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NUI Galway Deputy President calls for better entry routes to Southern Universities for A Level students
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
As universities in the Republic of Ireland begin to look at ways of opening up access to third level places for Northern Irish students, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, newly appointed Registrar and Deputy President of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway), has voiced his support for a review of the current admissions criteria, with a view to encouraging more students in the North to move South. Commenting on the Irish University Association’s decision to initiate a review of admissions criteria for Northern Irish students, Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “I welcome the universities’ decision here in the Republic to review the current admissions arrangements for A Level students, which make it difficult for many Northern Irish students to consider university in the South as a realistic option. I look forward to seeing a more equitable admissions process emerge as a result of the review”. “A diverse student population greatly enhances the learning experience for all third-level students. Bringing students together from different backgrounds and learning experiences is advantageous not just for the universities, but for society as a whole. I believe that changes to the system will benefit both the North and the South”, he added. At present, almost 30 percent of first-year undergraduates from Northern Ireland go to study in England, Scotland and Wales, while only 1.3% go to the Republic. Numbers have fallen since the introduction in 2005 of changes to grade equivalences between A Levels and the Leaving Certificate, which have had the effect of making it more difficult for A Level candidates to gain entry to universities in the South. With an A Level A grade valued at 150 CAO points, students gaining three As could achieve a maximum of 450 CAO points, compared to a maximum of 600 points for Leaving Certificate candidates. As the majority of Northern Irish students study three, not four, A Levels, the current situation effectively rules A Level students out of a wide range of popular, high points courses in the Republic. While many Northern Irish students go to university in the UK , the introduction of tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year in England and Wales means that the Republic, where fees will be €3,000 in autumn 2015, has become a more affordable option. Professor Ó Dochartaigh, who has recently joined NUI Galway from the University of Ulster, has seen at first hand the growing interest from Northern Irish students: “At NUI Galway, we are seeing increasing interest in our courses from students in the North. They know that they will get a good education here but without the escalating tuition costs now associated with universities in England and Wales”. If the current review delivers much-anticipated changes to the admissions criteria, the imbalance in cross-border student traffic may finally begin to be addressed. Ends
NUI Galway Only Third-Level Institution to Win Prestigious Digital Media Award
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
App aimed at Leaving Certificate students launched in August 2013 NUI Galway scooped a major award at the prestigious Digital Media Awards, which took place recently in Dublin. Ireland’s best and brightest from the world of digital media were celebrated at the 2014 Samsung Digital Media Awards. The University won Bronze in the hotly contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category for their iPoints app. The NUI Galway iPoints app is the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points. The free app was launched in August 2013, ahead of Leaving Certificate results being released and has since been downloaded over 6,000 times. The winning entries are judged on the overall strategy, objectives, design, innovation and results. NUI Galway was the only higher education institution to be shortlisted. NUI Galway were shortlisted in three categories, ‘Best Use of Mobile’, ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ and ‘Best App’, and were delighted to win Bronze in the contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category, surpassing both the Bulmers and Eircom brands. NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. Students using the app can simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level and the app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The annual Digital Media Awards celebrate the very best in Online Marketing. Commenting on the awards, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said “We are delighted to have done so well in such hotly contested categories. The key objective for NUI Galway was to provide a useful app that allows Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results.” The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Hosts Team Math 2014 National Final
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
The national final of the Team Math 2014 competition will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday, 8 March from 1.15pm. This year 13 teams of four pupils from schools across Ireland will compete to be crowned champions. Countries represented at the final will include Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois, Dublin and Monaghan. Each team has qualified through regional finals which were held throughout the country earlier this year. The event is organised by the Irish Maths Teachers Association, with voluntary input from the schools and mathematics teachers. Dr Götz Pfeiffer, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, said: “It is good to see these smart young people enjoying maths in a competitive way. We look forward to welcoming them to NUI Galway, where we offer a variety of mathematics courses to form part of their future academic education.” -Ends-
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Minister for Justice Describes NUI Galway Research as “Marvellous” Which “Should Be Compulsory Reading For Us All”
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Minister Alan Shatter TD, speaking in Dáil Éireann was speaking about the PhD research of Dr Maeve Hosier, undertaken in NUI Galway, on the evolution of the legal profession The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter praised NUI Galway, School of Law graduate, Dr Maeve Hosier’s PhD thesis during a recent parliamentary debate on the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011. Minister Shatter described Dr Hosier’s PhD on The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland as a “marvellous” study, which “should be compulsory reading for us all.” The Law graduate’s PhD thesis was supervised by Professor Laurent Pech, formerly of the School of Law at NUI Galway, now Head of the Law Department at Middlesex University London. Highlighting Maeve Hosier’s thesis during the parliamentary debate the Minister stated, “One Maeve Hosier has written a marvellous PhD thesis entitled The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland, which should be compulsory reading for us all. It sets out the history of the legal profession and how it evolved. It evolved continually until approximately 1870 and then went into paralysis and nothing has changed since.” The Minister continued, “The only thing that has changed subsequently was as a result of the enactment of the Courts Act 1971, when the then Minister for Justice, Des O'Malley, conferred rights of audience on solicitors in all the superior courts. That is the only fundamental change effected since approximately 1870 to the manner in which the Irish legal profession operates. It is extraordinarily curious that people think the world stopped in 1870.” Professor Laurent Pech said, “Maeve’s thesis on the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland makes a decisive contribution to the on-going scholarly and policy debates on this issue, by evaluating the present regulatory framework and offering a number of suggestions to improve it in a context of increasing transnationalisation of the market for legal services. Professor Pech continued, “Her innovative approach to the problem of lawyers’ misconduct is, in particular, worth noting. This aspect of her work has the potential to help alleviate a problem which has been extremely costly for both the legal profession and wider society alike. Her doctoral research also provides a valuable insight into the impact of the Troika upon the regulation of the legal profession in so-called ‘bailed-out countries’. Maeve should be congratulated for having made an exceptional contribution to the current debate on the regulation of the legal profession both nationally and internationally. I have no doubt that her original and thought-provoking work will be useful to policy-makers and scholars alike.” Maeve Hosier is originally from Belfast and currently living in Connemara, she graduated from NUI Galway last month (February 2014) with a PhD in Law. Maeve's thesis has been deposited in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. -Ends-
NUI Galway Researchers in Innovative Collaboration with Youth Workers
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Meeting in Sligo examines research demonstrating that youth work engagement is of considerable benefit to young people The Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is engaging with youth workers in the community as part of a two-way dialogue between academic researchers and youth work practitioners. A forum entitled ‘Research & Practice Talking’ held in Sligo this week provided an opportunity to share and discuss findings of research into youth work undertaken by NUI Galway among Foróige services over recent years and to highlight innovative programmes and projects that may be incorporated into future research programmes and wider practice. The forum heard that youth work resulted in greater knowledge and skills in key areas for young people as well as increased confidence and self-belief. Youth work was seen to bring a greater sense of connection to community for young people and provides opportunities for them to contribute positively to their communities. NUI Galway Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement said "Given the available research, across Ireland, we are in a greater position now to get youth engagement right. It’s no longer just about getting it done." Dr Bernadine Brady, also of the of the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre and School of Political Science & Sociology said “ there is now a compelling body of research evidence that youth work makes a difference in people’s lives." Susan Redmond, Manager of the Foróige Best Practice Unit, said ‘We have developed a strong working relationship with NUI Galway; they have assisted us in evaluating our programmes which yields great learning and also confidence in what we do. Our work has also had a wider impact on our staff and the young people they work with. Staff are more critical in their work, they employ self-evaluation tools and they use evidence to inform the work they do. Ultimately, the young people benefit from this kind of engagement as it means richer and higher quality youth work develops”. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the NUI Galway is based in the School of Political Science and Sociology. Founded with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Health Services Executive, the Centre undertakes research, education and training in the area of Family Support and Youth Development with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention for children and young people experiencing adversity. Foróige is a national youth organisation whose programmes are supported by a wide range of sources including the DCYA, HSE, Department of Justice and philanthropy. Further information available at http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/ -ends-
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NUI Galway Hold Public Information Event for Brain Awareness Week
Friday, 7 March 2014
As part of the international Brain Awareness Week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Centre are organising a public information exhibit in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle on Tuesday, 11 and Wednesday, 12 March from 9am to 3.30pm. Members of the public and children from local schools will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work. The exhibit consists of interactive displays where visitors can learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way. For example, there will be various puzzles and tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum. At the event in NUI Galway general information about the brain will be available to visitors with the opportunity to learn more about brain disorders, via a series of large information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre. The posters cover a variety of illnesses including: Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Stroke, Brain injury and Spinal cord injury. Information leaflets obtained from brain-related charities and organisations will be on display and available for the public to take away, such as the DANA Foundation, MS Ireland, Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, Aware (relating to depression), Chronic Pain Ireland, Shine (relating to mental health, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Brainwave (the Irish Epilepsy Association). Microscopes will be available to view brain cells and brain tissue sections for those interested in seeing what a brain cell and brain tissue really looks like. Additional features will include plastic models of the nervous system, and even Play-Doh and colouring books for the very young. The Galway Neuroscience Centre wishes to acknowledge funding from the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science in NUI Galway, and the DANA Foundation. -Ends-
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Explore NUI Galway’s First Undergraduate Science Fair
Monday, 10 March 2014
Explore the science behind baking cupcakes, disappearing bees, and Breaking Bad at NUI Galway’s first ever Undergraduate Science Fair. The fair include demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on activities and takes place on Wednesday, 19 March from 11am to 5pm in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. Student presenters from all science disciplines will be showing off interactive displays which they have created on a scientific topic that they find engaging and exciting. Student organiser Joanne Duffy said “This is going to be a really exciting event. As a student in the undenominated Science programme at NUI Galway, I am constantly inspired and excited by the things I learn about every day, and I realise how lucky I am to be in this environment. I wanted to put on an event on that would give non-science students and members of the public an opportunity to be inspired by science too!” As well as undergraduate science student presentations, displays from various outreach initiatives within the University will also be present. Kitchen Chemistry will be on hand with their crowd-wowing display, the Cell Explorer’s Programme will demonstrate how to extract DNA from a banana, and venomous insect expert Dr Michel Dugon, aka the Bug Hunter, will bring along some of his favourite pets. Dr Sarah Knight, one of the staff members behind this event and Outreach Officer with NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, said “This is a great opportunity for Science students to try their hand at educating and enthusing others. Science Outreach is one of NUI Galway’s strengths, but as of yet the vast potential of our undergraduate students in this area remains largely untapped. One of the ideas behind the undergraduate science fair is to foster a culture of public engagement with Science within the undergraduate community.” Funding for this event has come through NUI Galway’s EXPLORE initiative. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information visit facebook.com/undergradsciencefair or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Make the Last 8 of the FAI Junior Cup
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
NUI Galway, the sole remaining Connacht side will face Collinstown FC in Dublin on Sunday 23 March at 2pm. The FAI Junior Cup is the biggest amateur soccer competition in Ireland, and one of the biggest in Europe, with over 600 participants involved from the outset. The draw was conducted by Ray Houghton, FAI Junior Cup Ambassador and Teresa McCabe, FAI Junior Council President with NUI Galway Soccer Club representatives attending including Professor Liam Spillane, Hon. President, Dr Eric Mortimer, Chairman and Ger Cheevers, Captain. This year’s FAI Junior Cup Final will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, 25 May before the Ireland v Turkey International Friendly which has given the competition even greater exposure than ever before.
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NUI Galway Students Showcase Biomedical Science Exhibition at Galway City Museum
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Students interested in pursuing a career in science can experience the research underway in NUI Galway at the ‘Biomedical Science Under The Microscope’ exhibition An exhibition of scientific images entitled Biomedical Science Under The Microscope can be seen at Galway City Museum from the 11th-22nd March, a project created by Biomedical Science students at NUI Galway. The exhibition is part of a second year BSc. in Biomedical Science project entitled Community Knowledge Initiative. Its aim is to inform the public on current areas of biomedical science research in NUI Galway through the medium of images. It will comprise of ten scientific images spanning a broad range of research areas including developmental biology, chromosome biology and studies of the brain and nervous system. The images are drawn from the major disciplines that support Biomedical Science, which are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology. The exhibition provides a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in science to experience the research underway in NUI Galway and for the general public interested in this area. Visitors can talk to students involved in the exhibition at Galway City Museum on Wednesday 19th March from 10am to 1pm. For further information on the exhibition please contact Dr. Derek Morris on 091 494439 or email@example.com -Ends-
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Two NUI Galway Students Win ‘Making an Impact 2014’
Thursday, 13 March 2014
NUI Galway students win top awards for breast cancer research and measuring the performance of elite swimmers at the Irish Independent/HEA Making an Impact 2014 Two NUI Galway students have claimed the prizes at this year’s Irish Independent/Higher Education Authority (HEA) Making an Impact 2014 competition. An award of €2,500 sponsored by the Irish Independent was made to each of the two winners. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Independent had invited postgraduate research students in any discipline at an Irish higher education institution on the island of Ireland, to make a short submission on the difference that their research work would make to a particular aspect of Irish life, to the country as a whole or in a global context. Robert Mooney (33) from Salthill in Galway was The Judges Choice Winner for his research project 'Movement and Performance in Elite Swimming'. The PhD student is working under the supervision of Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) at NUI Galway. Mr. Mooney’s award-winning research is based on the development of a novel method using sensor technology to measure the performance of elite swimmers. Traditional methods of monitoring a swimmers performance are based on video. Mr. Mooney is looking at using inertial sensors that can be worn by swimmers that will track their movements through the water. Killian O’Brien (24) from Bishopstown in Cork was The Student’s Choice Winner for his research project 'Blood May Hold the Key to the Riddle of Cancer'. The PhD student completed a Masters Degree in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and is currently carrying out his research in the Discipline of Surgery, Clinical Sciences Institute at NUI Galway, working under the supervision of Professor Michael J. Kerin and Dr. Róisín Dwyer. Mr. O’Brien’s award-winning project is funded by the Irish Cancer Society and is part of the BREAST-PREDICT initiative. His work is looking at the levels of biomarkers in the blood of patients with breast cancer, with the aim of earlier detection. Runners up were NUI Galway student Linda Connor for her project 'Improving Honey Bee Health', Diana van Doorn, IT Carlow and Martin Holmes from Trinity College Dublin. For further information on the Making an Impact 2014 competition visit www.hea.ie Ends.
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