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Friday, 31 March 2006
Minister for Agriculture and Food, Ms. Mary Coughlan T.D. has attended a special ceremony to mark the signing of a historic Agreement between NUI Galway and St. Angela s College, Sligo that sees the latter become the first independent educational institution to become a College of a Constituent University of the National University of Ireland. Ms. Coughlan, who is a past pupil of the Ursuline Convent in Sligo, was the guest of honour at the College s campus on the shores of Lough Gill, on Friday, 31st March 2006, where the occasion was marked with the Honorary Conferring of a Doctor of Laws on former President of St Angela s Sr. Marianne O Connor. Sr. Marianne presided over the College from 1983 – 2001, during which time she expanded the range of courses on offer to include additional elective subjects such as biology and religious education in the B.Ed degree in Home Economics. She also introduced undergraduate programmes in Nursing and Arts, postgraduate courses in Education and a wide range of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development programmes designed to meet the educational needs of the north west region. President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh congratulated Sr. Marianne on her conferring on what he said was a momentous day for education in the north west. "By honouring Sr. Marianne O Connor on the day we sign this historic Agreement, we are recognising the tradition of service which the Ursuline order have brought to third-level education in Ireland, and in a special way at St. Angela s College. "As we celebrate the long-standing partnership between NUI Galway and St Angela s over many years, we acknowledge that the Agreement we sign today will further strengthen this partnership and bring real educational and social benefits to the north-west and to the Border, Midlands & West region, as well as to the entire nation. " St. Angela s College President Anne Taheny said: "The Agreement is a further strengthening of the longstanding relationship between St Angela's and NUI Galway and such inter-institutional collaboration will further enhance the provision of and access to university education and research on a regional, national and international basis. The linkage will promote learning and will support and contribute to both regional and national economic and social development. " St. Angela s, which was founded in 1952 by the Irish Urusline Union as a training college for teachers of home economics, was designated in 2003 as the sole national centre for the training of Home Economics teachers. The College currently offers programmes at Bachelor, Master, Higher Diploma and Diploma levels in a range of courses from education to nursing. The College also provides an Access course for the socio-economically disadvantaged and co-operates in the delivery of NUI Galway s BA programme in Economic and Social Studies. Students of St. Angela s College are registered as students of NUI Galway and their degrees and other qualifications are awarded by the University. The existing governance structures of the College will remain in place under the Agreement and a joint body has been established to oversee its implementation, including reciprocal use of library, technology and other facilities at both institutions. Ends
Wednesday, 29 March 2006
NUI Galway is to host Ireland s first ever Service Learning Academy to examine civic engagement and service learning in higher education. The project, which is a collaborative effort involving NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University and Dublin Institute of Technology, will bring together academics from around Ireland to explore the link between universities and the wider community. The recent establishment of a Civic Taskforce in Ireland has encouraged higher education institutions to address ways to instil values related to citizenship in academic programmes and to encourage students to use their newly acquired skills to the benefit of the wider community. The Academy, which has been funded by the Higher Education Authority, takes place at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on the 30th and 31st March, 2006. Service Learning and Community Based Learning are teaching tools that help students take the skills they learn in class and use them in the community. Students assist a disadvantaged sector of society, incorporating theoretical knowledge into practical skills while receiving academic credit. The Academy hopes to establish a network of academics who are interested in embedding community-based learning into higher education. Service Learning has been a core mission for NUI Galway through the Community Knowledge Initiative, a project started in 2001 that hopes to realise the civic mission of higher education institutes. Funded by Atlantic Philanthropy, this project promotes civic engagement between students and community through teaching, research and volunteering. NUI Galway is viewed as a leader in Ireland in terms of offering these community-based learning opportunities to students and hopes to encourage other institutions to formally recognise these approaches to learning and teaching. A representative from the Taoiseach's office will be present at the Service Learning Academy to explore the civic dimension of higher education. ENDS
Wednesday, 22 March 2006
The South African Senior Science and Technology representative in Europe, Dr Mandi Mzimba, called on Irish researchers to develop linkages with their South African counterparts. She was speaking at a workshop in Dublin today hosted by the Irish Universities Association. The event was organised in partnership with ESASTAP – the European South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme. The workshop, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, aims to make important research connections by availing of the European Commission's Framework Programmes. ESASTAP is a Specific Support Action, implemented by the South African Department of Science and Technology and funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework programme to facilitate networking between European and South African scientists. Welcoming the South African delegation in his opening address, Paraig Hennessy, Head of Science Policy and International Research Programmes in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said that, "Irish Researchers have always been very successful participants in EU Framework Programmes. I have no doubt that once they are made aware of collaboration opportunities they could be relied on to use Framework funding to establish long lasting and fruitful linkages with researchers in South Africa." Presentations were made on the research landscapes in South Africa and Ireland with a focus on Food Safety and Quality, Biotechnology, IST and Energy which are national priorities for both countries. Irish researchers from a variety of academic institutions including TCD, UCD, UCC, NUIG, DIAS, RCSI and DIT also had the opportunity for one to one meetings with the South African NCP's to discuss specific collaborative ideas. The Irish Universities Association (IUA) provides a national support service for industry and academia in preparing and submitting proposals to the FP6 programme. Speaking at the event, Siobhan Harkin, Research Officer at IUA said, "There are great opportunities over the next seven years of FP7 for Irish and South African research to form strong links in areas of common interest. The IUA will work closely with ESASTAP to this end." Significant opportunities will exist for research organisations in the Marie Curie Programme in FP7 and the IUA will strongly support potential applicants in industry, universities and institutes of technology to build on the success of FP6. The IUA looks forward to working with South Africa to establish strong research links. Ends
Wednesday, 22 March 2006
Tabharfar onóir do dhaltaí ó bhunscoileanna ar leith i gCathair na Gaillimhe a bhí rannpháirteach i gclár 'Sport for Success' OÉ Gaillimh, clár a ceapadh le daltaí i gceantair faoi mhíbhuntáiste a spreagadh le cloí lena gcuid oideachais go dtí an tríú leibhéal. Déardaoin, 23 Márta 2006, ag searmanas speisialta i dTéatar Uí Fhlaitheartaigh, Foirgneamh na nDán/na hEolaíochta ag 7.30pm bronnfaidh John O'Donoghue, TD, an tAire Ealaíon, Spóirt agus Turasóireachta, teastais ar dhaltaí as Scoil Bhuachaillí Naomh Micheál, Muirbheach, as Scoil Chailíní na Tríonóide Naofa, Muirbheach agus as Scoil Bhríde, Seantalamh, atá i ndiaidh an cúrsa a chríochnú. Is tionscnamh ina nasctar an spórt agus obair bhaile é 'Sport for Success,' atá ina chuid de Chlár Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh ó 2002, agus cuireann sé an t-oideachas tríú leibhéal agus luach an oideachais ann féin chun cinn, mar aon le teicnící agus scileanna spóirt a fheabhsú. Tagann daltaí ó rang 4, 5 agus 6 isteach san Ollscoil tráthnóna amháin sa tseachtain i rith théarma an earraigh agus cuireann mic léinn Rochtana agus fochéimithe Rochtana na hollscoile cuidiú agus treoir ar fáil dóibh lena gcuid obair bhaile. Nuair a bhíonn an tasc sin críochnaithe acu bíonn na daltaí ábalta sult a bhaint as uair an chloig de na cluichí a bhfuil an-tóir orthu ar nós an tsacair agus na cispheile. Foghlaimíonn siad spóirt nua ar nós haca, dreapadh sa tobar dreapadóireachta, Tai-Bo, casadh agus lámhchleasaíocht. Dar le hImelda Byrne, Oifigeach Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh: Tacaíonn an clár 'Sport for Success' le Misean Rochtana ginearálta an choláiste arb é is cuspóir dó comhionannas deiseanna níos fearr a chothú do mhic léinn ó chúlraí faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Is deis iontach é le taithí a thabhairt do pháistí, dá dtuismitheoirí agus don phobal go ginearálta, rud atá an-tábhachtach, ar an Ollscoil atá tiomanta do sheans a thabhairt do rannpháirtithe tús a chur lena dturas mar fhoghlaimeoirí fadsaoil." Críoch
Wednesday, 22 March 2006
Pupils from a number of selected Galway City primary schools are to be honoured for their participation in the 'Sport for Success' programme in NUI Galway, designed to encourage pupils in disadvantaged areas to continue their education right up to and including third level. Mr John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, will present certificates to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme, during a special ceremony at the Ó Flaherty Theatre, Arts/Science Building on Thursday, 23rd March, 2006, at 7.30pm. 'Sport for Success,' part of NUI Galway's Access programme since 2002, is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. On one afternoon each week over the spring term, pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th class come into the University where Access students and Access university under-graduates provide help and guidance with homework. On completion of that task, the pupils can then enjoy an hour of popular sports such as soccer and basketball. They learn new sports such as uni-hockey, climbing on the climbing well, Tai-Bo, spinning and juggling. According to Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer: "The 'Sport for Success' programme contributes to the overall Access Mission of the University which is to support greater equality of opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is an excellent opportunity to introduce children and also, very importantly, their parents and the wider community to the University, which is committed to offering participants a chance to spread their wings in their journey as life-long learners." Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs said: "The University has demonstrated its commitment to advancing the educational, social, economic and cultural needs of the Western region through outreach initiatives such as "Sports for Success". The children are learning the importance of links between health and fitness, of teamwork through sport, and of the importance of good nutritional practices. Most importantly, the children are making connections to the University and are gaining the motivation to continue these activities and their education into adult life."
Tuesday, 21 March 2006
NUI Galway is pleased to announce that Mr Michael D. Higgins, TD, Labour Party President and Galway West TD, has been appointed as Adjunct Professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Announcing the appointment, NUI Galway President Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said Mr Higgins' impressive record in defense of human rights made his new role at the centre one which would further enhance his long association with the University. Professor William Schabas, Director of the IRCH, welcomed the appointment: "We are thrilled that such an important and influential personality in the area of human rights within Ireland will be working with us so closely", he said. Throughout his career, Deputy Higgins has campaigned for human rights and written extensively about conflicts in many parts of the world, including such areas as Turkey, Western Sahara, Nicaragua, Chile, Gaza, The West Bank, Peru, El Salvador, Iraq and Somalia. His human rights campaigning work was recognized internationally when he became the first recipient of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize of the International Peace Bureau in Helsinki in 1992. A graduate of National University of Ireland Galway, Michael D. Higgins received the University's AIB Alumni Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts and continues to play an active role in campus life. ENDS
Thursday, 16 March 2006
Bhronn an Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil (EPA) breis is €1 mhilliún ar an Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil, OÉ, Gaillimh ar mhaithe le mórthionscadal taighde a scrúdóidh caighdeán uisce agus an bhaint a bhíonn aige le sláinte an duine. 'Sláinte an Duine a fheabhsú trí Chaighdeán níos fearr Uisce' is teideal don chlár taighde idirdhisciplíneach a thugann le chéile eolaithe, dochtúirí agus innealtóirí ó OÉ, Gaillimh; ó Choláiste an hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath; agus ón Roinn Sláinte Poiblí, Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhísí Sláinte - An tIarthar. Ag 10.30am Déardaoin, 16 Márta 2006, san Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil (ECI) a sheolfar an clár. Scrúdóidh an clár taighde, arb é atá ann ná sraith tionscadail idirnasctha, an bhaint atá ag soláthar an uisce óil agus infhabhtú Cripteaspóiridiam in Iarthar na hÉireann, agus tionchar cúinsí séasúracha agus comhshaoil ar chaighdeán an uisce talún. Scrúdóidh ceann amháin de na tionscadail modhanna a thabharfaidh le fios an dramhaíl ón duine nó ó ainmhithe is cúis leis an truailliú, agus tiocfaidh sé ar mhodhanna a dhéanfaidh amach cén uair is dóichí a tharlóidh truailliú i soláthairtí uisce. Scrúdóidh an clár, leis, uisce óil, uisce snámha agus uisce dramhaíola, féachaint an bhfuil iarmhair antaibheathach agus baictéir atá frithsheasmhach i gcoinne antaibheathach iontu. Dúirt an tOllamh Martin Cormican, ó Roinn na Baictéareolaíochta i Scoil Leighis OÉ, Gaillimh agus an príomhthaighdeoir, gur deis mhór é an staidéar le cur lenár dtuiscint ar an gceangal idir an úsáid, nó an mí-úsáid ar uairibh, a bhainimid as uisce agus ár sláinte. "Braithimid ar uisce sna tithe againn, sa tionsclaíocht agus san fheirmeoireacht chun nithe a ghlanadh agus dramhaíl a sciobadh leis agus d'fhéadfadh sé sin dul isteach sa chomhshaol. Ar an láimh eile, le go mbeadh saol fada sócmhar againn, ní mór dúinn tarraingt ar an uisce glan atá sábháilte le hól ón gcomhshaol céanna sin. Má táimid chun an dá thrá a fhreastal, ní mór dúinn córais a chur i bhfeidhm a chinnteoidh nach n-ólfaimid amárach an ní a chaithaimid amach inniu." Agus é ag labhairt ag an seoladh, is é a dúirt Leas-Ardstiúrthóir an EPA, an Dr Pádraic Larkin: "Is tionscadal taighde ríthábhachtach don EPA é an tionscadal seo a thugann le chéile grúpa ilghnéitheach taighdeoirí den scoth ó na heolaíochtaí comhshaoil agus sláinte le hoibriú ar an gceist fhíorthábhachtach seo d'Éirinn. Táim ag súil go mbainfear leas as torthaí an tionscadail seo amach anseo chun an caighdeán is airde uisce is féidir a chur ar fáil in Éirinn." Is é a dúirt an tOllamh Emer Colleran, Stiúrthóir an ECI: "Tá an-áthas ar an ECI gur éirigh leis an maoiniú nach beag taighde seo a fháil ón EPA – gníomhaireacht a aithníonn an buntáiste a bhaineann le saineolaithe a thabhairt le chéile ó réimsí an taighde comhshaoil agus sláinte. Tá gá le cur chuige ildisciplíneach i leith an taighde chun ár n-acmhainn uisce a chosaint agus chun soláthairtí uisce a chur ar fáil. Tabharfaidh an tionscadal seo taighdeoirí le chéile ó dhisciplíní éagsúla i dtionscadal faoi leith a bheidh dírithe ar chaighdeán an uisce in Éirinn a fheabhsú." Ó bunaíodh an ECI, d'éirigh leis an bhfoireann acadúil a bhfuil baint acu leis an taighde maoiniú os cionn €30 milliún a fháil ó fhoinsí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. I dteannta bheith ag tacú go fadtréimhseach le taighde comhshaoil in OÉ, Gaillimh, tá an ECI ag tabhairt tacaíochta do chúrsaí comhshaoil atá seanbhunaithe agus ag cuidiú le cúrsaí nua fochéime agus iarchéime a chur le chéile. CRÍOCH
Thursday, 16 March 2006
The Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, has been awarded over €1 million in funding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a major research project to investigate water quality and its relationship to human health. 'Enhancing Human Health through Improved Water Quality' is an interdisciplinary research programme that brings together scientists, doctors and engineers from NUI Galway, University College Dublin and the Department of Public Health, Health Services Executive-West. It will be launched by the EPA at 10.30am on Thursday 16th March 2006 at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI). The programme of research, which is a series of linked projects, will examine the relationship between drinking water supply and the occurrence of Cryptosporidium infection in the West of Ireland, and the effect of seasonal and environmental factors on ground water quality. One of the projects will investigate methods to show if contamination of water comes from human or animal waste, and determine methods to predict when contamination of water supplies is most likely to happen. The programme will also examine drinking water, bathing water and waste water for antibiotic residues and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Professor Martin Cormican, from the Department of Bacteriology at NUI Galway's Medical School and lead researcher, said the study represented a major opportunity to improve our understanding of the link between our use, or sometimes misuse, of water and our health. "We depend on water in our homes, in industry and in farming to clean and flush away waste which may end up in our environment. On the other hand, to live long and to live well, we need to draw from that same environment water that is clean and safe to drink. If we want to do both of these things with water, we need to put in place systems to make sure that we do not drink tomorrow what we flush away today." Speaking at the launch, Deputy Director General of the EPA Dr Padraic Larkin said: "This is a key research project for the EPA which brings together a diverse group of leading researchers from environment and health sciences to work on this critical issue for Ireland. I look forward to the results of this project being utilised in the future to deliver the highest possible quality of water in Ireland". Professor Emer Colleran, Director of the ECI said: "The ECI is delighted with its success in attracting this significant research funding from the EPA who recognise the benefit of bringing together experts in the fields of environmental and health research. Protection of our water bodies and provision of water supplies require a multidisciplinary research approach. The project will link together researchers from different disciplines in a unique project focused on the improvement of water quality in Ireland." Since the establishment of the ECI, academic staff associated with the research programme has attracted over €30m in additional funding from both national and international sources. In addition to the long-term support of environmental research at NUI Galway, the ECI is continuing to support existing environmental courses and is contributing to the development of new undergraduate and postgraduate courses. ENDS
Tuesday, 7 March 2006
NUI Galway's Alumni Association has announced a memorial arts award in honour of the late Jerome Hynes, one of the University's most distinguished graduates who passed away last year. The Jerome Hynes Award for Best One Act Play recognises the outstanding contribution Jerome Hynes (BA 1980, HDip in Ed 1981, LLB 1988) made to the Arts both nationally and internationally as Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Opera for 17 years and as a member of An Chomhairle Ealaion/The Arts Council. The award is presented during the University's Springtime Arts Festival, Múscailt. The inaugural Jerome Hynes Award for Best One Act Play, sponsored by the University's Alumni Association, was presented by Alma Hynes, Jerome s widow, to the cast and crew of Basin of Myself, an original play written, directed and performed entirely by NUI Galway students. The play was one of 10 performed as part of this year's Múscailt Festival. The presentation piece was created by the renowned sculptor John Coll, a former winner of the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Literature, Communication and the Arts. The University has also commissioned a larger piece by John Coll in memory of Jerome, which will be unveiled in the Bank of Ireland Theatre later this year.
Monday, 6 March 2006
Signed works by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Edna O'Brien and Galway writer Ken Bruen are among the many books on sale at the inaugural NUI Galway 'Buy-a-Book Day' which takes place on Thursday 9th March, 2006,from 10.30am to 7.00pm. The general public are invited to the sale in the Aula Maxima, where an exciting and diverse range of books will be available. Other notable authors to contribute to this charitable event include Gerald Dawe, Moya Cannon, Ré Ó Laighléis and Joan McBreen. The proceeds from the event will be donated to international, national and local charities through the University's United Charities Group (UCG), with a portion of the total amount raised being used to purchase an item of interest for the Special Collections department at the James Hardiman Library. Formed in 2004, UCG consolidates the efforts of the three University based charitable committees: the Third World Appeal Committee, the IFUT Charitable Committee and Medicus Mundi. The event is one of the more novel ideas to emanate from the University's Staff Suggestion Scheme – Ursmaointe – and has been generously supported by several businesses throughout Galway. Vice President Mary O'Riordan said: "This is a wonderful initiative, coming from the staff of the University, which allows the University community to respond to the needs of the charities who will benefit." An end-of-day bargain sale will be held on the day to ensure that all stock is cleared, with any remaining stock being donated to local charity shops.