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Leading Developmental Speech and Language Impairments Researcher Visits NUI Galway
Monday, 10 June 2013
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Speech and Language Therapy teaching at NUI Galway, the University will hold a one-day seminar on Evidence Based Practice on Friday, 14 June. Entitled ‘Evidence-Based Practice: Bercow and back again - practice, policy and its implications for children with speech and language and communication needs (SLCN)’, the seminar will focus on the findings of the Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP), the largest practice related research programme ever funded for children with SLCN. Keynote speaker, Professor James Law, Professor of Speech and Language Science at the University of Newcastle, England will discuss the outcomes of this large research programme, as well as ways in which practitioners can incorporate evidence-based practice into the services they provide. He has had a distinguished career in research on developmental language and communication impairments. He is an editor on the Cochrane Collaboration Developmental, Psychosocial and Behaviour Problems Group and carried out the first Cochrane review of intervention for children with primary speech and language delays/disorders in 2003. Professor Law is one of the key researchers in a large scale research project in the UK, the BCRP. This research was commissioned in response to the Bercow Review, which was a review of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. The BCRP was designed as a rigorous research programme that would be useful for practitioners, researchers, policy makers, as well as parents and young people with communication impairments. The BCRP comprised 10 major research projects including the evidence base for current practice including indicative costs, and the perspectives of parents and children regarding the services they use and the outcomes they value. Rena Lyons, Head of the Discipline of Speech and Language Therapy, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have Professor Law in NUI Galway. Sometimes there is a challenge linking research with practice. Clinicians need to access research findings to inform their practice. This seminar will be very useful for clinicians as they will hear first-hand about the results of this large scale research project.” For further information on the seminar visit www.conference.ie or contact Rena Lyons at firstname.lastname@example.org. -ENDS-
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Supporting Environmental Regulation with Information and Communications Technology
Monday, 10 June 2013
Information and communications technology can be used to support environmental regulation in many ways, and, will be the subject of an international exploratory workshop on 20-21 June. The workshop, ‘Information and Communications Technology for Environmental Regulation: Developing a Research Agenda’, will address areas such as: real-time monitoring of air pollution through sensors; large-scale databases of geographical information on the health of rivers, lakes and beaches; satellite-based monitoring of farming patterns; and the provision of information on industrial pollution to the public through government websites. Environmental regulators are increasingly making use of this information and communications technology (ICT) for environmental regulation. In the US, the Obama administration has been particularly proactive in encouraging their Environmental Protection Agency to open its electronic systems to the public. “The Irish EPA is a leader in this field,” explains Rónán Kennedy, a lecturer at NUI Galway’s School of Law, who is the driving force behind the event. “The online resource, GeoPortal, makes data available to the ordinary citizen. The EPA also uses specialised systems for environmental data exchange with local authorities, licensing applications and a register of pollutant releases and transfers. Another striking Irish example is Friends of the Irish Environment using aerial photography of peat bogs in order to highlight the large-scale cutting of turf.” The event will bring international experts from three continents together, and, delegates will be experts in law, the physical and social sciences, information systems and web science. Speakers include academics, staff from non-governmental agencies and personnel from regulatory agencies. According to Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute who is co-hosting the event, “Irish researchers have been very successful to date in winning competitive funding from the EU 7th Framework Programme in the area of ICT. In fact, this area has secured more funding than other areas such as Environment, Energy, Transport, Health, and Nanosciences. I’m confident that with the calibre of researchers here at NUI Galway, we can build on the European successes to date and link up ICT expertise with that of the world-class environmental research that is happening right here in Ireland. If we get our act together and plan events like this, then we can and will be even more competitive in the Horizon 2020 programme. We must remember that there will be a budget of close to €70 billion for research, innovation and science.” Rónán Kennedy explains the key role that information plays in the regulatory process: “Environmental monitoring on a global and up-to-the-minute scale is rapidly becoming possible, and this can be combined with geographical information and opened to the public. Nonetheless, the use of ICT for environmental regulation is not simply a matter of the increased use of computer technology or putting pollution data on the web.” The existing arrangements between government agencies, business and other stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations may hinder efforts to incorporate new information into the regulatory process. Firms will often have essential information but be unwilling to share it, They may claim intellectual property rights as a barrier to public access to information on the environment. Modelling, particularly of large, complex and dynamic systems such as global climate, does not always lead to accurate predictions. “We need a better understanding of the regulatory process, environmental problems and the social and economic consequences of making information available and processes more interactive. While optimistic claims are made for the potential of ICT, the reality is somewhat more complex. It can play a significant role in improving the application, efficiency and effectiveness of government regulation. Our experience with the Internet shows the deployment of information technology often has unintended effects”, continued Rónán Kennedy. This workshop is funded by NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research, the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, and the Irish Research Council. More information is available at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=205 -ENDS-
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International Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Today at NUI Galway the 2nd International Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders will commence. The two-day conference will focus on the state of autism research in Ireland and internationally and plans will be presented to parents and professionals for the new Irish Autism Database and Repository (IADR) Project. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social behaviours and communication, and a restricted range of activities. Autism symptoms vary by person and can range from mild to severe. Some have normal intellectual and language abilities, whereas others are cognitively impaired and require life‐long care. While most countries, including Ireland, lack an official prevalence estimate, available data suggest approximately 1% of the global population is affected by autism. The development of an autism specific database targeted at the health, educational and long-term needs of the Irish autism community is a vital resource to inform service planning and delivery and will support a range of research questions. The IADR project, to be led by the Irish Centre for Autism and Neuordevelopmental Research, Institute for Regenerative Medicine (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, Centre for Autism and Related Disorders, Trinity College Dublin and US based science and advocacy group, Autism Speaks, will provide data to address a range of questions relating to the health, social and educational needs of individuals affected by autism and their families and carers. This will be a valuable resource illustrating the extent to which people with autism are impacted and provide valuable data to support service planning and development. This announcement marks the start of a six month consultation process with parents and is based on existing database models currently in operation in both Scandinavia and the US through Autism Speaks. The proposed Irish Autism Database and Repository (IADR) will house comprehensive and detailed information, as well as related biomaterials for individuals living with autism in Ireland. IADR proposes to serve as an open national resource to enhance the care and quality of life of the Irish autism community by facilitating and supporting rigorous and high impact scientific research. Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway: “Given the increasing prevalence of autism suggests that we urgently need to invest in optimising research efforts by enhancing research infrastructure and emphasizing collaborations among scientists, service providers, policy-makers and the autism community. IADR will be transformative in accelerating the pace of autism research, by providing large datasets which can be shared among researchers and ultimately will aid the discovery of causes and the most effective treatments for autism.” Commenting on the announcement, Dr Andy Shih, PhD, of Autism Speaks: “Autism Speaks is delighted to collaborate with the Irish autism community, including NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, on the new autism database and repository initiative. We encourage individuals, parents, practitioners and all stakeholders in Ireland’s autism community to get involved with this initiative, so that the database that results will uniquely serve their needs in addition to being an incredible resource for research purposes.” Adrian Jones, Irish-American member of the board of Autism Speaks and parent to a child with autism: “This annual conference provides a great opportunity for parents of children with autism in Ireland to come together and meet others who face the same day-to-day challenges and triumphs. The fact that both practitioners and policy-makers in Ireland are choosing to work so closely with parents on new initiatives such as IADR is a fundamental step in the right direction.” With estimates that one in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder in the US, the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) at NUI Galway, in collaboration with Autism Speaks, is making parents a particular focus of this the 2nd International Autism Conference. The event ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Research to Practice’ will feature keynote talks as well as workshops aimed at providing parents, practitioners, teachers, and researchers, with the latest evidence-based approaches to diagnosis, clinical management and adult service provision. The conference will place special emphasis on providing practical solutions for parents struggling with autism on a daily basis. Workshops will be delivered on managing behaviour in the home, sleep, toileting, interventions for non-verbal, minimally verbal and verbal children and how to manage transitions effectively. “Autism has become a national epidemic. This conference will bring the world’s leading experts in diagnosis, clinical management and education to NUI Galway as well as address the practical concerns and needs of parents,” said Dr Leader. “International evidence indicates an alarming rise in the prevalence of autism, as reflected in the recent data from the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which estimates that one in 88 children, including one in 54 boys, has an ASD.” Expert speakers at the conference include: Professor Deborah Fein from the University of Connecticut, who will discuss what determines best outcomes for children on the autism spectrum, while Professor Richard Hastings from Bangor University will discuss what the research is telling us in relation to effective autism interventions. Professor Peter Gerhardt from the McCarton School, New York will speak on issues relating to employment, quality of life and inclusion for adults on the autism spectrum; and Professor Susan Swedo, of the National Institute of Mental Health in the US, will update delegates on the latest changes to the diagnostic categorisations of autism. To view the full conference programme please see http://www.conference.ie. ENDS
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‘Voice and Choice’ Focus of Fifth International Disability Law Summer School
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
The fifth International Disability Law Summer School, hosted by NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, will take place from 17-22 June. It is the largest such Summer School in the world with a focus on the UN disability treaty. Over 100 delegates from 38 countries are expected to attend this year’s event including people with disabilities, representatives from civil society groups as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy-makers and policy analysts. The thematic focus of the International Disability Summer School will be on securing ‘Voice’ and advancing ‘Choice’ for persons with disabilities through the disability treaty. This connects reform on new legal capacity laws around the world with reform on the right to community living. The aim of the event is to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the generalities of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform agendas for persons with disabilities. Keynote speaker for the Summer School will be Professor Rannveig Traustadottir from the University of Iceland, Reykjavik who is a leading activist for community living in the Nordic countries. The School will be officially opened by Minister Kathleen Lynch, TD. Most presentations will be either given by, or responded to, by disabled activists from around the world. Joanne O’Riordan, a teenage activist from Co. Cork, will respond to the keynote address. A notable feature of the annual event is a Moot Court exercise based on the UN disability treaty. Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Quinn said: “Above all the School belongs to the people affected and is structured in such a way as to enable people explore for themselves the relevance of the Convention in their own lives and in the process of change. It sees people with disabilities as agents of change whether in Ireland, Zambia or Japan. It sees people with disabilities as providers and advocates for solutions – instead of as problems.” The School attracts an international teaching faculty including high profile senior academics, practitioners and policy makers who have been directly engaged in drafting and implementing the UN Convention. The Summer School is part supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Soros-Open Society Institute, the Department of Foreign Affairs (Irish Aid), the DREAM project of the European Union and the University. Registration for the Summer School is currently open and will cost €330 (concessions available). Further information, including the programme and speaker profiles is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/Summer_School_2013/summer_school_2013_info.html. -ENDS-
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Limited Places Still Available for NUI Galway Engineering Summer School
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics still has a few spaces available on their one-day Engineering Summer School. The summer school is specially designed to give prospective students a real taste of university life through a wide range of hands-on practical activities and students interested in attending have a choice of two different days to participate, Thursday, 27 June, or Friday, 28 June. The summer school, which will take place in the new state-of-the-art Engineering Building on campus, is a free event which provides second-level students the opportunity to learn more about the various fields of engineering which can be studied in NUI Galway. “We have seen a huge interest once again this year amongst both senior and junior cycle second-level students in our Engineering Summer School, but we have a few remaining spaces which students can apply for”, according to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “The places in the free summer school are competitively awarded so we would invite any students who would be interested in learning more about Electronic, Mechanical, Civil, Biomedical or Energy Systems Engineering to apply for these last few places.” Interested students, particularly those undertaking Higher level Maths, can find out more information at http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/summer-school/ and can apply by email to email@example.com before Monday, 17 June. Applicants should indicate what year they have just completed at second level and what level of Maths they are undertaking for the Junior or Leaving Certificate. -ENDS-
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2013 Honorary Degrees at NUI Galway
Friday, 14 June 2013
Enda Walsh, Professor Rita Colwell, Leonard Moran NUI Galway will today confer three outstanding individuals with the 2013 honorary degrees. Those to be conferred are multi-award winning Irish playwright, Enda Walsh; Professor Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chairperson of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc.; and Mr Leonard Moran, biomedical industry entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Ovagen, based in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Speaking in advance of the the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of science, biomedical innovation and literature. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.” Dr Rita Colwell will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). She is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chairperson of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc. Dr Colwell has served as Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1998-2004. During her term she oversaw a budget increase and a consolidation of the support levels provided to scientists and engineers with NSF grants. In addition she broadened the NSF range of programmes with special interaction in K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Dr Colwell holds a B.S. in Bacteriology and an M.S. in Genetics from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and serves on science advisory boards worldwide. She received the National Medal of Science from the US President in 2006. Mr Enda Walsh will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa). Enda Walsh is a multi-award winning Irish playwright. His work has been translated into over 20 languages and has been performed internationally since 1998. His recent plays include Misterman, performed in Ireland, America and Britain, 2010 – 2011; The New Electric Ballroom, which toured Ireland, Australia, Edinburgh, London, New York and LA 2008-2009; and The Walworth Farce, which played Ireland, Edinburgh, London and New York, as well as an American and Australian tour 2007-2010. All of these plays were produced by Druid Theatre. His other plays include Delirium; Chatroom, The Small Thing, Bedbound and Disco Pigs. He has written the Tony Award-winning book for the musical Once, which is currently playing on Broadway. His film work includes Disco Pigs (Temple Films/Renaissance) and Hunger (Blast/FILM4) and the forthcoming, Weightless (Smuggler Films, New York). Mr Leonard Moran will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa). Leonard Moran is a biomedical industry entrepreneur based in Ballina, Co. Mayo. He is the founder and CEO of Ovagen, the world's first economically sustainable producers of germ-free eggs and antibodies. Prior to establishing Ovagen, Leonard founded Biological Laboratories Europe Limited (Biolabs) which was acquired in 2002 by Charles River Laboratories. Previously he spent 8 years with the British Medical Research Council (MRC) from 1968-76 where he focused on clinical research. In addition he has a wealth of practical operational and construction experience associated with biological facilities. These four graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. -ends-
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Irish International Golfer Cycles to Irish Open to Raise Funds for Irish Heart Foundation
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Joe Lyons to play 18 holes in 9 golf clubs along cycle route, 24-26 June NUI Galway student and former Irish International golfer, Joe Lyons, will be swapping the green for country roads as he gets ready to embark on a three-day cycle challenge from Galway to the Irish Open (24-26 June) in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation. As part of his journey to Mullingar, the former West of Ireland winner, will be calling into nine golf clubs and playing 18 holes along the way, to raise vital funds for the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke. The unique challenge will also launch the golfer’s new campaign, Defibme.ie which aims to generate a national database of defibrillator locations. Clubs and organisations across the country are being asked to register the location of their defibrillator at the campaign’s website Defibme.ie to facilitate the development of a smartphone application which can help the public identify the nearest defibrillator in an emergency. Lyons is studying for an MA in Digital Media in the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway and the defibme.ie campaign is his final project and thesis. NUI Galway is fully supportive of the initiative which Lyons decided to embark on after attending a recent first aid course for his work with Galway Simon Community. “When attending training I asked ‘where can I locate a defibrillator in times of crises?’ It seemed obvious to me there was a need for this. What better way to kick of the campaign other than running a fundraiser for the Irish Heart Foundation?” The Golf Cycle will commence in Galway Golf Club on Monday, 24 June, when Joe will begin by cycling to Athenry and Loughrea Golf Clubs. The second day of the challenge will take in Athlone, Moate and Birr Golf Clubs before finally calling to Tullamore and Esker Hills, then finishing up in Mullingar Golf Club. Two holes will be played in each club to make a total of 18 holes played. The public is urged to support Joe’s Golf Cycle challenge and raise funds for the Irish Heart Foundation by logging on to www.defibme.ie and guessing how many shots it will take Joe to cross the county. Golf club members across the country will also have a chance to win some great prizes provided by Revive Active and the Carlton Hotel, by taking part in their own club’s weekly medal, many of which are being run as a Golf Cycle fundraiser this June. Winners of the competition will be announced on Thursday, 27 June at the Irish Open. Competition prizes: First Prize (individual): Revive Active, has sponsored a weekend golf break for four to the fantastic Amendeoire Golf Resort in The Algarve. The prize includes three rounds of golf, including B& B accommodation for four. To be in with a chance to win, play your club’s golf cycle fundraiser or enter the competition on defibme.ie Second Prize (individual): Courtesy of North and West Coast Links and Ballyliffin Golf Club is a fourball in the World Renowned Ballyliffin. First Prize (club): The Carlton Hotel group has sponsored a weekend break for four to any one of the Group hotels. The winner of this prize will be drawn from the club that generates the largest number of unique donations to the competition via a fundraiser at their club or online at defibme.ie. Second Prize (club) The Carlton Group has also sponsored a spa day for four at any of its Health Spas Nationwide. The winner of this prize will be drawn from the club that generates the second most unique donations. The winners of these fantastic prizes will be announced at The North and West Coast Links stand at the Irish Open on Thursday 27 June. More details on the event can be found at http://www.defibme.ie/golfcycle/ -ends-
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Galway Children ‘Graduate’ From NUI Galway
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
NUI Galway recently conferred the third cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 158 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates of participation by President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, with more than 800 attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 400 children have graduated from a range of specially designed courses including English, Engineering, Information Technology, Psychology, Science Exploration, Mandarin, Philosophical Discovery, Italian language and culture, Physics and Irish History. The Youth Academy runs for a six-week period on a Saturday morning from 10am to 12.30pm, and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. The programme is free to attend due to funding received through the Office of the Vice-President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.” The Youth Academy was founded by NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based in Dublin City University, has supported and helped guide the activity. On behalf of the founding members, Mary Dempsey said: “I believe that the combination of forward thinking, enthusiastic and energetic youth academy children linked through structured modules together with encouraging academics can indeed be a recipe for success. It can create and encourage an environment of innovation and self directed learning to meet the future needs of the knowledge economy.” For further information on the programme please contact Geraldine Marley, the Youth Academy Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. -ENDS-
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Prestigious EU Appointment for NUI Galway Professor
Thursday, 20 June 2013
Gerard Quinn, Professor at the School of Law at NUI Galway and Director of its Centre for Disability Law and Policy, has been appointed to the Scientific Committee of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) which is headquartered in Vienna. The EU FRA is one of the specialised agencies of the EU which was set up in 2007 to provide expert advice to the EU and its Member States to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are respected. It helps to inform EU law and policy and to ensure that its power is properly harnessed to respect fundamental rights. The Scientific Committee oversees the quality of the research of the FRA across a broad range of topics (e.g. racism, the rights of older people, privacy, the quality of the democratic process, etc.). This June, Professor Quinn joins eleven other widely renowned experts from across Europe for a five year term. Speaking on his appointment, Professor Quinn said: “Europe is at a historic turning point away from failed economic and social models. It has a chance to reinvent itself as a force for good in its own citizens’ lives and around the world. This turn is by no means assured. But bodies like the EU FRA are at the fore of helping to redefine the EU of the future. That's why I am involved.” The Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, said: “I would like to warmly congratulate Professor Quinn on this prestigious international appointment. It speaks directly to his impressive track record as an engaged scholar animated by impact in the domain of public policy, something to which the School of Law at NUI Galway is deeply committed.” -ENDS-
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New CAO Hotline for Leaving Cert Students
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Just finished the Leaving Cert and unsure of your CAO choices? Thinking about the change of mind deadline but need more information on your course choices? NUI Galway has opened a dedicated CAO Hotline to provide information and advice to students planning to start University in September. A dedicated Hotline Team will provide detailed information on NUI Galway’s 60 undergraduate degree courses, as well as on other aspects of University life. Students, parents and guardians interested in getting further information on NUI Galway should call (091) 49 44 99, Monday to Friday, to speak to an expert. NUI Galway offers a wide range of courses across most subject areas, including Arts, Business, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Healthcare courses, Science, IT and Engineering. As well as the full suite of traditional broad-based degree programmes, which allow students to keep their options open until the later stages of study, NUI Galway also offers a wide range of specialist degree courses in areas where the University has unique strengths. Popular choices at NUI Galway include Biomedical Science, Marine Science, Engineering, IT and Drama and Theatre Studies. New courses for 2013 include a Journalism degree and a new Physics programme. With such a broad range of choice on offer, it’s not surprising that CAO applicants are looking for advice and information. Commenting on the new CAO Hotline, Director of Marketing and Communications, Caroline Loughnane, said: “Every year, more and more students are availing of the Change of Mind option to revise their course choices. Choosing the right course for you is the most important decision a Leaving Cert student has to make. So it’s important to research all of your options carefully before making that final decision. Our CAO Hotline aims to provide students with all of the practical information they need to make informed decisions about courses at NUI Galway.” Call NUI Galway on (091) 49 44 99 between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, to speak to an expert and get all of your questions answered.
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