Diverse Diplomas on Offer from NUI Galway

Diverse Diplomas on Offer from NUI Galway -image

Friday, 20 June 2008

NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office is expecting record numbers of applications this month for its Diploma series. There are over 15 two-year, part-time diplomas on offer. Usually classes are one evening a week and subjects vary from Archaeology to Women's Studies, or Italian to English Literature. One of the newer programmes available is the Diploma in Social Gerontology, which is the study of ageing. With today's population living longer, it is an area of increasing interest to both academics and society alike. Subjects covered in the diploma include the economics of ageing and public policy for dependent older people. Course director Áine Ní Léime said the programme was the first of its kind in Ireland, and that students of the current course ranged from carers and health professionals to members of active retirement groups and others interested in the area of ageing. "It's proving to be a popular course for people involved in voluntary work as well as people working within the HSE who have said it's been very useful in the course of their day-to-day work. "However, it's not just for the health worker. It is a second chance for people who may not have had third or even second level education but want to gain a qualification in something they are genuinely interested in." Among the languages available in the Diploma Series include Italian, French, German and Irish all of which cater for students interested in honing their language skills both for business and pleasure. The Diploma in German helps students develop skills to communicate effectively in the language as well as providing an insight into the intellectual, economic and cultural history of a country that is at the heart of Europe. Course director Gabi Behrens said the classes focused on communication with teaching through conversation and language exercises instead of an over-reliance on memorising text. With only one class a week, it is essential that students allocate time to the course during their own time. According to Gabi Behrens, "The students who get the most out of the course usually incorporate short but regular language practice sessions in their everyday routines, which can include listening to German tapes or keeping a diary in German." Another popular course offered is the Diploma in Irish Music Studies, which is aimed at anyone interested in Irish culture. The course provides insights from music, dance, poetry, television and film into the ways in which Irish performers and writers have been actively involved in imagining and re-imagining Ireland from the 18th century to the present. Tim Collins, one of the course directors who will deliver the traditional Irish music and dance components of the programme, said, "Musical ability is not a requirement for students entering this course as the programme is mainly centred around the debate and discussion of the identity of Irish traditional music". For further information on all courses available in the Diploma Series contact the Adult and Continuing Education Office at 091 492062 or email adulteducation@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Éagothroime Shláinte i Measc Daoine Óga – Comparáid idir Leanaí na hÉireann agus

Éagothroime Shláinte i Measc Daoine Óga – Comparáid idir Leanaí na hÉireann agus-image

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Fógraíonn an tIonad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tuarascáil nua na hEagraíochta Domhanda Sláinte dar teideal "Health Inequalities in Young People's Health". Seo an tuarascáil idirnáisiúnta is deireanaí faoin suirbhé HBSC ar Iompraíocht Sláinte i measc Leanaí ag Aois Scoile www.euro.who.int Tá torthaí le fáil sa tuarascáil seo maidir le bearta sláinte agus leasa daoine óga i 41 tír san Eoraip agus i Meiriceá Thuaidh. Chomh maith le patrúin thrasnáisiúnta, léiríonn an tuarascáil na hathruithe sláinte ag aoiseanna áirithe agus scrúdaítear an difríocht idir buachaillí agus cailíní agus an difríocht idir leanaí ó theaghlaigh bhoichte agus shaibhre. Bailíodh an t-eolas ó bhreis agus 200,000 dalta 11, 13 agus 15 bliana d'aois. Is é an chiall is leithne atá le sláinte sa tuarascáil i.e. leas fisiciúil, sóisialta agus mothúchánach. Tá torthaí le fáil sa tuarascáil chomh maith ar chomhthéacs sóisialta na sláinte cosúil le caidreamh piaraí agus teaghlaigh, an timpeallacht scoile agus deitéarmanaint shocheacnamaíocha. Ba í an Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, ón Ionad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte san Ollscoil a bhí mar Phríomh-Imscrúdaitheoir in Éirinn agus mar chomhúdar ar an tuarascáil. Dúirt an Dr. Nic Gabhainn, "Is é seo an chéad uair a rinneadh taifead córasach ar éagothroime i sláinte daoine óga agus aois, inscne, saibhreas agus tíreolaíocht curtha san áireamh san oiread seo tíortha – cloch mhíle atá ann sa tuiscint atá againn ar shláinte daoine óga. Tá an t-aoisghrúpa atá i gceist ar tí a bheith ina n-ógánaigh, agus athruithe fisiciúla agus mothúchánacha rompu, agus cinntí tábhachtacha saoil agus gairme le déanamh acu". I gcomparáid leis na 40 tír eile san Eoraip agus i Meiriceá Thuaidh, d'éirigh go maith le leanaí na hÉireann, ó thaobh gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil (an 10 is fearr) agus bricfeasta a ithe (an 10 is fearr) agus thuairiscigh siad leibhéal sách íseal tinnis (an 10 is ísle) agus gortaithe (an 10 is ísle). Tá leanaí na hÉireann sa chúig is fearr ó thaobh dlúthchairde agus an chaoi a n-éiríonn leis na haoisghrúpaí ar fad ag an scoil. Tá leanaí bunscoile (11 bhliain d'aois), in íochtar ó thaobh iompraíocht dhiúltach cosúil le troid (37ú háit) agus bulaíocht (33ú háit) agus tá Éire sa deich dtír is fearr ó thaobh sástacht saoil. Dúirt an Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, "Dea-scéal é seo don tír seo, táimid fós chun cinn ó thaobh gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil, agus tá feabhas tagtha orainn ó thaobh milseáin a ithe agus deochanna boga a ól, chomh maith le fiacla a ní, áit nach raibh ag éirí go maith linn i suirbhéanna trasnáisiúnta an HBSC roimhe seo". Tháinig laghdú ar líon na ndaoine a chaitheann agus a ólann ó staidéir HBSC roimhe seo i 1998 agus in 2002. Ag leibhéal ar an meán atá leanaí 15 bliana na hÉireann maidir le caitheamh tobac go seachtainiúil (19%, sa 16ú háit), agus a bheith ar meisce faoi dhó, ar a laghad, (33%, sa 20ú háit), agus beagán os cionn an mheáin maidir le cannabas a chaitheamh sna 30 lá roimh an suirbhé (9%, sa 12ú háit). San Eoraip agus Éire san áireamh, is léir go bhfuil éagothroime i measc leanaí bunaithe ar inscne agus saibhreas agus caithfear díriú air seo. Inscne: Tá difríochtaí móra inscne le sonrú, go háirithe sna haoisghrúpaí níos sine. Ag 15 bliana d'aois, is mó seans go n-íosfaidh buachaillí bricfeasta ná cailíní (70% vs. 57%), go ndéanfaidh said gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil (27% vs. 13%), gur úsáid said cannabas le gairid (11% vs. 7%) agus go raibh siad ag troid (19% vs. 7%). Is mó seans a bhí ann chomh maith gur chaith buachaillí am lena gcairde sa tráthnóna (43% vs. 33%), gur gortaíodh iad (50% vs. 34%) agus gur tharraing siad go maith lena n-aithreacha (66% vs. 50%). Aois: Ag 15 bliana déag, is mó seans go ndéarfadh cailín ná buachaill go raibh ag éirí go maith léi sa scoil (71% vs. 61%), go raibh tacaíocht aici óna comhghleacaithe sa rang (65% vs. 53%), ach gur bhraith sí faoi bhrú ag obair scoile (60% vs. 47%). Tuairiscíonn cailíní nó mó fadhbanna sláinte (40% vs. 25%) agus ceapann níos mó cailíní ná buachaillí go bhfuil siad ró-ramhar (45% vs. 22%). Maidir le hiompraíocht sláinte, is mó seans go n-íosfadh cailíní torthaí gach lá (39% vs. 29%), go nífidís a gcuid fiacla gach lá (76% vs. 52%) agus go mbeidís ar aiste bia (19% vs. 8%). Saibhreas Teaghlaigh: Bíonn patrúin itheacháin níos fearr ag leanaí ó theaghlaigh níos saibhre – is mó seans atá ann go n-íosfaidh siad bricfeasta agus torthaí agus is lú seans atá ann go n-ólfaidh siad deochanna boga. Is túisce go ndeir leanaí níos saibhre go dtarraingíonn siad go maith lena n-aithreacha agus lena gcairde agus go n-éiríonn go maith leo ar scoil. Is mó seans go mbeidh leanaí ó theaghlaigh níos boichte ag caitheamh tobac, ag fanacht amuigh san oíche le cairde agus ag breathnú ar an teilifís níos faide ná 2 uair an chloig mar a mholtar. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire do Chothú Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht Bia, Mary Wallace T.D., "Fearaim fáilte roimh an Tuarascáil Idirnáisiúnta ar Iompraíocht Sláinte i Measc Leanaí Scoile. Tá go leor sonraí sa Tuarascáil ar iompraíocht sláinte leanaí as 41 tír. D'éirigh go maith le leanaí na hÉireann i gcomparáid le sláinte agus leas na leanaí idirnáisiúnta. Léirítear sa staidéar go bhfuil dúshlán roimh gach tír maidir le hiompraíocht sláinte a n-ógánach ó thaobh aiste bia, caitheamh tobac, ól alcóil agus gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil. Cabhróidh na sonraí a foilsíodh inniu le beartas agus forbairt seirbhíse sna blianta beaga amach romhainn." Léiríonn na torthaí seo go bhfuil neart oibre le déanamh chun cothromaíocht a fháil do dhaoine óga in Éirinn agus san Eoraip. Beidh an t-eolas sa tuarascáil seo riachtanach don lucht déanta beartais, straitéise agsu cleachtais i sláinte na hóige. Leanfaidh an fhoireann HBSC in OÉ Gaillimh uirthi ag déanamh anailíse ar na patrúin seo ionas tuiscint a fháil orthu. - críoch -

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Summer Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway

Summer Conferring Ceremony at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Almost 200 students will graduate from NUI Galway today during the Summer Conferring of Degrees and Diplomas. For these students, their academic efforts will culminate at the conferring ceremony today as they receive their parchments from Dr. Jim Browne, NUI Galway President. All Colleges of the University are represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Faculty of Commerce; College of Engineering and Informatics: Faculty of Law; and College of Science. The largest cohorts of students to graduate today will be eighty-eight Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) students. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Dr. Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said, "The University congratulates our graduands and issues a warm welcome to their parents and families. Since it opened its doors in 1849, over 77,000 graduates have benefited from a higher education in this University, the quality of which is attested to by the eminent positions they held, and continue to hold, not only in Ireland but across the globe." Students from across Ireland will receive Diplomas, Degrees, Masters, and PhDs. These include twin brothers James and John McDonald from Ballylongford, Kerry, who will each receive a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the College of Science. International students are also well represented, with the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences welcoming graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia and Kuwait. The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 27 June, 2008. -ends-

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Mace Head Climate Research Station Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Mace Head Climate Research Station Celebrates 50th Anniversary-image

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

On Thursday, 19 June, NUI Galway will hold a symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, located on the west coast near Carna, Co. Galway. Beginning within the modest confines of a refurbished World War II coastal look-out post in 1958, Mace Head has grown to become one of the most important sites for atmospheric research in the Northern hemisphere. Data from Mace Head is used by climatologists and modellers around the world to predict global climate change. As Mace Head is the globally acknowledged western European station for clean air data, it provides key baseline input for inter-comparison with levels elsewhere in Europe. Since 1994, Mace Head has been a baseline station for the Global Atmosphere Watch of the World Meteorological Organization (an agency of the UN). One of the first scientists to collect data at Mace Head in 1958, Dr. Thomas O Connor of the University's School of Physics, is very familiar with the development of the station. "Fifty years ago, global warming was not a household phrase. However, with Mace Head we were already following a scientific path which would put us centre stage when environmental change became a globally acknowledged issue. Mace Head has not only given us a unique legacy of data spanning half a century, but the station is poised to play a critical role over the next 50 years in understanding and tackling climate change". Mace Head station is widely used for numerous national and international projects and has served scientists from over 100 universities and institutions in 20 countries over the years. Mace Head also contributes, through ongoing climatic monitoring, to meeting Ireland's environmental commitments under international treaties. Data such as wind speed, wind direction, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, rainfall as well as aerosol particulate parameters are continuously recorded and webcast in real time. Professor Gerard Jennings of NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute, believes the station is very special, "Mace Head is unique in European atmospheric research. Air masses arrive via the 'clean sector' spanning 110 degrees are ideal for carrying out background aerosol and trace gas measurements. The station has been the perfect setting for a series of scientific projects over the years, such as measuring chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) when their impact on the earth's ozone came to the fore in the 1980s. Now, Mace Head is involved in tackling the much greater challenge of global environmental change." At the symposium on 19 June, which takes place in the Cairnes Theatre at NUI Galway from 9am-6pm, principal leaders of scientific projects at Mace Head will outline the achievements of the work there and the importance of these results for policy makers in the area of global climate change, air quality and other environmental conditions in Ireland. The jubilee celebrations will continue on Friday, 20 June with an Open Day at the station. Operated by staff from the Department of Physics at NUI Galway, Mace Head is the main location of experimental research carried out by the University's Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies – a centre within NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute. Led by one of Ireland's foremost environmental physics scientists, Dr. Colin O'Dowd, the group concentrates on the physical and chemical properties of aerosols, clouds, and gaseous species in the marine environment and their ultimate role in global climate change. According to Dr. O'Dowd, "Mace Head complements hugely to the strategic geographic importance of Ireland and our coupled atmosphere-marine environment in studying the dynamics of the impacts of climate change. It is a world class infrastructure research facility which is available to support Irish research groups in winning leading roles in high profile international research projects". For further information on the Mace Head visit on June 20th: www.macehead.org -ends-

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Health Inequalities in Young People's Health – How do Ireland's children compare

Health Inequalities in Young People's Health – How do Ireland's children compare-image

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Health Promotion Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway announce the publication of a new World Health Organisation report "Health Inequalities in Young People's Health". This is the latest international report of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey: www.euro.who.int This report presents findings on key health and well-being measures in young people in 41 countries across Europe and North America. As well as cross-national patterns, it highlights transitions in health at certain ages and examines differences between boys and girls and between children from more and less affluent families. Information is presented from more than 200,000 students aged 11, 13 and 15 years. Health is considered in its broadest sense, as physical, social and emotional well-being. Findings on the social context of health such as peer and family relationships, the school environment and socio-economic determinants of health are also included in the report. Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, from NUI Galway's Health Promotion Research Centre, was Principal Investigator for Ireland and co-author of the report. According to Dr. Nic Gabhainn, "This is the first time that inequalities in youth health have been systematically documented by age, gender, affluence and geography across so many countries – it is a landmark in our understanding of the health of young people. The age groups involved represent the onset of adolescence, a time when young people face the challenges of physical and emotional changes, and the years when important life and career decisions are beginning to be made". In comparison to the other 40 countries across Europe and North America, Irish children rank highly on many positive health indicators, including physical activity (top 10) and breakfast eating (top 10) and report relatively low levels of health complaints (bottom 10) and medically attended injuries (bottom 10). We are also in the top five for number of close friends and for perceived school performance in all age groups. Children in primary school (11 year olds) are near the bottom of the league, with relatively low levels for some negative behaviours such as fighting (37th) and being bullied (33rd) and are also in the top ten countries for reported high life satisfaction. Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn says "This is good news for Ireland, we have held on to our position near the top of the physical activity league, and have improved on sweets and soft drink consumption, as well as tooth brushing, where we had performed poorly in previous cross-national HBSC surveys". Irish rates of smoking and drinking have decreased since previous HBSC studies in 1998 and 2002. Irish 15 year olds are average for smoking tobacco at least weekly (19%, rank 16th), and having been drunk at least twice (33%, rank 20th), and just above average for cannabis use in the last 30 days (9%, rank 12th). Across Europe, including Ireland, consistent inequalities between children based on gender and family affluence are evident and will require further attention. Gender: There are important gender differences, particularly in the older age groups. At age 15, boys are more likely than girls to eat breakfast (70% vs. 57%), undertake physical activity (27% vs. 13%), to have used cannabis recently (11% vs. 7%) and to have been fighting (19% vs. 7%). Boys are also more likely to spend time with friends in the evening (43% vs.33%), to have been injured (50% vs. 34%) and to get on well with their fathers (66% vs. 50%). Age: At age 15, girls are more likely than boys to report that they're doing well in school (71% vs. 61%), to feel supported by their classmates (65% vs. 53%), but to feel pressured by their schoolwork (60% vs. 47%). Girls report more health complaints (40% vs. 25%) and are more likely to think they are too fat (45% vs. 22%). In terms of health behaviours, girls are more likely than boys to eat fruit every day (39% vs. 29%), to brush their teeth at least daily (76% vs. 52%) and to diet (19% vs. 8%). Family Affluence: children from more affluent families have more positive eating patterns – they are more likely to eat breakfast, to eat fruit and less likely to consume soft drinks. More affluent children also report better relationships with their fathers and their friends and get on better in school. Those from less affluent families are more likely to smoke cigarettes, spend more time out at night with friends and watch more than the recommended 2 hours of television per day. Minister for Health Promotion and Food Safety, Ms Mary Wallace T.D. said "I welcome the publication of the International Report on the Health Behaviours of School-Aged Children (HBSC) Survey. The International Report contains a wealth of data on the health behaviours of children across 41 countries. The health and well-being of Irish children compares very favourably internationally. The study shows that all countries face challenges in relation to the health behaviours of their young population in such areas as diet, smoking, drinking alcohol and physical activity. The data published today will continue to inform policy and service development in the coming years." These findings illustrate that there is much work to be done in creating a level playing field for young people in Ireland and across Europe. The information in this report will prove vital to those developing policy, strategy and practice in the area of youth health. The HBSC team in NUI Galway will continue to work on analysing and understanding these patterns. - ends -

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