally as evidenced by two recent national All-Ireland competition wins for MBA programmes on the island of Ireland.”  The conference received funding under The Gathering as many international alumni returned for the event. -ENDS-

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Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to Perform at NUI Galway

Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to Perform at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Excellence in Music Education and Performance 2,000 children from schools all over Co. Galway will take part in Galway Peace Proms which will be held in the Kingfisher Hall, NUI Galway this Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 February. For the second year in a row, choirs will perform with the internationally acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI), led by Ireland’s premiere conductor Gearóid Grant. Performances will take place at 2pm and 7pm each day. Concerts will feature tenor Emmanuel Lawler, renowned Uilleann Piper Patrick Martin, Violinist Patricia Treacy in addition to drummers and pipers from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch. The programme is packed full of family favourites and showstoppers as well as powerful anthems from the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions.  The CBOI was established as a peace initiative almost eighteen years ago and is made up of 120 young musicians from all over Ireland including Galway.  The orchestra has just returned from their sell out debut at the Royal Albert Hall London, and has also performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, New York; Chicago Symphony Hall; Boston Symphony Hall, and major venues throughout California and Europe. In 2010 the CBOI won an international award for the “Most Outstanding Performance” and the Shanghai Expo in China. The CBOI will make their London debut at the Royal Albert Hall in October next. The CBOI has performed for President McAleese at Áras and Uachtaráin; for Queen Elizabeth 11 at Hillsborough Castle; for many special international Ministerial gatherings at Slane Castle and Dublin Castle; for numerous national commemorations including the Battle of the Boyne; the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement; the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Listowel and Downpatrick, and the 400th Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in Rome. This year over 10,000 children from all over Ireland will participate in “Peace Proms” which is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Education and Skills and is recognised as one of Ireland’s most important Arts Education initiatives, providing outstanding cultural opportunities for young people while promoting peace, unity and tolerance through music. The CBOI is a registered charity and totally not-for -profit. All funds generated through ticket sales cover the cost of running this programme in which 10,000 children participate annually. Tickets for the Galway Peace Proms can be purchased from www.cboi.ie and from the Town Hall Theatre, Galway   ENDS

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Public Symposium on Privacy Laws at NUI Galway

Public Symposium on Privacy Laws at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 8 February 2013

On Friday 8 March 2013, NUI Galway School of Law will host a public symposium on the privacy issues which are becoming increasingly important as more and more of our daily interactions and long-term records are stored digitally and on the Internet. Entitled “Privacy from Birth to Death and Beyond: European and American Perspectives”, the event will deal with topics such as the upcoming European Court of Justice ruling on the so-called “Right to be Forgotten”, the development of privacy regulation in the United States of America, the protection of children’s privacy online, privacy rights after death, and the practical issues that face practitioners working with these rapidly-developing problems. The symposium is being jointly organised by the LL.M. in Public Law and the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. According to Mr Rónán Kennedy, Director of the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance, at NUI Galway: “The rise in popularity of social networking, image and video sharing sites mean that the regulation of privacy is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, and anyone working on these issues needs to keep abreast of new developments.” Ms Marie McGonagle, Director of the Public Law LL.M., at the University, added: “In an increasingly online world, the boundaries between private and public are constantly shifting. This symposium will provide an opportunity to engage with international and national experts in both private and public law in exploring approaches to some of the most pressing issues relating to privacy that affect everyone from the individual to the private sector and the State.” Speakers will include Mr José María Baño, Instituto de Empresa and José María Baño León Abogados, Madrid; Professor Joshua Fairfield of the Washington and Lee University Law School; Dr Sharon McLaughlin, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Mr Paul Lambert, Merrion Legal Solicitors and Mr Damien McCallig, School of Law, NUI Galway. The LL.M. in Public Law has been running successfully since 2005 and has attracted a steady number of students, both full-time and part-time, including, as well as recent graduates, qualified and practising solicitors, barristers, Gardaí and personnel from public bodies. The LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance is a unique and pioneering programme with a focus on the interconnection between law, technology, science, and innovation. Both programmes include modules with a focus on the legal issues and problems presented by the development of new communications technologies, such as Communications Law: Law, Technology and Change, Data Protection, Privacy and Retention, Internet Regulation and Governance Torts. Further details and registration information are available at http://www.conference.ie. Continuing Professional Development certificates will be provided.   ENDS

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NUI Galway Theatre Week

NUI Galway Theatre Week-image

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway is celebrating Drama in many forms during its Theatre Festival, which runs from 18-22 February.  Now in its fourth year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. Organised by the University’s Societies Office, one of the main highlights this year is the return of the Jerome Hynes One Act play Series, which features eight new works written by students. The plays will be performed at lunchtimes and evenings and all eight will feature in the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 22 February in the Cube Theatre in Áras na Mac Léinn. NUI Galway’s Dramsoc will present Sam Shepard’s play ‘Seduced’ which runs from 20-23 February. This dark comedy takes place at the death bed of the world’s richest man as the empire he has created starts to fall apart as his paranoia and madness grow. Guest performances for the week include ‘Blooming Ulysses The Show’. The acclaimed comic adaptation of James Joyces’s Ulysses is performed by Gerry Farrell. The show serves as an excellent introduction to Ulysses. Proceeds from the show, which takes place on 18 February, are in aid of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Cyclone Rep, in association with Everyman Theatre, will present their Shakespeare Sessions. These student centred performances include ’Macbeth’ and ’The Merchant of Venice’.  On Thursday, 20 February 130 students from the Danish School of Performance, Mellerup Efterskole, will join NUI Galway’s Musical, Traditional Music and Dance Societies for a performance of eclectic music and dance. As part of the Fesitval, third-year students from the BA in Theatre and Performance will present ’Manologues’, a devised piece which  tells the story of eight males searching for a meaning in contemporary Ireland. The play looks at male identity in Irish culture bringing into light the hardship of everyday life for many men in an Ireland where the old identity is laughed at and the new identity is unknown. Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway offers a four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this programme have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Festival Director, said: “The Festival is an opportunity for the University to showcase the dramatic arts on campus and to invite world class practitioners to the college, we hope that Galway will join with us for a week of celebration.” All events are open to the public and the full programme of events is available at http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/news_reviews/view/479/. For information and tickets visit the SocsBox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, or contact 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. -END-

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NUI Galway’s Engineering Building Wins Best Educational Building at Local Authority Awards

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building Wins Best Educational Building at Local Authority Awards-image

Monday, 11 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Engineering Building was judged the Best Educational Building at the recent Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Awards 2013. This adds to the Engineering Building’s existing list of accolades which includes RIAI Irish Architecture’s Public Choice and the Best Sustainable Project Awards, the Irish Building and Design Award for School and Educational Building Project of the Year, and the Irish Concrete Society’s Sustainability Award. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship; it accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. Commenting on the latest award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that Galway City Council proposed the Engineering Building to LAMA and also to win the Best Educational Building Award for 2013. The building is proving successful in teaching and research terms and it is heartening to receive consistent recognition for its architectural and sustainability credentials. This is testament to the hard work and innovation of the designers, contractors and university staff involved in its inception, delivery and operation.” First held in 2006, the LAMA Awards were created to recognise innovative local and national projects in the areas of infrastructure, community development, recreation and social impact initiatives. Commenting on the awards, Chairman of IPB Insurance George Jones said: “Once again the awards have served up a very high standard of projects and initiatives and is testimony to the hard work being done by Local Authorities and their communities. It is only fitting to publicly acknowledge this great work so as to promote best practice and encourage others to aspire to these high standards.” -ENDS-

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HEA ICT Skills Initiative Funding Success for NUI Galway

HEA ICT Skills Initiative Funding Success for NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NUI Galway, in collaboration with software industry partners, has been awarded HEA funding for the renewal of the innovative industry-focused Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development. Initiated in 2012, this one-year post-graduate conversion course aims to increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and provides graduates with: a solid foundation in key software design knowledge; a choice of software architecture specialization in either .NET or Java Enterprise; and a guaranteed work placement to gain relevant experience, and so provide the opportunity to kick-start their career as software developers. The industry partners include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies, SourceDogg, APC/Schneider, CISCO and IBM. The new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees. Welcoming news of the award, Dr Enda Howley, Course Director of the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science and business, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners, they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high-tech information and communication technology sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for information and communication technology graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill.” -ENDS-

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