Friday, 16 June 2023

University of Galway hosts symposium showcases achievement of Fellows    BioInnovate Ireland – University of Galway’s specialist health technology innovation programme – has announced three new advisory board members.  Located at University of Galway and established in 2011, BioInnovate Ireland is co-funded by University of Galway and Enterprise Ireland and is formally affiliated to Stanford BioDesign. The announcement was made to coincide with the BioInnovate Ireland Symposium which took place at University of Galway campus to showcase the achievements of the 2022/23 BioInnovate Ireland Fellows as they conclude their programme.  The new BioInnovate Ireland Advisory Board members are Robert (Chip) Hance, Chief Executive, Regatta Medical; John O’Brien, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive, S3 Connected Health; and Dr Ian Purdy, Senior Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Intuitive. Supported by funding from Enterprise Ireland, 142 Fellows have completed the BioInnovate Ireland programme to identify unmet healthcare needs and develop innovative solutions to address those needs, while more than 3,000 patients have been treated with innovations which were developed in the programme, with that number rapidly growing. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The success and reputation of BioInnovate Ireland is immense in the medtech and healthcare sector and growing. University of Galway has a distinct focus on working for the public good, and with one of our core values being excellence, BioInnovate epitomises the strategic outlook of the University. The programme itself is very much solutions-oriented where our research is focussed on addressing real needs. Patients in profound need benefit as a result which is a testament to those who have driven this agenda for the public good.” Professor Martin O’Halloran, Director of BioInnovate Ireland and Techrete Professor of Medical Electronics and Director of the Translational Medical Device Lab, University of Galway, said: “The BioInnovate Ireland Symposium is a great occasion whereby we showcase the achievements of our Fellows as they conclude their programme. Along with that, and reflecting a changing medical innovation landscape, we are delighted to announce the addition of three new Board members to the BioInnovate Advisory Board - Robert (Chip) Hance, John O’Brien and Dr Ian Purdy. Each of our new advisory board members brings a wealth of expertise and experience in medical devices, connected health and integrated digital care, and will future-proof the programme direction for years to come.” Speaking at the BioInnovate symposium, Maura Glennon, Senior Commercialisation Specialist, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Ireland is recognised as a being a leading, global, life sciences and medtech hub, with our community of pioneering leaders playing a pivotal and transformative role in the delivery of innovative healthcare solutions around the world. The BioInnovate Ireland programme and the impressive results is a testament to that. Enterprise Ireland is proud to support the BioInovate Ireland programme and wish every success to the three new Board members who are being announced today.” The event featured pitches from current Fellows, outlining unmet healthcare needs that have been identified by them and validated as commercial opportunities over the course of the 10 month programme.  Attendees will also hear from several of the BioInnovate Ireland start-up companies and get insights on the future of medtech from thought-leaders in the sector. With additional funding from Enterprise Ireland, through its Commercialisation Fund, graduates from the programme have created 30 start-up companies, of which 20 are high potential start-ups (HPSUs). These companies have raised more than €240 million in private and public funds to commercialise their innovative healthcare solutions in the western region since 2014. Ends

Thursday, 15 June 2023

National sexual consent education and research initiative set for a new five-year cycle  Active* Consent marks scale of work since 2013 and outlines expansion plans using multidisciplinary approach to promote healthy relationships and foster a culture of respect   Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has today officially launched University of Galway’s Active* Consent programme 2023-27. Active* Consent is an innovative sexual consent education and research initiative, which began at University of Galway. Now a national programme, it has been at the forefront of promoting healthy relationships and fostering a culture of respect since its inception in 2013.  Active* Consent marked the launch of the 2023-27 programme with the publication of a report reviewing the scale of work undertaken during its first large scale programme 2019-2022 and an outline of goals to expand the work over the next five years. More than 70,000 first year college students took part in consent workshops between 2019-2022, and more than 1,500 staff member and student leaders have been trained in delivering workshops.  More than 4,000 post-primary pupils took part in consent workshops during the first 12 months of the Active* Consent for School Communities programme in 2021-2022, while 750 teachers have been trained in delivering these workshops and 1,000 parents have attended online seminars. The new programme sets goal to take Active* Consent international by engaging with universities, forming partnerships with practitioners and researchers, and adapting programming to meet the needs of students outside of Ireland Partnered with Rugby Players Ireland on the delivery of consent programming in the organisation’s Academy Programme since 2019, with ambitions to build on that by offering the Active* Consent model of awareness raising, skills development, and culture change to other sporting bodies.  Plans to initiate new research that focuses on how ideas and roles concerning consent evolve for teenagers and young men.  Minister Harris expressed Government support for the programme and Active* Consent's commitment to addressing the issue of sexual consent in Ireland: “It is essential we equip the next generation with the skillset and the knowledge needed on consent. This programme has already been incredibly successful in schools and further and higher education institutions across the country. The launch of this Active* Consent Programme is another step towards tackling an extremely serious issue that can have lifelong consequences for the victims. It is one of my top priorities to ensure that we create campus cultures which are safe, respectful, and supportive for all staff and students." President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The past decade has brought considerable learning on consent for all of us. Now there is an active national conversation on consent, which our history teaches us is healthier, preferable to silence. This is pioneering work, led by University of Galway. It is symbolic not only of the focus we place here on our university being here for the public good, but also symbolic of our core value of respect. All of us at University of Galway look forward to the expansion of the work of Active* Consent and in continuing to make a difference in and for society.” Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, University of Galway senior researcher and Co-Lead on Active* Consent, said: “Our programming promotes the ethos that consent is ongoing, mutual, and freely given - that consent is for everyone, in all relationships, across genders and sexual orientations, and for all types of intimacy, if someone ever chooses to engage with a partner.”             Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said: “To contribute to reducing levels of sexual violence we need to raise awareness of the importance of consent in healthy sexual relationships. And as part of our national Strategy to combat domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, we are working to change societal thinking about what is acceptable in terms of attitudes and behaviours around respectful sexual and intimate behaviour. “We also recognise that there is a need to equip people with the tools to react appropriately if someone tells them they’ve been a victim of sexual harassment or assault.  Active* Consent is, and has been, doing fantastic work in these areas. My Department supports the work of Active* Consent and other campaigns such as We Consent from Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, and is actively considering other options to inform the public as we collectively work towards a national, shared understanding of what healthy sexual consent is.” Active* Consent is supported through funding and philanthropy by Lifes2good Foundation; Rethink Ireland; University of Galway, Government of Ireland; and the Dormant Accounts Fund. The 2019-2022 programme was led by Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Dr Charlotte McIvor, and Dr Siobhán O’Higgins. Active* Consent developed a novel initiative to bring the topics of sex and consent to wider youth audiences, with Dr Charlotte McIvor working with more than 40 drama students and graduates since 2014 to write and produce four successive versions of the play ‘The Kinds of Sex You Might Have at College’. It toured 19 Irish college campuses in 2022, reaching 2,300 students and staff.  The play allows audiences to see what positive, active consent and non-consent look like, how they impact individuals and peer groups, and what can be done to respond to scenarios that young people might experience. Of the 850 college students who completed the post-show survey, 87% agreed that the play improved their understanding of sexual consent. 82% agreed that it increased their confidence negotiating sexual boundaries. 81% agreed that after the performance they knew where to find information on how to report sexual assault. A grant from the Community Foundation of Ireland enabled Active* Consent to adapt the drama to post-primary school audiences. ‘How I Learned About Consent’ was performed to 1,300 pupils from 16 schools in 2022. Of the 800 school pupils who completed the post-show survey, 83% of pupils agreed that the play represented the range of sexual issues and situations that young people face. 79% of pupils agreed that they felt more confident responding as an active bystander to help a friend or family member. 85% of pupils agreed that the play delivered important messages.  Ends

Tuesday, 13 June 2023

University of Galway today conferred degrees on more than 400 graduates. The day’s events something of a family affair with mother and daughter Róisín Hill from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo and Aoife Hill from Letterkenny, Co Donegal conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Also, following the line of academia through the University’s history books was Dr Caoimhe Newell from Moylough, Co Galway, who was conferred with an Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO). Dr Newell is the great grand-daughter of Dr Martin Ó Tnuthail, President of the University (then University College Galway) from 1960-1975. Dr Caoimhe Newell celebrated with her uncles Dr Micheál Newell, lecturer with the School of Medicine and Professor John Newell, lecturer with the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. Among those at the summer celebrations, more than 70 were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).   The largest cohort of students to graduate came through the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences were almost 180 future doctors received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. During the ceremony, University of Galway presented 15 Final Medical Medals to 11 graduates, with Dr Dominic Butler receiving four medals for his outstanding academic performance. Every year the University presents the medals to graduates of the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences who earned the highest grade in each subject area. Speaking at the ceremony, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of the entire community of University of Galway, I congratulate every one of our graduates. Summer conferring always brings with it a sense of the immediacy of our graduates making a difference, as so many of them are setting off for careers in healthcare and in research. It is inspiring to see our university so clearly demonstrating its role for the public good. I wish each and every graduate success as they embark on the next step on their journey of achievement.” Ends

Tuesday, 13 June 2023

Bronnadh céim ar bhreis is 400 céimí inniu in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Ócáid mhór teaghlaigh a bhí sa lá i gcás máthar agus iníne, Róisín Hill as Béal Átha hAmhnais, Co. Mhaigh Eo agus Aoife Hill as Leitir Ceanainn, Co. Dhún na nGall ar bronnadh Dochtúireacht i bhFealsúnacht (PhD) orthu. Chomh maith leis sin, ag leanúint lorg a sinsear sa saol acadúil trí stair na hOllscoile bhí an Dr Caoimhe Newell as Maigh Locha, Co. na Gaillimhe, ar bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha Leighis, Baitsiléir Máinliachta agus Baitsiléir Cnáimhseachais (MB, BCh, BAO) uirthi. Ba é an Dr Máirtín Ó Tnuthail, Uachtarán na hOllscoile (Coláiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh ag an am) ó 1960-1975 sin-seanathair an Dr Newell. Rinne an Dr Caoimhe Newell ceiliúradh lena beirt uncailí, an Dr Micheál Newell, léachtóir i Scoil an Leighis agus an tOllamh John Newell, léachtóir i Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Matamaitice agus Staitistice. Ina measc sin a bhí i láthair ag an gceiliúradh samhraidh, bhí breis agus 70 duine ar bronnadh Dochtúireacht i bhFealsúnacht (PhD) orthu.   Tháinig an grúpa is mó mac léinn a bhain céim amach ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte, áit a bhfuair beagnach 180 ábhar dochtúra a gcéim Baitsiléara Onóracha Leighis, Baitsiléir Máinliachta, agus Baitsiléir Cnáimhseachais (MB, BCh, BAO). Le linn an tsearmanais, bhronn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe 15 Bhonn Leighis Deiridh ar 11 chéimí, agus fuair an Dr Dominic Butler ceithre bhonn as a shárfheidhmíocht acadúil. Gach bliain bronnann Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte na boinn ar na mic léinn a fhaigheann an grád is airde i ngach réimse ábhair. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, ag an searmanas: “Thar ceann phobal iomlán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, tréaslaím le gach duine dár gcéimithe. Tugann bronnadh an tsamhraidh le tuiscint i gcónaí nach mbeidh i bhfad ann sula mbeidh ár gcéimithe ag déanamh a gcion féin ar mhaithe leis an tsochaí, mar go mbíonn go leor acu ar tí tabhairt faoi ghairm i gcúram sláinte agus i dtaighde. Is ábhar spreagtha é ár n-ollscoil a fheiceáil ag léiriú go soiléir a ról ar mhaithe le leas an phobail. Guím gach rath ar na céimithe ar fad agus iad ag tabhairt faoin gcéad chéim eile ar a dturas gnóthachtála.” Críoch

Monday, 12 June 2023

A new project is underway in Galway city this summer to identify hedgehog “hot-spots”. Many people are surprised to learn that hedgehogs are found in cities and towns, but urban gardens and parks are very important habitats for these charming mammals and a whole host of other wildlife.  There have been reports from England and other countries warning of dramatic reductions of hedgehog populations in rural areas over the last couple of decades. However, the decline is much slower in urban areas, as gardens and green areas act as a refuge for the animals. Researchers from University of Galway lead the All-Ireland Hedgehog Survey, which was established in 2020.  To date more than 7,000 records of hedgehogs have been received from all over the country, with more than half of these recorded in people’s gardens. Now the scientists want to take a closer look at city-dwelling hedgehogs and, thanks to the All-Ireland Hedgehog Survey, they have pinpointed parts of Galway City which have hedgehog populations.  Elaine O’Riordan, from the School of Natural Science at University of Galway, said: “We are learning a lot about how hedgehogs use gardens. Many householders have reported that hedgehogs visit regularly, or nest in their garden. Many people enjoy watching their night time visitors and some supply food and even hedgehog houses to encourage them to hang out. “Renmore, Mervue and Rahoon all have several reports of hedgehogs every year, which would indicate that they have good hedgehog numbers. We want to look at the gardens and talk to people in these areas to learn more about how hedgehogs are using gardens and estates and how people are interacting with them.” For the Hedgehogs in the City project, the researchers are asking people from these three areas - Renmore, Mervue and Rahoon - to take part in an online survey to gather information about what kind of gardens people have and whether hedgehogs use them or not.  The online survey can be accessed through the Hedgehog Survey website here  It is a very simple, short questionnaire. The researchers would like as many people as possible to take the survey - even if you have never seen a hedgehog before.  Later in the summer, the hedgehog team plan to visit some of the gardens and green spaces in the three areas of the city to search for hedgehogs using wildlife cameras and footprint tunnels. If anyone is interested in having their garden surveyed, they can sign up when they do the online survey. Anyone with questions can contact Elaine O’Riordan at Ends

Monday, 12 June 2023

Fidelity Investments and University of Galway are delighted to announce the launch of a new partnership that will impact more than 2,500 female students in the next two years. With females accounting for less than 20% of ICT graduates over the last seven years in Ireland, it is evident that more needs to be done to encourage young females to explore the world of STEM and the career opportunities available to them in this space. To bridge the gap in the west of Ireland, Fidelity Investments and University of Galway will work together under a national project to inspire female students to consider working in technology.  As stated at a recent Oireachtas Education Committee meeting by University of Galway Associate Professor Cornelia Connolly: “Ireland is working to become a digital leader at the heart of European and global development. Digital skills and a flourishing Computer Science education ecosystem are essential to our national digital transformation. To grow our digital economy, Ireland needs an advanced workforce ready to take advantage of the opportunities the transformation will bring.”  This meaningful industry-academia partnership involving Fidelity Investments and University of Galway will support CodePlus, a nationwide outreach engagement project, involving Trinity College Dublin, Lero/University of Limerick and University of Galway, aimed at overcoming this gender imbalance that exists in Computer Science and ICT courses at third level in Ireland. Through a range of workshops, company visits, and career talks which take place over a 20-hour program, CodePlus uses interactive learning and real-life experiences to inspire female students to embrace STEM and consider technology and computer science subjects at third level.  Lorna Martyn, Fidelity Ireland Regional Chair and SVP Technology, shared her thoughts on this exciting new partnership: “CodePlus is an innovative accessible pathway signposting opportunities in Computer Science careers to young women.  It intentionally addresses the gender imbalance in participation across Ireland’s third-level institutions.  As a personal advocate for greater female participation in technology careers and directly aligned to Fidelity Investment’s strategic commitment to education at every level and fostering new diverse talent pipelines, I am thrilled to announce Fidelity’s new two-year partnership with the University of Galway on the CodePlus programme.  “Presently, only 15% of Irish schools offer Computer Science as a subject, with 22% of females studying the subject in those schools. There is an urgent need to bridge the participation gap and provide equitable, inclusive, and real-world opportunities to encourage young Irish females to be the next generation of technology leaders and innovators.  Fidelity Investments Ireland is looking forward to supporting the programme through company visits, workshops and career talks from female role models working at Fidelity. By providing real-life experiences to the students in partnership with CodePlus, we believe we can have a positive impact on the students’ understanding, outlook, and attitude to careers in STEM and most particularly careers in technology and software engineering.”  Cornelia Connolly, Associate Professor at University of Galway, said: “Over the past number of years, partnerships with tech companies have been particularly useful in increasing the participant engagement with CodePlus and giving the students an insight to the IT industry.  “For many of our students, there are few opportunities to visit tech companies and or indeed to meet with female role models working in the industry. This aspect of the programme creates an authentic way for students to see the potential career paths open to them in the field of computing.  “We are delighted to have Fidelity on board as a partner for the next two years and we are looking forward to working with them to continue to grow and develop the CodePlus project and inspire young females in the West to look at careers in technology as exciting and attainable career opportunities.” Ends 

Friday, 9 June 2023

University of Galway has welcomed the announcement that two academics, a student and a member of the alumni are Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2023-24. They were presented with awards by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and US Chargé d'Affaires to Ireland Mike Clausen at a ceremony in the US Ambassador’s Residence.  Professor Becky Whay, Vice-President International at University of Galway, said: “The tradition of Fulbright is one which builds on the unique and deep bonds between Ireland and the US, as well as affording some of our keenest and brightest researchers an opportunity to further their academic excellence and cultural collaboration. University of Galway is delighted to see our academics, student and alumnus feature in the programme and we look forward to their return, as they add to transatlantic academic and cultural links.”   University of Galway awardees are:   Fulbright Irish Scholar Dr James Britton is an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme Postdoctoral Fellow in Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Galway. This project is co-supported by Epilepsy Ireland. As a Fulbright-NUI Scholar at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, James will investigate the use of Sonogenetics, to modulate the electrical firing of neurons and how this technique can be used to treat neurological conditions. Fulbright Irish Scholar in Residence  Tom Felle, Associate Professor of Journalism at University of Galway. His research interests encompass digital news, verification, data-driven journalism, fake news and disinformation, and democracy-related topics such as trust, transparency, and accountability. He has provided advice and testimony to national governments and the EU, and collaborated with the United Nations migration agency, IOM, as the lead academic partner for the Global Migration Media Academy from 2020-2022. His Fulbright award will see him work on creative writing, journalism and internationalisation projects with East Los Angeles College, California. Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants  Shauna Ní Dhochartaigh is a BA in Gaeilge and History student and native of Rann na Feirste, in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht. She was the 2022 Gaeltacht Mary in the Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival. Shauna was Debating Officer of the Cumann Gaelach in the University and guided the society’s debating team to victory in Gael Linn’s Debating Competition at Oireachtas na Samhna 2022. She will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Seán Ó Coistealbha is a native of An Spideal, Connemara. He is a graduate of Irish and history from the University. He taught in Dublin from 1979-80; worked as a language and cultural officer at Údarás na Gaeltachta from 1980-81; and was Youth Manager at Muintearas Teo and subsequently chief executive until January 2023. He is a published poet and has had numerous stage and film appearances as an actor. He is passionate about the Irish language, archaeology, heritage, culture and the Irish diaspora. Sean will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The Fulbright bilateral exchange program is known for selecting outstanding candidates from across the island of Ireland to study and work with US institutions across all disciplines ranging from health, science, technology and business to the arts and culture. As the Fulbright Awardees forge ahead on these exciting opportunities, the breadth of their US engagement is diverse and impressive. Fulbright Irish Scholars, Students, and Foreign Language Teaching Assistants will also engage with US society and share their knowledge and expertise when they return home. U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to Ireland, Mike Clausen said: “The Fulbright Program represents the US government’s preeminent international educational and cultural exchange initiative. It plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing the unique and close relationship between the United States and Ireland. Fulbright awardees exchange research, knowledge, ideas, and culture and contribute to solving important global problems. I congratulate this year’s awardees and wish them success in the United States and beyond.” The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 28th August 2023. Interested candidates should visit for more information. Ends

Thursday, 8 June 2023

University of Galway researchers have developed a modular approach to vaccine synthesis, potentially enabling production of a new cancer vaccine prototype. The study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is a collaboration involving a number of laboratories in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and the US. The research paper, available here, describes a novel approach and has implications for vaccine design.  The vaccine contains three different components which can be assembled like lego blocks. The first is a targeting component, a glycocluster, to selectively deliver and increase uptake of the vaccine into the relevant cells of the immune system. The second component is a T-helper epitope in order to to generate long-term immunity. The third component is a cancer T-antigen containing molecule (MUC-1), in order to stimulate the immune system to generate immunity against cancer associated antigens found on breast tumour cell surfaces.   The incorporation of the glycocluster has led to a much-improved immune response to the vaccine. The glycocluster molecule is comprised of multiple sugars and has a high stickiness or affinity for a receptor (macrophage galactose C-type lectin) on certain immune cells (dendritic cells). The vaccine is about 10 times stickier when it has the glycocluster than when it is absent, which explains its greater uptake into the immune cells and increased efficacy observed for the vaccine prototype. The modular or lego-block approach means that other types of glycoclusters targeting other immune cell lectins or T-helper epitopes or tumour antigens could be built and studied in a systematic manner and thus contributes to the field of vaccine design.   The study was primarily carried out by Dr Adele Gabba while she was a PhD student at University of Galway, under the supervision of Professor Paul Murphy, and subsequently as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Pol Besenius at the Johannes Gutenburg University of Mainz, Germany. During the PhD study, Adele obtained an EMBO travel award which enable travel to the laboratory of Professor Ulrika Westerlind at Umea University in Sweden where vaccine constructs used in the study were prepared.  The research was performed in a collaboration with laboratories also in Amsterdam, Boston and in Spain. Professor Paul Murphy, Established Professor of Chemistry at University of Galway and SFI Investigator said: “I am hugely in debt to all the collaborators for all their contributions, and especially grateful to Dr Adele Gabba, for the persistence she showed throughout, which was the key to the success of this research, spanning her PhD study and a subsequent period as a postdoctoral researcher in Mainz. “Glycoclusters, after many years of study, are beginning to show applications that benefit health and industry. It may even be possible to use the modular approach incorporating glycoclusters to design vaccines for infectious diseases caused by bacteria or viruses or for the targeted delivery of biopharmaceuticals or small molecule drugs to where they are needed. Importantly, no adverse effects were observed of the prototype during the study, while the efficacy was improved.” The research was supported by the Irish Research Council, European Molecular Biology Organisation, Science Foundation Ireland, the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the Kempe Foundation, as well as the various institutions supporting the researchers who contributed to the paper. Ends

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

University of Galway is to launch its new MicroCreds Project with an opportunity for prospective students to come to campus to find out more about the extensive range of part-time, flexible-learning courses on offer.  Micro-credentials are small, accredited courses designed to meet the upskilling and reskilling needs of adult learners, enterprise and organisations. People may choose to undertake an individual micro-credential or continue studying, stacking their skills and knowledge over time.  Janice Mulvany Glennon, Micro-credentials Project Lead at University of Galway, said: “We are one of seven universities working on the innovative MicroCreds national project, with the goal of developing short learning courses, to upskill and reskill people who are in work. Micro-credentials are short, accredited modules developed with and for enterprise and industry, for professional development and are innovative in their approach to lifelong learning.” The MicrcoCreds launch takes places on campus on Wednesday June 14, 2023 and coincides with University of Galway’s Adult Learning Information Evening on the same day from 5.30-7.30pm in the Human Biology Building. Over the course of the evening prospective students will have an opportunity to join one of our talks on Progression Pathways & RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), Introduction to Micro-credentials, Springboard+ courses and Fees & Funding.  Hosted by the University's Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development, it creates the opportunity for students to meet representatives from more than 40 part-time courses which will be showcased at the event, including in the subject areas of Business & Management, Science & Technology, Languages, Information Technology, Community Education, Training & Education and Pre-University Courses. Students can find out about the extensive range of part-time, flexible-learning courses on offer.   Information on Springboard+ courses offering funded places on programmes to people who are in work and those who are out of work will also be available, as well as application information for the Adult Learning tuition scholarships for students who are in receipt of specific payments from the Department of Social Protection. Acknowledging the role that work and life experience plays in contributing to learning and the development of skills, the University has been actively involved with industry and adult learners in recognising the prior learning which students bring to their studies.   Suzanne Golden, RPL Project Lead at the University of Galway, explains: “Recognition of Prior Learning is an essential component of the University’s approach to widening access to qualifications and supporting lifelong learning. We recognise that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a range of learning experiences and we aim to offer accessible and flexible progression routes for people who want to build on their prior learning. Using Recognition of Prior Learning, the University can give recognition for what someone already knows, understands and can do, prior to starting on a programme or module.’’  Springboard+ approved courses for 2023/24 available here Student support services and the Career Development Centre will also be on hand on the night to answer any queries learners may have as they decide on course options. For further information on this event and to register for this event visit:  More information on MicroCreds here More information on RPL here  Ends

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

University of Galway has secured funding for several projects under Science Foundation Ireland’s Frontiers for the Future Programme. The awards were unveiled by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, as part of grants totalling €42 million to support research across the higher education sector. Among the projects being supported are methods to assess past climate change impacts in the Arctic and oceanic shifts in Ireland to help resolve our current global climate; advanced therapeutic treatment to alleviate suffering in some patients with blood vessel blockages; and a collaboration with Tyndall National Institute on making advancements in electronic devices.  Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “Government investment in these research projects at University of Galway are testament to the expertise and excellence of our people and their vision to tackle issues of global importance. We wish all of the successful researchers the best as they work to make lasting impact.” University of Galway research projects are: Dr Gordon Bromley, School of Geography & Archaeology, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, aims to improve future climate projections by investigating the impact of historic oceanic shifts in Ireland. The project is co-funded by Geological Survey Ireland. Dr Audrey Morley, School of Geography & Archaeology, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, will pioneer a new approach to assess past climate change effects in the Arctic, providing a basis to resolve current climate debates on the stability of our global climate. The project is co-funded by Geological Survey Ireland. Dr Derek Morris and Dr Dara Cannon, College of Science and Engineering and College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences aim to research the prediction cognitive dysfunction and psychosocial disability in schizophrenia using genetic, neuroimaging and environmental data. Timothy O'Brien, Professor in the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, is researching new hybrid advanced therapy medicinal products - using combinations of genes, cells and biomaterials - to treat patients who suffer blood vessel blockage in the legs leading to bypass surgery or amputation. Dr Andrea Erxleben, College of Science and Engineering, will research novel platinum-based mitocans for the treatment of resistant cancers. Conor O'Byrne, College of Science and Engineering, will research the characterisation of the function and regulation of GadR, a novel transcriptional regulator of acid resistance in Listeria monocytogenes. Ger O'Connor, Professor in the College of Science and Engineering, is collaborating with Dr Ray Duffy, Tyndall National Institute, to substantially increase the scalability, functionality, performance and energy efficiency of electronic devices while keeping full compatibility with existing mass production technologies. They will research components which affect almost all day-to-day consumer devices. This Frontiers for the Future programme was funded in collaboration with the Children’s Health Foundation (CHF) and Geological Survey Ireland (GSI). Minister Harris said: “These awards, supported under the SFI Frontiers for the Future programme, will enable research ideas to contribute new knowledge, solving problems faced by our society, while also providing a continuum of support from early career to established researchers, thus growing and retaining top talent in Ireland. The SFI Frontiers for the Future programme takes important steps to address gender imbalance and to provide support and opportunity for emerging investigators who are returning to their research after a period of leave.” Professor Philip Nolan, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “A key action of SFI’s strategy is to deliver 140 investigator grants every year to support excellent research and to attract top talent. The Frontiers for the Future programme is the primary mechanism to achieve this goal. It is vital that we invest in excellent and innovative research in Ireland. I would like to thank the Children’s Health Foundation and Geological Survey Ireland for collaborating on this programme with SFI, allowing us to fund projects which will have a significant impact in key areas." Commenting on the announcement Koen Verbruggen, Director, Geological Survey Ireland, said: “Geological Survey Ireland has partnered with SFI for several years, and we are very pleased to again support geoscience researchers through the Frontiers programme. Both SFI-GSI projects funded this year will improve our understanding of the impacts of climate change in the past and what this might mean for our future.” Ends

Thursday, 1 June 2023

THE Impact Rankings place University of Galway number 1 among Irish universities for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals     University of Galway has been named the number one university in Ireland for sustainable development for a second year in a row. The accolade has been awarded by THE Impact rankings in recognition of University of Galway’s progress in responding to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  University of Galway has increased its ranking in the world’s top 50 universities for sustainable development – jumping more than 10 places to 34th THE Impact report cements University of Galway’s position as number one in Ireland for sustainable development  University of Galway recognised globally for significant contribution to progress on 11 of the 17 UN SDGs  World ranking of number 5 for Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) University of Galway ranked top 50 for 7 of the 17 SDGs    President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University of Galway being ranked again this year in the top 50 among the universities of the world is a huge achievement. It is also a remarkable recognition to be embedded as the number one, the leading university in Ireland for the work and progress we have made on our core value of sustainability. “Building on local impact through our work with Galway City Council on the EU-funded ZeroNetCarbon Cities pilot, our national recognition as the first and only university to be recognised as a Sustainable Development Champion, we are leading internationally as well.  “Huge credit goes to staff across our university for making this happen, in our teaching and learning, in our research and in our day to day operations. Equally, credit is due to our students who put sustainability to the forefront of our agenda as we developed our 2020-2025 strategy Shared Vision, Shaped by Values. This has happened because of the energy, passion and enthusiasm of our empowered university community. “Sustainability and climate action are the urgencies of this moment.  At this time and from this place, University of Galway is glad to lead, for the public good.”   The 2023 edition of Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings ranks the University 34th out of 1,591 institutions across the world. Assessments for THE Impact rankings are based on submissions from universities around the world in line with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report is a measure of the extent to which institutions are having a positive social and economic impact on the planet; from climate action and gender equality, to good health and well-being. University of Galway’s ranking is even more impressive with new universities entering THE Impact in 2023.   Deputy President and Registrar of University of Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Chair of the University Sustainability Advisory Board, said: “There is a great team behind the University’s achievements on this front and being recognised by THE Impact rankings, and an even more important sense of collaboration among staff and students, where the wider community can be seen taking on the challenge of the United Nations SDGs.  “I’d like to commend the hard work of everyone involved. University of Galway’s progression on this front has been immense, surging from 82nd in 2021, before breaking into the top 50 in 2022 at 47th place and now a superb 34th in the world. The result is a symbol of what we can achieve when we work together, with a common goal, and support one another in those ambitions.”   Some of the initiatives and developments that the University has pursued include:   University of Galway designated as a national SDG Champion for 2023-24, the first university in Ireland to hold this honour. 300 course modules cover sustainability issues and a new Introduction to Sustainability module is available in 56 courses across three colleges, with the aim to make it available to all students.  A €5m Global Challenges Fund was established aligned to sustainability to support research on issues affecting humanity. Since 2006 we have reduced energy consumption by 50% and exceeded national targets on energy efficiency. We have installed more than 500kW of solar PV and 7,000 LED light fittings. We have embarked on a geothermal heat pump project on campus to heat the swimming pool in our Sports Centre and 22 EV charge points on campus. CÚRAM, the SFI research centre at University of Galway, is the first in Europe to be awarded Green Lab Certification; 28 additional labs have received greening certification and we plan to double this number by the end of the year. Our campus is one of the most biodiverse in Ireland: we hold An Táisce Green Campus Flag. We have introduced new wildflower enhancement schemes, bird boxes, bat boxes, insect hotels, beehives, a pollinator friendly pesticide code and a log tree hive.  We have introduced a new organic waste circular economy process and a new deposit and return scheme for reusable cups. Partnering for the The Mary Robinson Climate Conference, delivered by The Mary Robinson Centre, along with Ballina 2023, Mayo County Council, sponsored by IPB Insurance and Eirgrid and co-hosting a European Commission conference on Atlantic ocean research, also in July. University of Galway performed strongly across a number of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to secure a ranking of 34th in the world.   According to THE Impact, the University is top 50 in seven areas and retained the top 10 rank in one area:  Ranked 5th in the world for SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production (same as 2022)  Ranked 21st for SDG 14: Life Below Water, up 10 places  Ranked 23rd for SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy, up from 75th  Ranked 43rd for SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, up from 51st Ranked 44th for SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Ranked 47th for SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals, up from 63rd  Ranked 50th for SDG 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institution, up from 59th Ends

Thursday, 1 June 2023

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe sa chéad áit i Ranguithe Tionchair THE i measc ollscoileanna na hÉireann as aghaidh a thabhairt ar Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe   Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ainmnithe mar an ollscoil is fearr in Éirinn ó thaobh na forbartha inbhuanaithe don dara bliain as a chéile. Bhronn ranguithe Tionchair THE an gradam mar aitheantas ar dhul chun cinn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe maidir le freagairt do Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe (SDGanna) na Náisiún Aontaithe.  Tá dul chun cinn déanta ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe sna ranguithe i measc an 50 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan maidir le forbairt inbhuanaithe – ag léim níos mó ná 10 n-áit go dtí an 34ú háit Daingníonn tuarascáil Tionchair THE seasamh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe mar an ollscoil is fearr in Éirinn ó thaobh forbairt inbhuanaithe  Tá aitheantas domhanda ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe as cur go mór le dul chun cinn 11 de na 17 SDG de chuid na NA  Rangaithe sa 5ú háit go domhanda do (SDG 12 maidir le Tomhaltas agus Táirgeadh Freagrach) Bhain Ollscoil na Gaillimhe áit amach i measc an 50 Ollscoil is fearr ar domhan do 7 gcinn de na 17 SDG    Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is mór an éacht é Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a bheith rangaithe arís i mbliana i measc an 50 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan. Is aitheantas iontach é freisin a bheith ainmnithe ar an gcéad ollscoil, an ollscoil is fearr in Éirinn, as an obair agus an dul chun cinn atá déanta againn ar ár gcroíluach inbhuanaitheachta. “Idir an tionchar áitiúil atá againn inár gcuid oibre le Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe ar an gclár píolótach ZeroNetCarbon Cities atá maoinithe ag an AE, agus ár n-aitheantas náisiúnta mar an chéad ollscoil agus an t-aon ollscoil a aithníodh mar Churadh Forbartha Inbhuanaithe, táimid chun cinn go hidirnáisiúnta freisin.  “Tá moladh mór ag dul don fhoireann ar fud na hollscoile as an éacht seo a dhéanamh, inár dteagasc agus san fhoghlaim, inár dtaighde agus inár n-oibríochtaí laethúla. Mar an gcéanna, tá creidiúint tuillte ag ár gcuid mac léinn a chuir an inbhuanaitheacht chun tosaigh ar ár gclár oibre agus ár straitéis Fís i gCoiteann, Múnlaithe ag Luachanna 2020-2025 á forbairt againn. Ní tharlódh sé seo gan fuinneamh, paisean agus díograis ár bpobail ollscoile. “Is í an inbhuanaitheacht agus an ghníomhaíocht ar son na haeráide na clocha is mó ar ár bpaidrín faoi láthair.  Ag an am seo agus as an áit seo, tá áthas orainne in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ceannasaíocht a ghlacadh, ar mhaithe le leas an phobail.”   In eagrán 2023 de Ranguithe Tionchair Times Higher Education tá an Ollscoil sa 34ú háit as 1,591 institiúid ar fud an domhain. Tá measúnuithe do ranguithe Tionchair THE bunaithe ar aighneachtaí ó ollscoileanna ar fud an domhain i gcomhréir le 17 Sprioc Forbartha Inbhuanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe. Is léiriú í an tuarascáil ar an tionchar dearfach sóisialta agus eacnamaíoch atá ag institiúidí ar an bpláinéad; lena n-áirítear gníomhú ar son na haeráide, comhionannas inscne, dea-shláinte agus folláine. Tá rangú Ollscoil na Gaillimhe níos suntasaí fós agus ollscoileanna nua ag cur isteach ar rangú Tionchair THE in 2023.   Dúirt Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Cathaoirleach Bhord Comhairleach Inbhuanaitheachta na hOllscoile: “Tá foireann iontach taobh thiar d’éachtaí na hOllscoile sa réimse seo agus aitheantas saothraithe ag ranguithe Tionchair THE, agus muintearas níos tábhachtaí fós le braistint i measc na foirne agus na mac léinn, áit ar féidir an pobal i gcoitinne a fheiceáil ag tabhairt faoi dhúshlán SDG na Náisiún Aontaithe.  “Ba mhaith liom obair chrua gach duine a bhí páirteach a mholadh. Tá dul chun cinn ollmhór déanta ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe sa réimse seo, ardú ó uimhir a 82 in 2021, sular baineadh áit amach i measc an 50 ollscoil is fearr in 2022 go dtí an 47ú háit in 2022 agus anois táimid ag uimhir a 34 ar domhan. Is comhartha é an toradh seo ar an méid is féidir linn a bhaint amach agus sinn ag obair le chéile, leis an sprioc chéanna, agus tacaíocht á tabhairt dá chéile sna huaillmhianta sin.”   I measc na dtionscnamh agus na bhforbairtí atá ar bun ag an Ollscoil tá:   Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ainmnithe mar churadh náisiúnta SDG do 2023-24, an chéad ollscoil in Éirinn lena leithéid d’onóir a bhaint amach. Pléann 300 modúl cúrsa saincheisteanna inbhuanaitheachta agus tá modúl nua Blaiseadh den Inbhuanaitheacht curtha ar fáil i 56 cúrsa i dtrí choláiste, agus é mar aidhm é a chur ar fáil do gach mac léinn.  Bunaíodh Ciste Dúshlán Domhanda ar fiú €5m é. Tá sé ailínithe le hinbhuanaitheacht chun tacú le taighde ar shaincheisteanna a bhaineann leis an gcine daonna. Ó 2006 tá laghdú 50% tagtha ar ídiú fuinnimh agus tá spriocanna náisiúnta sáraithe maidir le héifeachtúlacht fuinnimh. Tá níos mó ná 500kW de Phainéil Ghréine Fhótavoltacha agus 7,000 feisteas solais LED suiteáilte againn. Tá tús curtha againn le tionscadal caidéil teasa gheoiteirmigh ar an gcampas chun an linn snámha a théamh san Ionad Spóirt agus 22 pointe luchtaithe a chur isteach d’fheithiclí leictreacha. Is é CÚRAM, an t-ionad taighde SFI in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an chéad ionad san Eoraip ar bronnadh Deimhniú na Saotharlainne Glaise air; tá deimhniú glasaithe faighte ag 28 saotharlann bhreise agus tá sé beartaithe againn an líon seo a dhúbailt faoi dheireadh na bliana. Tá ár gcampas ar cheann de na campais is bithéagsúlaí in Éirinn: tá Gradam na gCampas Glas, an Taisce bainte amach againn. Thugamar isteach scéimeanna nua feabhsaithe bláthanna fiáine, boscaí éan, boscaí ialtóg, óstáin feithidí, coirceoga, cód lotnaidicídí atá oiriúnach do phailneoirí agus coirceog lomáin.  Tá próiseas nua geilleagair chiorclaigh do dhramhaíl orgánach againn agus scéim nua éarlaise do chupáin in-athúsáidte. Comhpháirtíocht do Chomhdháil Aeráide Mháire Mhic Róibín, atá á seachadadh ag Ionad Mháire Mhic Róibín, in éineacht le Béal an Átha 2023, Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo, urraithe ag IPB Insurance agus Eirgrid agus comhdháil de chuid an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh ar thaighde an Aigéin Atlantaigh a chomhreáchtáil i mí Iúil freisin. Rinne Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go maith sna 17 Sprioc Forbartha Inbhuanaithe (SDGanna) chun an 34ú háit a bhaint amach ar domhan.   De réir Ranguithe Tionchair THE, tá an Ollscoil i measc an 50 ollscoil is fearr i seacht réimse agus tá sí i measc na 10 n-ollscoil is fearr i gcónaí i réimse amháin:  Sa 5ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 12: Tomhaltas agus Táirgeadh Freagrach (mar a chéile le rangú 2022)  Sa 21ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 14: Beatha faoi Uisce, ardaithe 10 n-áit  Sa 23ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 7: Fuinneamh Inacmhainne & Glan, ardaithe ón 75ú háit  Sa 43ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 3: Dea-shláinte & Folláine, ardaithe ón 51ú háit Sa 44ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 11: Cathracha agus Pobail Inbhuanaithe Sa 47ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 17: Comhpháirtíocht do na Spriocanna, ardaithe ón 63ú háit  Sa 50ú háit ar domhan maidir le SDG 16: An tSíocháin, an Ceartas agus Institiúidí Láidre, ardaithe ón 59ú háit Críoch

Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Agus an 45ú féile bhliantúil faoi lánseol, tá comhpháirtíocht nua cúig bliana fógartha ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe (GIAF) agus a comhpháirtí oideachais fadtréimhseach, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, faoina dtreiseofar ar an gcomhoibriú idir na comhpháirtithe. Rinne Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ceiliúradh ar na 13 bliana atá caite aici mar Chomhpháirtí Oideachais d’Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe i mbliana, agus le linn thréimhse na comhpháirtíochta cúig bliana deiridh tugadh isteach cúrsa nua i mbainistíocht na n-ealaíon cruthaitheach; forbraíodh SELECTED, ar clár forbartha gairmiúla é d’ábhar ealaíontóirí, déantóirí téatair, coimeádaithe agus léiritheoirí atá ag staidéar in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, mar aon le Clár Oibrithe Deonacha na Féile, faoinar cuireadh fáilte le cúig bliana anuas roimh 3,248 rannpháirtí ó 41 tír éagsúil ar an meán gach bliain. Reáchtáladh 121 imeacht ar champas Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le linn na comhpháirtíochta deiridh, agus rinne 128,727 duine a mbealach chuig an gcampas chun éisteacht le sárcheoltóirí agus le ceolfhoirne shiansacha, féachaint ar thaispeántais agus ar shuiteálacha agus taitneamh a bhaint as sáramharclannaíocht na hÉireann agus idirnáisiúnta. Chuir an fhéile deiseanna cruthaitheacha agus cultúrtha ar fáil do chéimithe, agus bhí céimithe de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le feiceáil in níos mó ná 50% de léiriúcháin GIAF in 2021, agus seans ag príomhchomhaltaí foirne acadúla páirt a ghlacadh sa tsraith cainteanna First Thought Talks agus Backstage. Forbraíodh imeachtaí d’alumni ag an bhféile freisin. Leathnófar an obair seo mar thoradh ar an gcomhpháirtíocht nua, agus áireofar léi nasc idir an Ollscoil agus clár First Thought Talks na féile; forbairt bhreise ar chartlann GIAF atá ar coimeád i leabharlann na hOllscoile trí chruthú rannóg nua ar stair béil na féile; agus GIAF agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag déanamh fiosrú ar na bealaí ina féidir leis an gcomhpháirtíocht cabhrú le tionscail chruthaitheacha san Iarthar a fhorbairt le go gcothófaí conairí gairme do chéimithe Ollscoil na Gaillimhe; agus forbairt bhreise a dhéanamh ar chlár oibrithe deonacha GIAF, ar éirigh chomh maith sin leis, áit a leanfaidh an ollscoil ar aghaidh mar urraitheoir an teidil agus trína n-éascófar for-rochtain fhairsing chuig raon pobal níos éagsúla fós. Agus beagnach 20% d’imeachtaí GIAF ar siúl ar an gcampas anois, tá GIAF agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe tagtha ar chomhaontú anois freisin oibriú níos dlúithe le chéile chun féilte níos inbhuanaithe a eagrú bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Féachfaidh siad le tógáil ar dhea-chleachtas sa chlár, go háirithe i gcás na n-imeachtaí sin a bheidh ar siúl ar an gcampas. Anuas air sin, oibreoidh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus GIAF as lámha a chéile as seo go ceann dhá bhliain mar chuid de chuibhreannas Eorpach ina dhéanfar iniúchadh ar na bealaí inar féidir leas a bhaint as fiontraíocht chultúrtha chun tacú leis an aistriú aeráide. Ag labhairt dó faoin gcomhpháirtíocht nua, dúirt Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an-áthas orainn ár gcomhpháirtíocht straitéiseach le GIAF a leathnú tuilleadh. Seasann an chomhpháirtíocht le luachanna ár nOllscoil – meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais, inbhuanaitheacht – agus lenár stádas mar ollscoil ar mhaithe le leas an phobail, agus le Gaillimh mar chathair chruthaitheach. Táim ag súil go mór le bheith ag obair le GIAF sna blianta amach romhainn trí chur lenár gcomhoibriú ar imeachtaí, taighde, rannpháirtíocht shibhialta agus ar dheiseanna foghlama dár gcuid mac léinn.” Dúirt John Crumlish, Príomhfheidhmeannach Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe: “Údar mór misnigh an fhorbairt seo do GIAF agus d’fhéadfadh sé athrú chun feabhais a dhéanamh ar roinnt réimsí d’obair na féile. Cuirfidh an chomhpháirtíocht ar chumas na heagraíochta a bhfuil pleanáilte aici sa réimse EDI a chur chun cinn, forbairt a dhéanamh ar a ardán díospóireachta First Thought, tacaíocht bhreise a thabhairt d’fhorbairt ealaíontóirí, iniúchadh a dhéanamh ar dheiseanna forbartha sna Tionscail Chruthaitheacha, tacú le haistriú na féile chuig todhchaí inbhuanaithe mar aon le tacú le forbairt cláir.” Oibreoidh GIAF agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i bpáirt freisin chun cruinnithe alumni ar an gcampas a eagrú i rith na féile agus forbróidh siad gníomhaíochtaí comhoibríocha a bheidh ag teacht leis na tréimhsí sin a mbeidh an fhéile ar camchuairt. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Leas-Uachtarán don Rannpháirtíocht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an Dr Paul Dodd: “Baineann ár bpobail an-tairbhe as na deiseanna foghlama, na himeachtaí alumni agus go leor eile atá á n-eagrú a bhuíochas le GIAF a bheith ar ár gcampas. Táimid ag díriú go mór ar bhonn leanúnach ar thaighde sna teicneolaíochtaí cruthaitheacha agus tiocfaidh tuilleadh deiseanna foghlama agus forbartha as an gcomhpháirtíocht seo dár mic léinn, comhaltaí foirne agus alumni trí oibriú i gcomhar le foireann agus taibheoirí GIAF sa téarma amach romhainn.” Críoch

Wednesday, 26 July 2023

With the 45th annual festival in full flow, Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) and its long-time education partner University of Galway have announced a new five-year partnership that will see the partners work even more closely together.  University of Galway marked 13 years as Galway International Arts Festival Education Partner this year, with the last five-year partnership seeing the introduction of a new course in creative arts management; the development of SELECTED, the professional development programme for emerging artists, theatre makers, curators and producers studying at University of Galway, and the Festival Volunteer Programme, which has welcomed 3,248 participants over the last five years from an average of 41 different countries each year. Over the course of the last partnership, 121 events have taken place on the University of Galway campus, with 128,727 people brought on to campus to see musical greats, symphony orchestras, exhibitions, installations plus great Irish and international theatre. The festival provided creative and cultural opportunities for graduates, with more than 50% of the productions at GIAF 2021 featuring University of Galway graduates, provided opportunities for key academic staff who took part in the First Thought Talks and Backstage talks series and saw the development of alumni events at the festival. The new partnership will see a further expansion of this work, plus a University association with the festival’s First Thought Talks programme; further development of the GIAF archive housed in the University library, with the creation of a new oral festival histories section; GIAF and University of Galway exploring how the partnership can help to develop the creative industries in the West to foster career pathways for University of Galway graduates; and further development of GIAF’s hugely successful volunteer programme, where the university will continue to operate as title sponsor, facilitating extensive outreach to an even more diverse range of communities. With close to 20% of GIAF events now held on campus, GIAF and University of Galway have also agreed to work more closely together on the delivery of more sustainable festivals year on year, building event best practice across the programme and in particular around those events taking place on the campus. In addition, University of Galway and GIAF will also work together as part of a European consortium over the next two years, examining how cultural entrepreneurship can be used to support climate transition. Commenting on the new partnership, University of Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “We are delighted to further extend our strategic partnership with GIAF. The partnership speaks to the values of our University – respect, openness, excellence, sustainability - and to our status as a university for the public good and of the creative city that is Galway. I look forward to working with GIAF over the coming years through increased collaboration on events, research, civic engagement and learning opportunities for our students.” CEO of Galway International Arts Festival John Crumlish said: “This is a hugely exciting development for GIAF and a potential game changer for a number of areas of the festival’s work. The partnership will allow the organisation to further progress its EDI ambitions, progress its discussion platform First Thought, further support artist development, explore development opportunities in the Creative Industries, support the festival’s transition to a sustainable future and support programming.” GIAF and University of Galway will also work together on the delivery of on-campus alumni gatherings during the festival and will develop collaborative activities around the festival’s touring periods. University of Galway Vice-President for Engagement Dr Paul Dodd commented: “From learning opportunities to alumni events, our communities benefit hugely from having GIAF on our campus. Creative technologies continue to be a strong research focus for us and this partnership will provide more opportunities for our talented students, staff and alumni to learn and grow through collaboration with GIAF staff and performers over the coming term.” Ends

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

University of Galway is offering a unique opportunity to explore its riverside campus through the lens of a mobile phone camera with the Campus Festival Photo Walks on 28 and 29 July. International award winning photographers and leading figures in mobile photography, Dan Rubin and Brendan Ó Sé will guide photography enthusiasts along the University’s biodiversity trail to explore and learn about the campus, while elevating their photography skills. Dan Rubin, an award-winning designer, photographer, and creative director based in the US and UK has over 25 years of experience. Co-founder of New Style Publishing and webgraph, he has travelled the world on photographic commissions for select clientele and led workshops with Leica Akademie, Polaroid, Kodak, and The Photographers' Gallery. He is a recurring juror for the International Photography Awards and the ColorPro Award, and has been a WPO Academy member since 2016. Dan’s first photographic book, Koya Bound, won the AIGA Cover Design Award in 2017. Brendan Ó Sé is an award-winning fine art and iPhone photographer from Cork. Brendan was part of the original Apple #shotoniPhone global campaign in 2015 and was named iPhone Photographer of the Year in 2017. He has exhibited his work globally and his mobile photography workshops, held with the Photo Museum of Ireland and the Glusckman Gallery in Cork, have attracted a wide audience. Brendan's unique approach to street photography results in striking and distinct imagery. The University has been found to be Ireland’s most biodiverse campus and the biodiversity trail takes in a range of flora and fauna in woodland and riverside settings.               Dr Paul Dodd, Vice President of Engagement at University of Galway said: “Our campus is a popular amenity for all our local communities to use, and we look forward to welcoming world-leading photographers to show us how to take a great photo while we showcase the history and biodiversity on our doorstep.” The Campus Festival Photo Walks are free to attend and bookings can be made at Ends 

Tuesday, 18 July 2023

University of Galway are now accepting applications for the Universities of Sanctuary Scholarship Programme for 2023-24.  Open to International Protection Applicants, refugees, Irish Travellers and vulnerable immigrant groups, University of Galway is providing 24 scholarships, for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses across its four colleges.  The scholarship includes a full fee waiver (excluding student levy), an annual stipend of €3,300, and ongoing support and academic mentoring. University of Galway Vice-President Engagement Dr Paul Dodd said: “The Universities of Sanctuary Scholarship Programme reaffirms University of Galway’s commitment to respond to the increasingly multicultural and diverse society in which we inhabit, and reflects the University’s strategic values of respect and openness. We are delighted to provide this life changing opportunity and encourage you to apply to join our University of Galway community.” Obadiah Niyibizi, a recent graduate of the Universities of Sanctuary scholarship programme, said: “I am grateful to be a Universities of Sanctuary Scholarship recipient, as it has enabled me to graduate with a Bachelor of Science this year. I first learned about this opportunity through various associations, and it proved to be a lifesaver for me as an international protection applicant ineligible for European fees. The financial support not only helped me overcome this, but the mentorship aspect of the programme was invaluable. I was fortunate to have both academic and social mentors who guided me through the university system, making my experience a smooth and enjoyable journey. This scholarship has truly transformed my life, and I cannot express my appreciation enough." The Universities of Sanctuary Scholarship Programme is part of a wider effort by University of Galway as a designated University of Sanctuary to broaden participation among underrepresented groups and to challenge discrimination. In a further example of University of Galway’s efforts in line with its values of respect and openness, we are also part of the EU-PASSWORLD project. As part of that initiative two refugee students will be welcomed in September 2023 to undertake a Master’s degree at University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering. The EU-PASSWORLD project is a joint initiative between University of Galway, UNHCR - the United Nations Refugee Agency, and Nasc – Ireland’s Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre. The project is specifically focused on developing a roadmap to create new, safe and legal routes for displaced people to secure education scholarships in Ireland. University of Galway also recently signed the Anti-Racism Principles for Irish Higher Education Institutions, which seek to embed a culture of race equality across higher education. The closing date for applications for Universities of Sanctuary scholarships is Friday August 4 at 12pm for postgraduate applications, and Friday September 8 at 12pm for undergraduate scholarship applications. Information on the scholarship programme can be found at or by emailing Ends

Tuesday, 18 July 2023

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag glacadh le hiarratais anois do Chlár Scoláireachta na nOllscoileanna Tearmainn don bhliain acadúil 2023-24.  Is féidir le hIarratasóirí ar Chosaint Idirnáisiúnta, dídeanaithe, Taistealaithe na hÉireann agus grúpaí leochaileacha inimirceach cur isteach ar na scoláireachtaí seo agus tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag cur 24 scoláireacht ar fáil do chúrsaí fochéime agus iarchéime araon ina gceithre choláiste.  Áirítear leis an scoláireacht tarscaoileadh táille iomlán (seachas tobhach na mac léinn), stipinn bhliantúil de €3,300 mar aon le tacaíocht leanúnach agus meantóireacht acadúil. Dúirt Leas-Uachtarán don Rannpháirtíocht in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an Dr Paul Dodd: “Déantar tiomantas Ollscoil na Gaillimhe freagairt don tsochaí ilchultúrtha agus éagsúil ina gcónaímid a athdhearbhú trí Chlár Scoláireachtaí na hOllscoile Tearmainn, ar clár é ina ndéantar luachanna straitéiseacha na hOllscoile, meas agus oscailteacht, a léiriú. Tá an-áthas orainn an deis seo a d’fhéadfadh do shaol a athrú ó bhun a chur ar fáil agus molaimid duit iarratas a dhéanamh agus a bheith linn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.” Dúirt Obadiah Niyibizi, ar bronnadh céim air le gairid a bhuíochas le clár scoláireachta na nOllscoileanna Tearmainn: “Tá mé buíoch gur bronnadh Scoláireacht Ollscoile Tearmainn orm mar gur chuir sé ar mo chumas céim Baitsiléir Eolaíochta a bhaint amach i mbliana. D’fhoghlaim mé faoin deis seo ar dtús trí chomhlachais éagsúla, agus rinne sé difear ollmhór dom mar gur iarratasóir ar chosaint idirnáisiúnta mé nach mbeadh incháilithe do tháillí Eorpacha. Ní hamháin gur chabhraigh an tacaíocht airgid liom é seo a shárú, ach bhain mé an-tairbhe as an meantóireacht a fuair mé i rith an chláir. Bhí an t-ádh liom meantóirí acadúla agus sóisialta a bheith agam a threoraigh tríd an gcóras mé, rud a d’fhág go raibh eispéireas ollscoile tairbheach agus taitneamhach agam. Tá mé thar a bheith buíoch as an scoláireacht seo agus tá mo shaol athraithe ó bhun dá bharr.” Tá iarracht níos leithne á déanamh ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe mar Ollscoil Tearmainn ainmnithe chun rannpháirtíocht i measc grúpaí tearcionadaithe a mhéadú agus chun dúshlán a thabhairt don leithcheal, agus gné amháin den iarracht sin is ea Clár Scoláireachtaí na nOllscoileanna Tearmainn. Sampla eile d’iarrachtaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe luachanna an mheasa agus na hoscailteachta a chur chun cinn is ea ár rannpháirtíocht sa tionscadal EU-PASSWORLD. Cuirfear fáilte faoin tionscnamh sin roimh bheirt mhac léinn ar dídeanaithe iad i Meán Fómhair 2023 chun tabhairt faoi chéim Mháistreachta i gColáiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Is comhthionscnamh é an tionscadal EU-PASSWORLD idir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, UNHCR - Gníomhaireacht na Náisiún Aontaithe le haghaidh Dídeanaithe, agus Nasc – Lárionad na hÉireann um Chearta na nImirceach agus na nDídeanaithe. Tá an tionscadal dírithe go sonrach ar threochlár a fhorbairt chun bealaí nua, sábháilte agus dleathacha a chruthú do dhaoine easáitithe chun scoláireachtaí oideachais a fháil in Éirinn. Anuas air sin, shínigh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe na Prionsabail Frithchiníochais d’Institiúidí Ardoideachais na hÉireann le gairid, a fhéachann le cultúr comhionannais ciníocha a neadú san ardoideachas. Is é an dáta deiridh le haghaidh iarratas ar scoláireachtaí na nOllscoileanna Tearmainn Dé hAoine, an 4 Lúnasa ag 12pm le haghaidh iarratais iarchéime, agus Dé hAoine, an 8 Meán Fómhair ag 12pm le haghaidh iarratais fochéime. Tá eolas faoin gclár scoláireachta le fáil ag nó trí ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig Críoch

Monday, 17 July 2023

Hygeia chun tacú le mic léinn rochtain a fháil ar oideachas trí scoláireachtaí Tá comhpháirtíocht nua fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le Hygeia, ar príomh-mhonaróir Éireannach de tháirgí garraíodóireachta, talmhaíochta agus tréidliachta é, agus ar bhunaigh an Dr Donny Coyle i gCathair na Gaillimhe in 1939 é agus atá lonnaithe in Órán Mór anois. Soláthrófar scoláireachtaí agus sparánachtaí Rochtana faoin gcomhpháirtíocht do mhic léinn nach bhfuil d’acmhainn acu rochtain a fháil ar oideachas tríú leibhéal ceal airgid. Beidh an chomhpháirtíocht deich mbliana oscailte do mhic léinn na hOllscoile trí chéile agus tacóidh sí le seirbhísí mac léinn maoiniú a bhronnadh ar mhic léinn a bhfuil cruatan á fhulaingt acu. Áireofar le Scoláireacht Hygeia meantóireacht ó fhostaithe Hygeia faoina dtacófar le mic léinn forbairt go hacadúil agus go pearsanta chomh maith le deiseanna do shocrúcháin oibre agus intéirneachtaí le go sealbhóidh mic léinn scileanna luachmhara agus go bhfaighidh siad léargas dá ngairmeacha beatha sa todhchaí.              Agus é ag cur fáilte roimh an gcomhpháirtíocht, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is léiriú í an chomhpháirtíocht seo le Hygeia ar choincheap na Meithle a luaitear i bPlean Straitéiseach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Fís i gCoiteann, Múnlaithe ag Luachanna, ar focal é a chuireann síos ar an gcleachtas faoinar tháinig daoine i gcabhair ar a chéile chun an fómhar a dhéanamh. Agus muid ag obair as lámha a chéile lenár gcomhpháirtithe tionscail, tá muinín againn go bhfuil ar ár gcumas Meitheal a thiomsú agus a threorú a rachaidh chun tairbhe an réigiúin, na tíre agus an domhain. Fáiltím ó chroí roimh an infheistíocht atá déanta ag Hygeia i gcomhpháirtíocht deich mbliana a thacóidh lenár gclár Scoláireachtaí Rochtana agus a chuirfidh ar chumas mic léinn a bhfuil deacrachtaí airgeadais acu rochtain a fháil ar oideachas tríú leibhéal. Tá Hygeia anseo inár dteannta anois agus muid ag feidhmiú ar son ár gcuid mac léinn, ár sochaí agus ar mhaithe le leas an phobail.”             Labhair John Coyle, Cathaoirleach Hygeia, mar seo a leanas: “Tá Hygeia agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i mbun comhoibrithe le fada an lá, agus bhí ár saoráid lonnaithe in aice leis an gcampas le blianta fada. Táimid an-sásta tógáil ar an obair atá déanta againn i gcomhar a chéile san am a caitheadh agus an chomhpháirtíocht 10 mbliana seo á fógairt go hoifigiúil againn. Táimid ag tús ré nua don chomhlacht, agus údar spreagtha dúinn is ea é go ligeann na scoláireachtaí seo dúinn an chéad ghlúin eile oibrithe óga a bheith linn, ar acu a bheidh an t-eolas agus na scileanna chun tacú le fás agus nuálaíocht an chomhlachta.”             Seo mar a labhair John Byrne, Príomhfheidhmeannach Hygeia: “Tá an-áthas ar Hygeia ár gclár scoláireachta nua a sheoladh. Éascóidh an tionscnamh nua seo forbairt leanúnach ár n-acmhainne eolais agus scileanna laistigh den eagraíocht agus cuideoidh sé le fás na n-earnálacha gnó mar atá, cúram gairdíní, cosaint barr agus cúram tréidliachta.  Ba mhaith linn buíochas a ghabháil le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe as a bhfuil déanta acu chun an clár seo a eagrú, ar clár é a rachaidh chun tairbhe na mac léinn, Hygeia agus na hOllscoile.”             Dúirt Imelda Byrne, Ceann an Ionaid Rochtana in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le Hygeia as a dtabhartas flaithiúil do mhic léinn Rochtana Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Táimid fíorbhuíoch as a dtacaíocht a chabhróidh lenár mic léinn rochtain a fháil ar an ollscoil, dul chun cinn a dhéanamh inti agus ar deireadh céim a bhaint amach. “Tá sciartha faoi leith den daonra nach ndeachaigh ar aghaidh chuig oideachas tríú leibhéal go traidisiúnta agus is as na grúpaí sin a thagann breis is 20% d’iontrálaithe nua na hOllscoile gach bliain anois. An aidhm atá againn san Ionad Rochtana cur leis an bhfigiúr iontrála sin bliain ar bhliain. Tá fianaise ann go ndéanann tacaíocht airgeadais difear an-mhór do mhic léinn agus iad ag féachaint le céim ollscoile a bhaint amach. Is mór an cúnamh dóibh siúd a fhaigheann é an maoiniú seo a bhfuil fáil air a bhuíochas lenár gcomhpháirtíocht le Hygeia; anuas air sin, rachaidh an mheantóireacht agus an cúnamh le forbairt phearsanta, ar bunghnéithe de na sparánachtaí iad, chun tairbhe go leor mac léinn faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Táimid an-bhuíoch as na caidrimh a bhíonn againn le deontóirí cosúil le Hygeia a thacaíonn le hobair an Ionaid Rochtana agus muid ag obair chun cur le rochtain ar an ardoideachas agus chun rannpháirtíocht a mhéadú dóibh siúd is mó a bhfuil an cúnamh de dhíth orthu.”  Críoch

Monday, 17 July 2023

Hygeia to support students access education through scholarships University of Galway has announced a new partnership with Hygeia, a leading Irish manufacturer of gardening, agricultural and veterinary products, established in Galway City in 1939 by Dr Donny Coyle and now based in Oranmore.   The partnership will provide Access scholarships and bursaries to students who are experiencing financial barriers to accessing third-level education. The ten-year partnership will be open to students across the University and will support student services to award funding to students experiencing hardship.    The Hygeia Scholarship will include mentorship by Hygeia employees, supporting students through their academic and personal development as well as opportunities for work placements and internships so that students gain valuable skills and insight for their future careers.                Welcoming the partnership, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “This partnership with Hygeia is a manifestation of the concept of Meitheal used in University of Galway’s Strategic Plan Shared Vision, Shaped by Values, which describes the practice of people coming together pooling talent and resources to complete the harvest. Working closely with our industry partners, we are confident of our capacity to inspire and lead a Meitheal to the benefit of our region, our country, and our world. I warmly welcome the investment of Hygeia in a ten-year partnership that will support our Access Scholarship programme, enabling students who are facing financial barriers to access third-level education. They join us in being here for our students, our society and for the public good."               John Coyle, Chairman of Hygeia, said: “Hygeia and the University of Galway have collaborative heritage, with our facility being based beside the campus for many years. We have worked together in the past and are delighted to officially announce our commitment to this 10-year partnership. We are at the start of a new chapter for the company and it’s exciting to know we have the next generation of knowledge and skill supporting the company’s growth and innovation through this selection of scholarships.”               John Byrne, CEO of Hygeia, said: “Hygeia is delighted to launch our new scholarship programme. This new initiative will facilitate the continued development of our knowledge capacity and talent capabilities within the organisation and assist the growth of the business sectors of garden care, crop protection and veterinary care.  We would like to thank the University of Galway for the hard work in bringing this programme together that will benefit the students, Hygeia and the University.”               Imelda Byrne, Head of Access at University of Galway, said: “I would like to thank Hygeia for their generous donation to University of Galway Access students. We are extremely grateful for their support which will help our students enter, progress and successfully graduate from our university. “Over 20% of new entrants annually to our University now come from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education, and the Access Centre aim to increase this admissions figure with each passing year. Evidence indicates that financial support is a key determinant in successful outcomes for our students. Our partnership with Hygeia will make such a great difference to the lives of the recipients; in addition, the time and expertise provided to them through the mentoring and personal development pillars of the bursaries will help change the future of many underprivileged students. We are very grateful for relationships with donors like Hygeia who support the work of the Access Centre in increasing access and widening participation for the most deserving in our community.”    Ends

Wednesday, 12 July 2023

Díreoidh taispeántas nua in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar an meabhairshláinte agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirtear saincheisteanna meabhairshláinte in iúl san ealaín agus gach píosa bunaithe ar thaighde acadúil comhaimseartha. Beidh Mindscapes ar siúl ón 12 Iúil go dtí an 2 Lúnasa agus is taispeántas uathúil é atá mar thoradh ar chomhoibriú idir na Dána agus na hEolaíochtaí. Agus an mheabhairshláinte mar théama lárnach, cuimsíonn Mindscapes saothar ealaíne ó dheichniúr ealaíontóirí i gcomhar le 14 thaighdeoir acadúla ó Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Ollscoil Oxford, Ollscoil Dhún Éideann, Ollscoil Birmingham agus Ollscoil Londain. Roghnaigh gach ealaíontóir topaic meabhairshláinte agus ansin cuireadh é/í ag obair in éineacht le hacadóir a dhéanann taighde sa réimse sonrach sin. I measc na dtopaicí tá folláine, neamhord dépholach, codladh, seachmaill, agus mothúcháin. Is é Mindscapes an chéad tionscadal ó Mol na nDán Eolaíoch in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus is í an Dr Jane Conway, Léachtóir Taighde le Scoil na Síceolaíochta in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, a bhí i mbun stiúrtha.             Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Conway: “Is teist é an taispeántas seo ar láidreacht phobal cultúrtha na Gaillimhe. Léiríonn sé gur féidir le daoine sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí teacht le chéile chun bunphíosaí a chruthú a chuireann nádúr na hintinne in iúl. Ag teacht leis na haidhmeanna a bhaineann le Mol na nDán Eolaíoch, déanann sé iniúchadh ar smaointe trí mheán ealaíonta ach ag an am céanna léirítear meas ar an taighde a fhorbraíonn na smaointe sin go hatriallach, agus a leagann tábhacht ar an machnamh criticiúil riachtanach ar an bhfianaise, ag smaoineamh ar ‘conas a bhíonn a fhios againn a bhfuil a fhios againn’.” Beidh an taispeántas saor in aisce ar siúl ó 10am go 6pm ón 12 Iúil go dtí an 2 Lúnasa i nDánlann na hOllscoile sa Chearnóg. Osclóidh James Harrold, iar-Oifigeach Ealaíon Chathair agus Chontae na Gaillimhe an taispeántas go hoifigiúil Dé Sathairn, an 15 Iúil ag 3pm. Críoch

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

University of Galway is inviting all graduates from the classes of 1983, 1993, 1998 and 2003 to a special reunion barbeque on campus on Saturday September 2, 2023.   The reunion promises to be filled with nostalgia, laughter, and reconnecting with fellow alumni. The reunion programme includes a campus tours in the afternoon, allowing graduates to revisit their favourite places and see how the campus has changed since their graduation.   The barbeque will take place in Sult Bar on campus from 6pm with a DJ playing hits from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.               Nicola Rees, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at University of Galway, said: "University of Galway holds a special place in the hearts of our alumni, and these milestone anniversaries provide an ideal opportunity for our graduates to reconnect and relive their memories.   "We encourage all graduates from the classes of 1983, 1993, 1998, and 2003 to join us for this reunion barbeque, where they can reconnect with old friends, rediscover the campus, and create new memories together. And to ensure that everyone is included, we request the assistance of all graduates in spreading the word. We urge you to reach out to your classmates and ensure they are aware of this exciting event.”   To book your tickets, and for further information, visit    If you have any pictures or photographs from your time in University of Galway, please email them to or post to The Alumni Office, The Gate Lodge, University of Galway.   Ends

Monday, 10 July 2023

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett today announced a call for expressions of interest to participate in a new Timber in Construction Working Group.  The group will be tasked with examining conditions to increase the use of timber in construction, assessing regulatory and standardisation challenges to greater use of timber in construction, and maximising the use of home-grown timber. The group will bring together a range of industry expertise and relevant Government Departments and Agencies, with an independent Chair. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine will provide the secretariat to the group and a Chair will be appointed once the group’s membership has been finalised.     Minister Hackett said, “I am delighted to announce this call for expressions of interest from representative bodies, Universities and industry experts. We want to hear from professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to work together with relevant Government Departments and State agencies to examine how we can increase the use of timber in the Irish construction sector. Right across Europe we are seeing increased use of timber as a reliable, sustainable material in the construction of large-scale buildings. The use of engineered wood such as cross laminated timber is facilitating new methods of construction, and we need to explore opportunities to embrace this shift here in Ireland. We are establishing the Timber in Construction Working Group because we believe that the best way to unlock the potential for much greater use of timber in construction in Ireland is through industry experts collaborating with Government Departments and State agencies to assess where the barriers are, and how they can be overcome.”    The use of timber in construction and the built environment will play an important role in meeting our climate targets. Wood locks up carbon in buildings and reduces our reliance on materials made from non-renewable resources.      The working group will bring together key Government Departments who have important roles in developing the forest resource, the built environment, including innovation and market development. Key to the success of the group will be the input from industry and experts in construction.   Minister Ryan T.D., said, “I welcome the proposed Timber in Construction Working Group and my Department will engage with work that supports increased use of timber in construction. The role that products such as cross-laminated timber may play, as an alternative to ­intensive products such as concrete and steel, should be investigated thoroughly. Increasing the availability of alternative construction materials, while responding to pressing construction needs, is an important part of the measures needed for meeting our climate targets.”   Minister Darragh O Brien T.D., stated  “I am very pleased to see the establishment of this working group to promote the use of Timber in Construction. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) are a key measure to support the delivery of housing under Housing for All. Government has worked together to put in place a number of important initiatives in the areas of research, demonstration and social housing delivery to support the development of Modern Methods of Construction .  The use of timber in construction is an important Modern Method of Construction and helps to improve the delivery of new housing whilst at the same time increasing the sustainability of materials used. My Department will actively participate in this group and I look forward to its outcomes which will support Housing for All and Climate Action targets.”   The Minister of State Hackett made the announcement today while visiting a team of researchers at the University of Galway who have been at the cutting edge of timber research over many years. Minister Hackett stated, “I am delighted to be here in the University of Galway today to see first-hand the excellent work that my Department has funded over many years in timber research. The research that the University carries out supports the use and development of Irish timber and timber standards from our home-grown resource. My ultimate vision for that home-grown timber is that it will be used at scale to build the homes, schools and offices of the future here in Ireland.”   Professor Annette Harte from Galway University stated together with Dr Patrick McGetrick, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to host the Minister today and demonstrate the excellent work that is currently taking place in timber research in Ireland. We welcome the establishment of the new Timber Group in Construction and will be delighted assist in its work.”      The closing date for receipt of applications for expression of Interest is 3pm, 28 July 2023 and details are available on the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s website. Ends

Wednesday, 5 July 2023

A new exhibition at University of Galway will focus on the topic of mental health and the nature of expressing mental health issues from an artistic perspective with each piece being grounded in contemporary academic research. Mindscapes will take place from July 12 to August 2 and is a unique exhibition resulting from collaborations between Arts and Sciences.  Taking mental health as its central theme, Mindscapes features artworks from 10 artists in collaboration with 14 academic researchers from the Universities of Galway, Oxford, Edinburgh, Birmingham, and London. Each artist chose a mental health topic and then was paired up with an academic who conducts research in that specific area. Topics include wellbeing, bipolar disorder, sleep, illusions, and emotions. Mindscapes is the first project from the Scientific Arts Lab at the University of Galway and directed by Dr Jane Conway. Dr Conway is a fellow funded by the Irish Research Council through the SFI-IRC Pathway Programme and a Research Lecturer with the School of Psychology at University of Galway             Dr Conway said: “This exhibition is testament to the strength of Galway’s cultural community. It demonstrates that people from the arts and sciences can come together to create original pieces that express the nature of the mind. In keeping with the aims of the Scientific Arts Lab, it explores ideas through artistic media but with respect to the research that iteratively builds those very ideas, and values the necessary critical reflection on the evidence, thinking about ‘how we know what we know’.”  The free exhibition will run from 10am to 6pm from July 12 to August 2 in the University’s Art Gallery in the Quadrangle. The exhibition will be officially opened on Saturday July 15 at 3pm by James Harrold, former Galway City and County Arts Officer. Ends

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

A new report published today by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Ryan Institute at the University of Galway has found that the increasing frequency and severity of extreme storms, flooding and sea level rise, means that some communities in Ireland are becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate change, due to much of Ireland’s population residing in coastal zones. The IOM report, Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) in Ireland, also includes advantages and opportunities for Ireland to strengthen climate resilience, including by better supporting vulnerable communities and improving understanding of the advantages of human mobility and of people on the move.             Director of the Interdisciplinary Ryan Institute at University of Galway, Professor Charles Spillane said: “The report synthesizes the mounting evidence that climate change impacts on human migration in Ireland. It includes future projections of escalating vulnerability and risk as well as recommendations for strengthening national responses regarding human mobility changes in response to climatic and environmental changes in Ireland.” The report is the first Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Country Profile in Europe and adds to IOM’s growing number of country reports which assess the evidence of the effects of climate change on migration. Climate change is reshaping migration patterns around the world, with disasters now being the leading cause of internal displacements. Last year alone, 32.6 million new internal human displacements were caused by disasters, according to the 2023 Global Report on Internal Displacement, published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.             Dr Soumyadeep Banerjee, IOM Regional Migration, Environment and Climate Change Specialist, highlighted that in response to the climate crisis, IOM now has extensive activities underway on the migration, environment and climate change nexus, working with governments and partners on solutions at each stage of the migration cycle: “Climate and migration is a growing issue for countries around the world, including for Ireland. This report includes solutions for people to move, people on the move, and people to stay.”             Darya Silchenko, one of the authors and a graduate of University of Galway’s Masters in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, said: “The report found that there is a scarcity of research and policy efforts that integrate climate change and environmental hazards in Ireland with their impacts on human migration. With climate change adaptation as an increasingly urgent national and global priority, it is vital to adopt a precautionary approach that considers the impacts for vulnerable communities. Further aligning migration and climate policies will be essential to build capacity for addressing present and future challenges through an inclusive and human-centered approach."             Dr Peter McKeown, Coordinator of the Master in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security programme, said: “It is so important to education and train the next generation of ‘change agents’ such as Darya, so that they can make practical and significant contributions to climate action. As the frequency, duration and intensity of natural hazards worsens in the context of climate change, the number of climate disasters is expected to rise considerably with knock-on effects on human displacement.”             International development, climate and migration expert Dr Una Murray within the Ryan Institute said: “The IOM Country Profile for Ireland encourages government and relevant stakeholders to consider key challenges and opportunities arising from the migration, environment and climate change nexus.”  The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 10.7 calls on countries to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. The IOM Country Profile makes a contribution to the realisation of SDG target 10.7 in Ireland, the EU and globally. The report was compiled by a team from IOM and the University of Galway, including Darya Silchenko, Andrew Chisholm, Dr Una Murray, Dr Peter McKeown, Professor Charles Spillane and Lalini Veerassamy.  The full IOM Country Profile ‘Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Ireland’ can be accessed through the IOM Environmental Migration Portal here. Ends

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

Researchers call for clearer messaging to help public and policymakers to better understand the disease of obesity. Conflicting understandings of the word ‘obesity’ jeopardise diagnosis and treatment. Clinicians are expressing concern at shortages of drugs which have been approved to treat obesity.   We must change the way we talk about obesity to improve public understanding of the disease, according to a new study. Researchers at University College Cork (UCC) and University of Galway are calling for ‘obesity’ to be renamed in order to help the public and policymakers to better understand the disease of obesity, and drive advances to treat and prevent it. Published in Obesity Reviews, their study highlights ongoing confusion about the term ‘obesity’, which currently can refer to the disease of obesity or to a BMI range, or a combination of the two. Dr Margaret Steele, a postdoctoral researcher in UCC’s School of Public Health, and Professor Francis Finucane, Consultant Endocrinologist and Professor of Medicine in the University of Galway, explored different or conflicting understandings of the term ‘obesity’. The researchers suggest it is time to reconsider whether the term ‘obesity’ conveys the reality of this complex disease that centres on environmental, genetic, physiological, behavioural and developmental factors, not on body weight or on BMI. New appetite-control medications are generating phenomenal demand worldwide, but patients with obesity may be sent to the back of the queue on the mistaken assumption that they do not need the medication as much as patients with diabetes. The researchers suggest that clearer terminology could play a role in addressing this inequity. Dr Margaret Steele said: “Our focus should be on the underlying pathophysiology and not on body size. For people with the disease of obesity, treatment is not optional or cosmetic. A different diagnostic term such as ‘adiposity-based chronic disease’ could more clearly convey the nature of this disease, and avoid the confusion and stigma that may occur if we keep using the term ‘obesity’, which has become synonymous with body size.” Professor Francis Finucane described new Irish Medical Council guidance warning doctors against using Ozempic for obesity as morally problematic. Professor Finucane said: “Semaglutide is approved as a treatment for obesity, just as it is for diabetes. There is a deeply stigmatising idea out there that people with obesity are looking for an easy way out, that these medicines provide a low-effort alternative to healthy diet and lifestyle. But for people living with the disease of obesity, these drugs don’t make behavioural change unnecessary, nor do they make it easy – they just make it possible.” The researchers point out that this is very different from celebrities using drugs like semaglutide to become “fashionably” thin. Dr Steele said: “This is why we need to clarify what we mean by obesity. Many of the people we see on TikTok or Instagram reporting on their semaglutide journeys do not have the disease of obesity. When we talk about treating and preventing obesity, our focus should be on healthy food environments, and appropriate treatment for people living with chronic metabolic diseases. We hope this new research will help drive home the point that this is about helping people live well, not making everyone skinny.” ENDS

Monday, 3 July 2023

The European Commission has awarded ENLIGHT €14.4 million in funding over the next four years by the European Commission as part of the 2023 Erasmus+ call for proposals for European Universities.    ENLIGHT, a European University now consisting of 10 universities from 10 European countries with the recent announcement of the University of Bern becoming the newest alliance member, intend to allocate a significant portion of the funding towards academic initiatives, emphasizing its commitment to supporting scholars.   Professor Becky Whay, Vice President International at University of Galway, said: “The ENLIGHT network has grown from strength to strength over the past three years, and we at University of Galway are delighted to be part of having secured this further financial support which both acknowledges the previous success and the future potential of ENLIGHT.”    Gijs Coucke, Project Coordinator, University of Ghent, said: “This allows ENLIGHT to expand and enhance the initiatives that were developed during the pilot phase. The ambition remains firm: to create an open space for our students and staff to learn, teach, cooperate, create and innovate. ENLIGHT wants to empower learners with the skills they need to address the complex global societal challenges. Across various learning formats, students will actively engage with sustainable development, global engagement and societal change. But besides high-quality education ENLIGHT will adopt a holistic approach integrating research and innovation into the knowledge creation process.’’    Anders Hagfeldt, Rector of Uppsala University and Chair of the ENLIGHT Governing Board, said: “The selection reaffirms our commitment to further deepen and intensify the cooperation. ENLIGHT’s success relies on the dedication of its community, including students, staff, and academics. We look forward to taking the next steps with all our partners to develop an open and inclusive European University.”      ENLIGHT has introduced new elements as part of its strategic direction, including the launch of bottom-up calls for interdisciplinary thematic networks and starter grants to promote the development of future-proof education. Additionally, the alliance has expanded its focus areas and added ‘culture and creativity’ to the existing areas of health and well-being, digitalization, climate change, energy and circular economy, and equity.   The ENLIGHT alliance includes: University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); Uppsala University (Sweden); and University of Bern (Switzerland).   Further information on ENLIGHT is available at   Ends

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Research at University of Galway and MIT pioneers intelligent device to sense its environment and adapt to release drugs as required, despite surrounding scar tissue   Research teams at University of Galway and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have detailed a new breakthrough in medical device technology that could lead to intelligent, long-lasting, tailored treatment for patients thanks to soft robotics and artificial intelligence.  The transatlantic partnership has created a smart implantable device that can administer a drug - while also sensing when the body is beginning to reject it - and use AI to change its shape of the device to maintain drug dosage, simultaneously bypassing scar tissue build up and maintaining treatment.   The study was published in the journal Science Robotics.  Implantable medical device technologies offer promise to unlock advanced therapeutic interventions in healthcare, such as insulin release to treat diabetes, but a major issue holding back such devices is the patient’s reaction to a foreign body.  Dr Rachel Beatty, University of Galway, and co-lead author on the study, explained: “The technology which we have developed, by using soft robotics, advances the potential of implantable devices to be in a patient’s body for extended periods, providing long-lasting therapeutic action. Imagine a therapeutic implant that can also sense its environment and respond as needed using AI - this approach could generate revolutionary changes in implantable drug delivery for a range of chronic diseases.” The University of Galway-MIT research team originally developed first-generation flexible devices, known as soft robotic implants, to improve drug delivery and reduce fibrosis. Despite that success, the team regard the technology as one-size-fits-all as it did not account for how individual patients react and respond differently, or for the progressive nature of fibrosis, where scar tissue builds around the device, encapsulating it, impeding and blocking its purpose, eventually forcing it to fail.  The latest research published today in Science Robotics demonstrates how they have significantly advanced the technology - using AI - making it responsive to the implant environment with the potential to be longer lasting by defending against the body’s natural urge to reject a foreign body. Dr Beatty added: “I wanted to tailor drug delivery to individuals, but needed to create a method of sensing the foreign body response first.”    The research team deployed an emerging technique to help reduce scar tissue formation known as mechanotherapy, where soft robotic implants make regular movements in the body, such as inflating and deflating. The timed, repetitive or varied movements helps to prevent scar tissue from forming.  The key to the advanced technology in the implantable device is a conductive porous membrane that can sense when pores are blocked by scar tissue. It detects the blockages as cells and the materials the cells produce block electrical signals travelling through the membrane.  The researchers measured electrical impedance and scar tissue formation on the membrane finding a correlation. A machine learning algorithm was also developed and deployed to predict the required number and force of actuations to achieve consistent drug dosing, regardless of the level of fibrosis present. And, using computer simulations, the researchers explored the potential of the device to release drug over time with a surrounding fibrotic capsule of different thicknesses.  The research showed that changing the force and number of times the device was compelled to move or change shape allowed the device to release more drug, helping to bypass scar tissue build-up. Professor Ellen Roche, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, said: “If we can sense how the individual’s immune system is responding to an implanted therapeutic device and modify the dosing regime accordingly, it could have great potential in personalized, precision drug delivery, reducing off-target effects and ensuring the right amount of drug is delivered at the right time. The work presented here is a step towards that goal.” Professor Garry Duffy, Professor of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine at University of Galway, and senior author on the study, said: “The device worked out the best regime to release a consistent dose, by itself, even when significant fibrosis was simulated. We showed a worst-case scenario of very thick and dense scar tissue around the device and it overcame this by changing how it pumps to deliver medication. We could finely control the drug release in a computational model and on the bench using soft robotics, regardless of significant fibrosis.” The research team believe that their medical device breakthrough may pave the way for completely independent closed-loop implants that not only reduce fibrotic encapsulation, but sense it over time, and intelligently adjust their drug release activity in response.  Professor Duffy added: “This is a new area of research that can have implications in other places and is not solely limited for the treatment of diabetes. Our discovery could provide consistent and responsive dosing over long periods, without clinician involvement, enhancing efficacy and reducing the need for device replacement because of fibrosis.” The research was funded in part by Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Centres for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) centre and Medical Devices (CÚRAM), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework and the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT.   The full study is available in Science Robotics at Ends

Thursday, 31 August 2023

Tá tairiscintí déanta ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe do bheagnach 4,000 mac léinn ionchasacha mar chuid de Bhabhta a hAon de phróiseas an CAO. Thug Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, agus an tUachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, aitheantas don iarracht agus don éacht a rinne lucht na hArdteistiméireachta 2023, a tháinig slán trí bhlianta tábhachtacha na hiar-bhunscoile i rith Phaindéim Covid 19. Chuir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in iúl cad iad na hathruithe atá ar phointí an CAO i gceithre Choláiste na hOllscoile. Don tríú bliain as a chéile agus tar éis bliain eile ina raibh éileamh níos airde ná riamh, a bheag nó a mhór, ar áiteanna ardoideachais, tá súil ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go mbeidh thart ar 3,500 mac léinn fochéime ag tosú sa chéad bhliain. -      Tháinig ardú ar na pointí i mbeagnach leath de chúrsaí na hOllscoile. -      Tá níos mó clár ag an Ollscoil sa raon a bhfuil 500 pointe ag dul leis ná mar atá i réimsí eile, agus tá gach clár Innealtóireachta agus Dlí, go háirithe, agus gach clár Tráchtála os cionn 500 pointe seachas ceann amháin. -      Tá níos mó éilimh ar na Dána agus ar chúrsaí atá dírithe ar an gcruthaitheacht. Is léiriú é sin ar luach ár gcomhpháirtíochtaí straitéiseacha leanúnacha oideachais le Féile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe agus Druid, agus ar Ghaillimh mar chathair agus mar ollscoil chruthaitheach. Ina measc seo tá Iriseoireacht; na Meáin Dhomhanda; Ceol; Drámaíocht, Amharclannaíocht agus Taibhléiriú; Stair; -      I réimse an Oideachais Múinteoirí, tá ardú 3 phointe ar na Dána (Matamaitic agus Oideachas) go 418; agus tá ardú 10 bpointe go 435 ar Oideachas (Ríomheolaíocht & Matamaitic), rud a léiríonn go bhfuil spéis ag daoine sa teagasc agus san oideachas. Is dea-thuar é sin do na glúnta atá le teacht agus don tsochaí.  -      I gcúram sláinte, de bhrí go bhfuil teorainn leis an líon áiteanna atá ar fáil, is rogha randamach a bheidh sa Leigheas, in ainneoin titim bheag a bheith ar na pointí; tá méadú 10 bpointe tagtha ar na pointí don Chnáimhseachas go 463; agus tá titim bheag ar phointí an Altranais. -      Tá méadú leanúnach ar an éileamh ar chláir i gColáiste Ósta na Sionna atá nasctha leis an earnáil bainistíochta fáilteachais, agus d’ardaigh na pointí ansin. -      Maidir leis na heolaíochtaí, tá méadú suntasach 17 bpointe tagtha ar Mhuireolaíocht go 477; agus tá ardú 56 pointe go 566 ar Eolaíocht Mhatamaitice; ardú 14 phointe go 454 ar an bhFisic; agus tá ardú 11 go 521 ar phointí na Ríomheolaíochta agus na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise. -      Ní raibh ach clár amháin ann a raibh laghdú de níos mó ná 50 pointe air – Eolaíocht Chomhshaoil. -      San Innealtóireacht, mhéadaigh ar an éileamh a bhí ar chúig cinn de na hocht gclár atá againn – Innealtóireacht Córas Fuinnimh, d’ardaigh na pointí go 520; Innealtóireacht Shibhialta, d’ardaigh na pointí go 512; Innealtóireacht Leictreonach agus Ríomhaireachta, d’ardaigh na pointí go 532; Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach, d’ardaigh na pointí go 510; agus Innealtóireacht (Neamhainmnithe), d’ardaigh na pointí go 533. -      As na seacht gclár inar tháinig laghdú suntasach ar na pointí in 2022, mhéadaigh an t-éileamh ar chúig cinn díobh i mbliana – Na Dána le Cearta an Duine; Na Dána - Drámaíocht, Amharclannaíocht agus Taibhléiriú; Na Dána leis an Iriseoireacht; Na Meáin Dhomhanda; Innealtóireacht Leictreonach agus Ríomhaireachta -      Tháinig méadú ar na pointí a bhí ag dul le 30 clár ó 2022 agus tháinig laghdú ar na pointí i leith 30 clár eile. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Comhghairdeas le lucht na hArdteiste 2023 a léirigh go raibh an-teacht aniar iontu ina gcuid staidéir. Tá tús á chur le heachtra nua anois. “Tá fáilte chroíúil roimh na mic léinn sin go léir a ghlacfaidh leis an tairiscint ar Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus féadfaidh siad foghlaim faoina thábhachtaí atá na luachanna atá againn – meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Tréaslaím le gach uile dhalta a bhfuil a gcuid oideachais iar-bhunscoile críochnaithe acu agus a rinne an Ardteistiméireacht in 2023. Is daltaí iad seo ar chuir Paindéim Covid 19 isteach go mór orthu. “Tá obair iontach á déanamh arís ag ár bhfoireann clárúcháin in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe chun cuidiú leis na mic léinn a bheidh chugainn i mí Mheán Fómhair.  “Cuirimid fáilte roimh gach duine ar éirigh leo sna scrúduithe agus atá ag glacadh leis an tairiscint teacht go hOllscoil na Gaillimhe. “I lár an cheiliúrtha agus iarrachtaí na foirne a chinntiú go mbeidh áiteanna ann don oiread mac léinn agus is féidir tá súil againn freisin go dtapóidh an Rialtas an deis as seo go ceann bliana tosú ag tabhairt aghaidh ar cheist na ngrád méadaithe i scrúduithe na hArdteistiméireachta agus córas níos cothroime a chur i bhfeidhm do gach mac léinn atá ag cur isteach ar chláir fochéime.” Críoch 

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

University of Galway has made offers to almost 4,000 prospective students as part of Round One of the CAO process. President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh joined to acknowledge the effort and achievement of the Leaving Certificate class of 2023, who have come through formative post-primary years in the midst of the Covid pandemic. University of Galway outlined CAO points changes across all four of the University’s Colleges. For the third year running and on the back of another year of near record demand for places in higher education, University of Galway expects to see an intake of around 3,500 first year undergraduate students. Almost half of the University’s courses experienced an increase in points.  The University has more programmes in 500 range than in other ranges, and noticeably, all Engineering and Law programmes are above 500 points and all except one Commerce programme. There is a resurgence in demand for Arts and courses with a strong creativity theme, an indication of the value of our continuing strategic education partnerships with the Galway International Arts Festival and Druid and of Galway as a creative city and university. These include Journalism; Global Media; Music; Drama, Theatre and Performance; History. In the area of Teacher Education, Arts (Mathematics and Education) is up 3 to 418; while Education (Computer Science & Mathematics) shows an increase of 10 points to 435, indicating an interest in teaching and education, so important for the future generations and the fabric of our society.   In healthcare, given the limit on numbers, Medicine will be random selection, despite a small drop in the points requirement; Midwifery is seeing a 10 point increase to 463; while Nursing is seeing a slight fall.  Shannon College of Hotel Management and its programmes linked to the hospitality management sector continue to see an increase in demand, with points up. On the sciences, Marine Science is up a significant 17 points to 477; while Mathematical Science is up 56 points to 566; Physics up 14 to 454; and Computer Science and Information Technology is up 11 to 521. In Engineering, five of our eight programmes show an increase in demand – Energy Systems Engineering up to 520; Civil Engineering up to 512; Electronic and Computer Engineering up to 532; Electrical and Electronic Engineering up to 510; and Engineering (Undenominated) up to 533.  Of the seven programmes which saw a significant decrease in points requirement in 2022, five see an increase in demand this year - Arts with Human Rights; Arts - Drama, Theatre and Performance; Arts with Journalism; Global Media; Electronic and Computer Engineering Some 30 programmes experienced points increases and another 30 programmes experienced points decreases from 2022. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “Comhghairdeas to the Leaving Cert class of 2023 who have demonstrated remarkable resilience over their studies. A new adventure now begins. “A warm welcome awaits all those students who take up the offer to come to University of Galway and to learn for themselves the importance that we place on our values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability.” University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “I congratulate each and every student who has navigated their post-primary years and the Leaving Cert in 2023, particularly as this year’s class felt such an impact from the Covid pandemic. “Our registration team at University of Galway is once again doing stellar work to facilitate our students joining us this September.  “We welcome all those who have achieved in the exams and are taking up an offer to come to University of Galway and to learn for themselves the importance that we place on our values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability. “In the midst of the celebrations and endeavours of staff to secure places for as many students as possible we also hope that the Government seizes the opportunity in the coming year to begin to address the issue of inflated grades in the Leaving Cert exams and to put in place a fairer playing field for all students who are applying for undergraduate programmes.” Ends

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

A joint study, led by the University of Greenwich with support from University of Galway, Massey University, and Brighton and Sussex Medical School, has collected anecdotal experiences of sexual misconduct in post-primary schools in Ireland and the UK.     A total of 593 respondents from Ireland (224) and the UK (369) completed the survey.    All respondents took park in the survey because they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or misconduct by a teacher during their time in secondary school.     The study, which is the first of its kind in Europe, recruited respondents (who had to be over the age of 18) to participate via various social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The study recruitment social media post read: “Did you experience any sexually inappropriate comments or behaviour from a teacher during your time in secondary school (or 6th form college (UK))? Anonymously share your experience in this 5-min survey”.    The full report is available here    Overall, sexist harassment by a teacher was the most commonly experienced form of misconduct experienced by both Irish (86%) and UK (95%) respondents, for example, being treated differently because of their gender. The second most commonly experienced was sexual harassment (72% and 85% in Ireland and the UK respectively). Common forms of sexual harassment included making offensive remarks about the student’s physical appearance or sexual activity, and making attempts to discuss sexual matters with the student.     Kate Dawson, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich and lead author of the study said: “The findings indicate that some teachers need specific training regarding what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.   “Reporting mechanisms also need to be put in place that enable students, or concerned school staff, to report misconduct without fear of repercussions. These preliminary findings need to be investigated further within a larger sample to find out how prevalent this issue is in UK and Irish schools.”    Pádraig MacNeela, Senior Lecturer at University of Galway and co-author of the study; said: “This study sheds light on an important issue for the first time. It demonstrates that the culture change we need to support in our education settings is wide ranging. It includes supporting staff who work in post-primary schools to speak up and address staff-student harassment if they ever encounter it”.    The responses collected highlighted a wide range of first-hand experiences:    “The teacher took me to [private location] and lifted up my [shirt] to rub my breast and nipple ‘to help regulate my breathing’.”  (Age undisclosed, Female, Irish Respondent)    “Constantly [flirting]. Friends said he was flirting but I wasn’t sure. When I left school [he] contacted me and asked me on a date.” (25-34, Female, Irish Respondent)    “The female deputy head used to measure the length of our skirts and said they had to be a certain length ‘out of respect for male members of staff’.”  (18-24, Female, UK respondent)    Among the UK respondents, 98% were female, 1.5% were male, and 0.3% identified as genderqueer or non-conforming. 65% of respondents were 25-34, at the time of study participation.    Among the Irish respondents, the majority identified as a woman, 88%; 9% identified as a man; and 3.1% identified as genderqueer or non-conforming. Most respondents were age 18-34, 31%; 26% were 25-34; and 21% were 35-44 at the time they completed the survey. The remaining sample were aged 45 and over.   Ends