Tuesday, 19 December 2023

In a significant stride towards advancing health research data analytics, University of Galway is establishing a Professor of Applied Clinical Data Analytics.  The endowed Lectureship is named after University graduates Professor John F. and Dr Marie Greally, and will be a shared position between the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Insight SFI Centre for Data Analytics.  Clinical research is undergoing a paradigm shift and is changing how we study diseases, putting a greater emphasis on the crucial role of large clinical data analytics. The surge in open-access datasets, coupled with extensive genetic and healthcare databases, presents an unprecedented opportunity for clinical research. This new Lectureship in Applied Clinical Data Analytics aims to bridge the gap between traditional statistical approaches and emerging cutting-edge methods in data analysis. The aim is to encourage innovative thinking in areas like understanding the cause of illnesses, predicting clinical outcomes and factors that can affect the population’s health.  President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said; “The University of Galway expresses our gratification at the distinguished honour bestowed upon Professor John F. and Dr Marie Greally through the naming of this new Lectureship. This will further enhance the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science’s leadership in the field of Clinical Data Analytics.  “Driven by years of unwavering commitment and service to the field of medicine, both in Ireland and globally, both John and Marie have left an indelible mark. Their unwavering commitment is evident in the substantial contributions they have made to the advancement of medical knowledge, healthcare practices and the betterment of patient outcomes.  “The establishment of this Lectureship stands as a pivotal initiative within the University’s comprehensive Meitheal campaign. Aligned with our commitment to values of openness, respect, sustainability and excellence, this campaign aims to propel initiatives that fortify the University’s core principles.” Dr Marie Greally said: "Our career paths exposed us to the excitement and value of being able to incorporate research into medical practice. We are grateful to the University of Galway for the opportunity to help the career of someone who can inspire a generation of students to learn about the value of research in medicine.”    Professor John F. Greally said: “It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to our University and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, to which we are grateful for giving us the chance to have our careers in medicine.”  Professor Martin O’Donnell, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group said: “This endowed lectureship is central to our ambition in establishing a multi-platform MSc in Applied Clinical Data Analytics, and to the development of an Academic Health Analytics Hub to support research in population health, health services research and clinical trials, as part of our Institute for Clinical Trials. The Health Analytics Hub will develop and expand our existing and emerging strengths in medical AI, such as machine learning and multimodal AI, in collaboration with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.” Ends

Friday, 15 December 2023

University of Galway has announced plans to establish the National Peatland Centre of Excellence to help tackle national and global challenges related to peatlands and associated decarbonisation, biodiversity loss, just transitions and culture. This initiative follows the successful Peatland Futures event held at the university, which brought together experts, policymakers and stakeholders to deliberate on the future of peatland and wetland research and innovation in Ireland.  Representatives from government departments, universities and community and farming organisations took part in the event.  A crucial component of Peatland Futures was the collective call to action for wetland and peatland restoration and conservation.  Recognising the significance of improving peatland conditions for long-term environmental benefit, participants were united in support of establishing a national centre of excellence to provide essential support, knowledge, training, policy insights and resources necessary for conservation efforts. Speaking at the Peatland Futures event, Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University of Galway said: “Like so many challenges, we recognise that solutions cannot be found from one perspective, so we wish to engage with landowners, farmers, policymakers, community groups, government agencies and other research institutions. Together, we can make a lasting difference for the preservation of Ireland's peatlands.”  Dr Terry Morley, Assistant Professor and organiser of the Peatland Futures event, said: “Ireland has world-class peatland research and expertise and it’s time we act to increase our collective capacity for research, public outreach and dissemination, and to train the next generation of peatland practitioners. The University of Galway is uniquely situated with blanket and raised bogs at our doorstep and broad interdisciplinary peatland research expertise.” The event featured two workshops aimed at shaping the future of peatland research. The first discussed the proposal for a National Peatland Centre of Excellence, while a second focused on creating a policy summary and providing actionable strategies for informed decision-making in peatland conservation. The event also included the launch of “Social Marketing, Principles and Practice for Delivering Global Change” by Professor Christine Domegan, University of Galway and Professor Gerard Hastings, University of Stirling, which featured a photo and story of Abbeyleix Bog from award winning peatlands photographer Tina Cafferty. Ends

Thursday, 14 December 2023

Researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, have shed light on why brain implants are tricky to engineer and often lose their functionality once surgically placed into brain tissue.  The results of a new study, published in the prestigious journal Advanced Science, have revealed how cells of the brain sense continuous motion caused by everyday bodily functions – like breathing or the pulse from a heartbeat. Importantly, if a hard metallic or plastic device is implanted into the soft tissue of the brain, these small, normal movements can lead to friction and inflammation of the tissues around the implant, killing off vital brain cells and causing scarring.  Lead researcher on the study, CÚRAM Investigator and Associate Professor at University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, Dr Manus Biggs, said: “One of the most exciting parts of our study is the discovery that the cells of the brain use specialised sensors to respond to small frictional forces and that even the most basic, everyday functions can lead to tiny movements which damage the cells adjacent to a brain implant.” The research also explored possible approaches to help prevent damage to tissue and ultimately increase the lifespan and long term function of implanted electrical devices. Anti-inflammation approaches could be achieved by coating brain implants with soft gels which reduce implant friction and ensure a slow release of these drugs. The study also evaluated how brain cells attempt to protect themselves from continuous friction by keeping a distance from hard brain implants, essentially creating a fluid-filled blister which prevents direct contact of an implant with the brain tissue. Although this blister which emerges around an implant protects the brain cells from damage, a frequent downside to this defence process is that this structure prevents the neural recording device from operating. Dr Alex Trotier, who carried out the principal research of the study at CÚRAM and was awarded a PhD by University of Galway, said: “Mitigating scarring of the tissues which surround a recording device implanted into the brain is critical for the development of brain-computer interfaces - devices which allow thoughts to be directly translated into digital signals, signals which can control external devices. The scar tissue that develops around an implanted neural device prevents brain signals from being recorded, rendering the device useless. The potential gamechanger here is for the development of digital implants which can read the brain electrical activity for years at a time.” Dr Biggs added: “It is hoped that by understanding the cellular repair mechanisms, which occur following the introduction of a brain-implant, that novel devices or drugs can be developed which prevent the scarring and blistering process, paving the way for the emergence of exciting devices which can link the mind directly with advanced technologies. We may see the development of implants which can allow the instantaneous transmission of thoughts from one person to another in the next decade.” Ends

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

University of Galway has celebrated a Times Higher Education award for technological innovation for its virtual assistant for students named Cara. The Times Higher Education Award underscores the University's commitment to leveraging innovation in its pursuit of academic excellence and comprehensive student support.  Cara is an innovative artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant which has been developed by the University of Galway in partnership with Galvia, a pioneering AI company based in Galway. The University was rewarded for its work on the project by receiving the Times Higher Education Award for Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year at a gala event in Liverpool. The recognition celebrates the exceptional achievement in technological advancement that Cara offers as well as the significant leap forward in enhancing student supports and data collection methodologies within the academic landscape.  Cara efficiently addresses online queries from students while at the same time gathers essential data to identify and support at-risk individuals in the student community. Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Engagement projects at University of Galway, accepted the award on behalf of the team, saying: “This is a great acknowledgement of all the work the University of Galway Student Services team and the Galvia team have done in collaboration and it marks our joint commitment to supporting students.”  John Clancy, chief executive of Galvia, said: "We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the University of Galway on this prestigious recognition. Collaborating with the university to develop Cara has been an inspiring journey, showcasing the transformative potential of AI-driven solutions in advancing education and student well-being." Director of Student Services at the University of Galway, John Hannon, said: “We are honoured to be recognised by Times Higher Education for our commitment to technological innovation and student support. Cara represents a transformative leap forward in higher education, enabling us to provide exceptional support to our students while optimising our resources." Ends

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

University of Galway has joined a new, cross-border higher education alliance to strengthen partnerships between scientists and clinicians and foster impactful research that translates from the lab to patient care. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland (TMAI) has been established with 10 universities and technological universities on the island of Ireland. The alliance of academics and researchers will have a focus on the development of new diagnostics, therapies, and medical interventions. Collaboration in translational medicine serves as a catalyst for transforming scientific discoveries into practical applications that directly benefit patients and society. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland (TMAI) will enable the pooling of higher education resources, knowledge and skills. It will also offer a platform for researchers and institutions engaged in translational medicine to generate novel ideas and develop innovative therapies or diagnostics more efficiently, enhancing the impact and success of their translational research and elevating the visibility and reputation of the biomedical research community on the global stage. Professor Aideen Long, Director, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI), said: “The establishment of TMAI is a testament to the belief that collectively forging connections, building bridges, and creating a network of translational research institutes will achieve far more than any one of us could envision alone - in terms of pushing new boundaries, breaking barriers, and realising impactful clinical research outcomes that will ultimately benefit patients." Dr Pilib Ó Broin, Assistant Professor in Translational Bioinformatics, University of Galway, said:"We are delighted to join TMAI and firmly believe that leveraging complementary expertise across our partner institutions is key to accelerating innovation in translational research at a national level. Galway's translational research excellence and infrastructure, including our newly-established research institutes in health discovery and innovation and clinical trials, will greatly enhance the capacity of this new alliance and we look forward to work with our partners in creating meaningful benefit for patients and strengthening Ireland's international reputation in this area."  TMAI will also provide a national mechanism to forge enduring partnerships with EATRIS, the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine, creating new collaborative opportunities for research and funding at a European level. This interconnected network will amplify the influence of the sector in the Republic and in Northern Ireland internationally and foster knowledge exchange. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland members are: Atlantic Technological University; Munster Technological University; University of Galway; Queen’s University, Belfast; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Technological University Dublin; Trinity College Dublin University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick. Ends

Monday, 11 December 2023

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has today officially opened Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village – the new student residences at University of Galway. Dunlin was built at a cost of €95million and the construction is financed through University borrowing. It was completed in time to welcome students for the current academic year. The project represents the second of two new purpose-built, on-campus student residences at University of Galway, following the opening of Baile an Chíorbhuí – Goldcrest Village in 2018. Minister Harris said: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and the University of Galway on delivering this significant development and supply of student accommodation at Dunlin Village. It is worth recognising that the University has delivered this flagship project at a time when the constraints on development are impacting supply across the country. This bring over 1,100 additional beds provided by the University in Galway since 2018. “The Government is committed to addressing the growing demand for, and supply of, student accommodation for our students. That is why for the first time I am developing a long term policy on state supported student accommodation responses. It is critical that we can pave the way for students and ease the pressures they are facing in attending higher education.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village represents the second major student accommodation project that our University has completed in recent years. Deeply conscious of the stresses and pressures facing young people and their families when it comes to accommodation, this has been a purposefully significant undertaking and investment in the face of unprecedented demand for housing in our community. Enormous credit is due to all those involved, from the design, to the build, to the operations. It is this collective effort and support, by, and for, our university community that ensured it is open for our students this academic year. The cost of building new accommodation is increasingly prohibitive for us, and for our students, and it needs new ways of thinking, and Government support. We hope our provision of almost 2,000 beds makes a difference and we continue to support all policies, investments and endeavours to respond to those who need it the most. We also look forward to working with our students and Government to provide further, more affordable accommodation choices for our students.” University of Galway has 1,867 beds for on-campus student accommodation. Ahead of the opening of Dunlin Village, rent rates were reduced for more than a quarter of the total and frozen on another 669 beds for the fourth year in a row.  Dunlin Village  Designed by award winning Coady Architects and the construction is being carried out by Galway-based contracting firm J.J. Rhatigan & Co. The University is engaging with the Housing Finance Agency in relation to the finance for the project.  The project on the north campus of the University is made up of four distinct buildings with 674 bedrooms in various apartment designs and communal facilities, including meeting rooms and student social and collaboration zones; high quality and capacity wifi; a large communal reception; a 24-hour reception and security, on-location bicycle storage. It also includes 35 accessible bedrooms, located across all four blocks, designed in line with best practice for people with disabilities. Block A is eight stories, consisting of 124 bedrooms in 23 apartments, running parallel to the River Corrib with views from upper floors over the river, the city and Galway Bay.  Blocks B/C/D, comprising 550 en-suite bedrooms, are positioned in separate u shaped layouts to maximise natural daylight throughout, some apartments enjoy triple aspect.   Characterised by a modern, bright interior design featuring quality fixed bedroom furniture, bathrooms and fitted kitchens, the accommodation offers students a state-of-the-art living environment. Ends

Monday, 11 December 2023

D’oscail an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris T.D., Baile na Breacóige, na hárais chónaithe nua do mhic léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, go hoifigiúil inniu. Costas €95 milliún a bhí i gceist le Baile na Breacóige, agus rinneadh an tógáil a mhaoiniú trí iasachtaí Ollscoile. Críochnaíodh in am é chun freastal ar mhic léinn na bliana acadúla reatha. Is é an tionscadal seo an dara ceann de dhá áras cónaithe a tógadh go sainiúil do mhic léinn ar champas Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Osclaíodh an chéad cheann, Baile an Chíorbhuí, in 2018. Seo mar a labhair an tAire Harris: “Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú le comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh agus le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe as an bhforbairt shuntasach a thabhairt chun críche agus an lóistín seo a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn i mBaile na Breacóige. Is fiú a aithint go bhfuil an mórthionscadal seo curtha i gcrích ag an Ollscoil ag tréimhse a bhfuil na srianta forbartha ag cur isteach ar sholáthar ar fud na tíre. Tá breis agus 1,100 leaba breise curtha ar fáil ag an Ollscoil i nGaillimh ó 2018 i leith. “Tá an Rialtas meáite ar aghaidh a thabhairt ar an méadú atá ar éileamh do lóistín dár gcuid mac léinn. Is dá bharr seo a bhfuilim ag forbairt polasaí fadtréimhseach, den chéad uair, maidir le tacaíocht stáit a chur ar fáil le dul i ngleic le fadhb lóistín na mac léinn. Tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbeimid in ann an bealach a réiteach do mhic léinn agus an brú atá orthu freastal ar an ardoideachas a mhaolú.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: Is é Baile na Breacóige an dara mórthionscadal lóistín do mhic léinn atá tugtha chun críche ag an Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas. Táimid an-fheasach ar an strus agus an brú atá ar dhaoine óga agus ar a dtuismitheoirí agus iad ag iarraidh lóistín a aimsiú. Is forbairt agus infheistíocht shuntasach sainchuspóra í seo ar tugadh fúithi chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar an éileamh ollmhór do thithíocht sa phobal. Tá moladh mór tuillte acu siúd ar fad a bhfuil baint acu leis seo, idir dhearadh na forbartha, an obair thógála agus na hoibríochtaí féin. Is i ngeall ar phobal na hollscoile a bheith ag obair as lámha a chéile agus ag tacú lena chéile gur osclaíodh dár mic léinn é an bhliain acadúil seo. Tá an costas a bhaineann le hárais chónaithe do mhic léinn nua a thógáil ag cur isteach go mór orainn, agus ar ár mic léinn, agus tá smaointeoireacht úr ag teastáil, agus tacaíocht ón Rialtas. Tá súil againn go ndéanfaidh an fhorbairt nua seo difear, forbairt a bhfuil an cumas aici lóistín a chur ar fáil do bheagnach 2,000 mac léinn, agus leanaimid orainn ag tacú le gach polasaí, infheistíocht agus iarracht chun dul i gcabhair orthu siúd is mó a dteastaíonn sé uathu. Táimid ag súil chomh maith le bheith ag obair lenár mic léinn agus leis an Rialtas chun tuilleadh roghanna inacmhainne maidir le lóistín a chur ar fáil dár mic léinn.” Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in ann lóistín a chur ar fáil ar an gcampas do 1,867 mac léinn. Díreach sular osclaíodh Baile na Breacóige, laghdaíodh na rátaí cíosa i gcás níos mó ná an ceathrú cuid den líon iomlán leapacha, agus rinneadh na cíosanna a reo ar 669 leaba eile don cheathrú bliain as a chéile.  Baile na Breacóige  Is iad Coady Architects a rinne an dearadh don fhorbairt seo, agus is iad J.J. Rhatigan & Co., gnólacht atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh, na conraitheoirí tógála. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGníomhaireacht Airgeadais do Thithe maidir le maoiniú an tionscadail.  Tá ceithre fhoirgneamh sa tionscadal seo ar champas thuaidh na hOllscoile agus tá 674 seomra codlata ann i gcineálacha éagsúla árasáin. I measc na n-áiseanna coiteanna atá ann tá seomraí cruinnithe agus spásanna sóisialta agus comhoibrithe do mhic léinn; wifi ar ardchaighdeán agus ardacmhainne; spás fáiltithe mór; fáiltiú agus slándáil a bhfuil fáil orthu 24 uair an chloig mar aon le háit shábháilte chun rothair a choinneáil. Áirítear leis chomh maith 35 seomra codlata inrochtana atá suite i ngach ceann de na ceithre bhloc agus ar dearadh go sainiúil iad le go mbeidís ag teacht leis na cleachtais is fearr atá i bhfeidhm dóibh siúd atá faoi mhíchumas. Tá ocht stór i gceist le Bloc A, agus 124 seomra codlata i 23 árasán. Tá sé comhthreomhar le hAbhainn na Gaillimhe agus nuair atáthar ag féachaint amach ó na hurláir in uachtar, tá an abhainn, an chathair agus cuan na Gaillimhe le feiceáil.  Leagadh amach bloic B/C/D, ina bhfuil 550 seomra codlata en suite, i gcruth U le go mbainfear an leas is fearr as solas nádúrtha an lae. I roinnt de na hárasáin is féidir féachaint ó thuaidh, soir agus ó dheas.   Timpeallacht mhaireachtála úrscothach do mhic léinn atá san fhorbairt seo. Maisíodh na hárasáin ar bhealach glé nua-aimseartha agus tá troscán feistithe ardchaighdeáin sna seomraí codlata agus sna seomraí folctha mar aon le cistineacha feistithe. Críoch

Monday, 11 December 2023

More than 60 families of children with additional needs have been given a unique opportunity to enjoy the joy of Christmas with a special visit to Sensory Santa. The event at University of Galway, which began life in 2017, offering a day-trip to a sensory-friendly grotto has grown this year to run over two days.  Students and staff from the University’s School of Psychology have come together taking on the roles of elves and Santa’s helpers, while a number of local and national businesses offered their support for the project. Dr Ciara Gunning, School of Psychology, University of Galway, said: “Our Sensory Friendly Santa’s Grotto gives children with additional needs and their families an opportunity to visit Santa in their own time and in their own way. Over 60 families attended events this weekend and for many of them it is the first time that they would have had a chance to visit Santa. Our Santa, our elves, our helpers make this what it is and by checking in with our families in advance and making some small tweaks to the grotto set-up and sensory-friendly environment, our team can create an accessible and inclusive event - making real life magic. A huge credit goes to all those who volunteer – our staff and students at the School of Psychology, and this year the support from businesses has been immense and it has made such a phenomenal difference to the days.” Sensory Santa at University of Galway was supported this year by a number of local and national businesses including Smyth’s; Supermacs; Dough Bros; McD’s; 56 Central; Connacht Hospitality Group; Centra; Lidl; Gourmet Tart; Galway Bay Hotel; Revive Active; Dunnes Stores; Name It. This year the organisers were also able to support a new Sensory Santa and grotto event for 20 families in Belmullet, Co Mayo. Businesses in Mayo supporting the event included Erris Arts Centre; O’Donoghue’s Bakery; Mayo North East; Western Strands; Lir beauty Rooms; Malone Welfare Unit hire; Beautified Beauty Salon; Toymaster Ballina; The Cake Queen; Hegarty’s Gift Shop; Happy Souls Reflexology. Ends 

Friday, 8 December 2023

Tá fáilte curtha ag Uachtarán agus ag Uachtarán Ionaid & Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe roimh chur chuige nua a dhéanfaidh éascaíocht do mhic léinn ó thuaidh staidéar a dhéanamh sa Phoblacht. D’fhógair an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris T.D. gur glacadh le moltaí maidir le coibhéis A-leibhéal – Ardteistiméireachta. Ba é Grúpa Oibre de chuid an chumainn Universities Ireland a chuir na moltaí chun cinn faoi chathaoirleacht Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ó Dochartaigh: “An cuspóir a bhí againn nuair a thángamar le chéile mar cheannairí ollscoileanna na hÉireann, idir thuaidh agus theas, cur le soghluaisteacht trasteorann mac léinn. Tá sé sin ag teacht le haidhmeanna thuarascáil Oireachtais ó 2022, le tionscnamh an Oileáin Chomhroinnte de chuid Rialtas na hÉireann agus le rúin an Aire Simon Harris féin. “Beidh an córas nua níos cothroime ná an córas a bhí ann roimhe seo. Beidh sé níos éasca ag mic léinn ón Tuaisceart feasta teacht go dtí an Phoblacht chun staidéar a dhéanamh, chun eispéireas foghlama a bheith acu inár bpobail ollscoile fuinniúla. “Le himeacht ama, beidh toradh níos dearfaí ag na hathruithe seo. Cuirfear deiseanna ar fáil do dhaoine óga chun dúshraith a leagan síos do chaidrimh nua idir scoileanna sa Tuaisceart agus ollscoileanna anseo, agus idir daoine óga agus a dteaghlaigh i ngach contae in Éirinn.” Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Féachann an cumann Universities Ireland le comhoibriú i réimse an ardoideachais ar an oileán a chur chun cinn agus a fhorbairt. Is cúis áthais dom a bheith i mo chathaoirleach ar an gcumann agus an cheist seo á cíoradh, agus réitigh á bhforbairt. Is í an oscailteacht ceann de chroíluachanna Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus is cúis bhróid dár n-institiúid í go raibh ról chomh tábhachtach againn nuair a bhí deiseanna nua á socrú do dhaoine óga as gach cearn den oileán. Tá ardmholadh tuillte ag an Ollamh Ó Dochartaigh as an obair a rinneadh ar na moltaí a threorú, agus ag baill uile Ghrúpa Oibre an chumainn Universities Ireland a chabhraigh le forbairt an chórais nua. Táimid ag tnúth anois leis na moltaí a chur i bhfeidhm a luaithe agus is féidir.” Socruithe nua maidir le coibhéis A-leibhéal – Ardteistiméireachta don CAO fógartha ag an Aire Harris -      Ní bheidh sé riachtanach a thuilleadh 4 A-leibhéal a dhéanamh (an Mata mar cheann amháin éigeantach) chun uasphointí (625) a bhaint amach faoi chóras iontrála tríú leibhéal na Poblachta – an Lár-Oifig Iontrála (CAO). -      Is féidir le mic léinn Thuaisceart Éireann na 3 A-leibhéal is fearr atá acu a úsáid, mar aon leis an 4ú A-leibhéal nó Tionscadal Breisithe nó ábhar AS. Ciallaíonn sé seo go bhféadfaidh iarratasóirí scór 600 pointe a bhaint amach le 3 A-leibhéal agus 1 AS, agus 625 pointe má bhíonn Mata ar cheann de na hábhair A-leibhéal. -      Breithneofar mic léinn Thuaisceart Éireann freisin le haghaidh áit in ollscoil in Éirinn má dhéanann siad iarratas le 2 A-leibhéal agus AS-Leibhéal amháin nó 2 AS-Leibhéal.   Tugadh ar aird sa tuarascáil ar mholtaí ó Ghrúpa Oibre an chumainn Universities Ireland nach dtagann ach 0.6% de na mic léinn ardoideachais sa Phoblacht ó Thuaisceart Éireann, ach ó thuaidh, go dtagann 2.4% de mhic léinn ón bPoblacht. Tugadh ar aird freisin nach ndéanann ach 3% de na daltaí A-leibhéal sa Tuaisceart ceithre ábhar ag A-leibhéal. Críoch

Thursday, 7 December 2023

University of Galway's President and Deputy President & Registrar have welcomed a new approach to make it easier for students from Northern Ireland to study in the Republic. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has announced recommendations on A-level – Leaving Certificate equivalence have been accepted. The proposals were put forward by a Universities Ireland Working Group chaired by University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh. Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “Our intention in bringing together leadership from universities on the island, north and south, was to enhance cross-border mobility, in line with the aims of an Oireachtas report from 2022, the Government of Ireland Shared Island initiative and Minister Simon Harris’s own expressed intentions.  “The new system offers a fairer system than before. It makes it easier for students from the north to come to the Republic to study, to learn and to experience our wonderful, energetic university communities.  “Over time, these changes will do more, with the opportunities that we provide for young people, to create the bedrock for new relationships to be formed between schools in the north and universities here and between young people and their families from all counties on the island.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, who is also President of Universities Ireland Council, said: “Universities Ireland seeks to promote and develop cooperation in the higher education on our island. I am delighted to have been chair of the association as this issue was explored and solutions developed. University of Galway has openness as one of its core values and it is an important day for our institution that we have played such a vital role in securing new opportunities for young people from all parts of our island. Huge credit goes to Professor Ó Dochartaigh for leading the work on the recommendations and all the members of the Universities Ireland Working Group who helped in the development of the new system. We look forward now to implementing the proposals as soon as possible.” New arrangements for A-level – Leaving Certificate equivalence for the CAO announced by Minister Harris It will no longer be necessary to take 4 A-levels (one of which must be Maths) in order to achieve maximum points (625) under the Republic’s system for third level entry – the Central Applications Office (CAO). NI students can use their best 3 A-levels, along with 4th A-level or an Extended Project or an AS subject. This will mean that applicants can attain a score of 600 points with 3 A-levels and 1 AS, and 625 points if one of the A Levels is Maths NI students will also be considered for a place in an Irish university by applying with 2 A-levels and 1 or 2 AS levels.  The report of recommendations from the Universities Ireland Working Group noted that only 0.6% of students in higher education in the Republic come from Northern Ireland, while in the north, 2.4% of students come from the Republic.  It also noted that only 3% of A-level students in the north take four subjects at A-level. Ends

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

University of Galway has announced the 2023 Tarpey Scholarship awardees – Nursing student Shauna Martyn and Medicine student Adeline Mei Hui Kon. The scholarships are testament to the enduring legacy of the late Hazel and Tanya Tarpey – two remarkable sisters who left an indelible mark on healthcare workers while they were treated for a rare genetic autoimmune disease.  The Tarpey family established the scholarship in memory of the sisters to foster the growth and development of future healthcare professionals. It is awarded to outstanding students committed to enhancing their professional skills through additional studies, beyond the regular curriculum. The Tarpey family have extended their support for students to include a Tarpey Bursary, established for the first time in 2022. The award is given privately each year to two students in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences who may not have been able to continue their studies due to being at a financial disadvantage.  Tim and Mary Tarpey, the parents of the Hazel and Tanya, said: “It is a pleasure to give back to the medical community who did so much. We look forward to the event every year to meet the new recipients and catch-up with old friends who diligently cared for the girls over the years. We will never forget them and feel this is the perfect way to celebrate their memory and build a lasting legacy through both the scholarship and bursary.” Professor Sean Dinneen, of University of Galway’s School of Medicine and Consultant Endocrinologist at Saolta University Healthcare Group, cared for both sisters during their illness. He said: “The Tarpey Scholarship and Bursary stand as a shining example of philanthropy, embodying the Tarpey family’s commitment to keeping alive the memory of Hazel and Tanya. By supporting the education and training of the next generation of caring and compassionate healthcare professionals, the Tarpey family’s contribution plays a vital role in shaping the future of healthcare.” Dr Paul Dodd, Vice-President for Engagement at University of Galway, said: “Our University community would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the Tarpey family for their unwavering support and dedication to the formation of compassionate healthcare professionals. The Tarpey Scholarship and Bursary contributes significantly to the development of our students, ensuring that they have the resources and support needed to excel in their chosen fields.” Adeline Mei Hui Kon, a Medicine student at University of Galway who received one of this year’s Tarpey Scholarships, said: “This generous support inspires me to continue pursuing my research aspirations and enhancing my clinical skills. I am sincerely grateful for the belief placed in me and I am committed to making a positive impact in the field of healthcare in honour of the Tarpey’s family enduring love and memory.” Shauna Martyn, a Nursing student at University of Galway and also a recipient of the 2023 Tarpey Scholarship, said: “I’m delighted to be selected for this award, and to become part of the tradition of honouring the memory of the Tarpey sisters. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the Tarpey family for their generosity. It’s a great privilege to accept this award and to commemorate the exceptional Tarpey sisters.” Ends

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

University of Galway pioneers new, immersive approach to learning for students and educators    Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Public Health and Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has launched a virtual reality (VR) learning system for nursing education, pioneered by University of Galway.  Funded through the ERASMUS+ programme, the ViReTrain project offers nursing students and educators immersive eLearning experiences, preparing them for the complex demands of healthcare delivery. With a focus on authentic, complex scenarios in virtual reality, the project is an innovative teaching strategy for academics and faculty working in nursing education. ViReTrain is unique in the emerging field of VR technology in the education of health professionals with the technology and VR scenarios being made available free of charge to nurse educators and their students. ViReTrain draws on expertise of researchers in a European higher education partnership - University of Galway; FH Muenster in Germany; Via University College in Aarhus, Denmark; and the University of Turku in Finland, who partnered with a software company, Ingenious Knowledge GmbH (Germany). ViReTrain's virtual reality simulations mirror nursing care in practice, where students can practice clinical skills, use the nursing process, employ critical thinking skills, make informed decisions, and take actions that address individual patient needs. Each scenario is tied to specific learning outcomes, encompassing both technical and non-technical skills.  Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said: "The ViReTrain virtual reality education for nurses is a remarkable step towards the future of healthcare education. By combining cutting-edge technology with a commitment to excellence, this project ensures that nurses will be even better prepared to deliver high-quality, safe and exceptional care to patients. Adopting this type of technology and opportunity for learning is both innovative and accessible and aligns with our commitment to improving healthcare standards and fostering international collaboration, further advancing our nation's healthcare system."  Professor Martin O’Donnell, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at University of Galway, said: "By immersing students in authentic, complex scenarios ViReTrain cultivates critical thinking, decision-making, and technical expertise crucial for delivering patient-centered care. This innovative initiative not only enhances the quality of clinical nursing education but also underscores our commitment to fostering international collaboration and advancing healthcare standards. We are proud to lead this ground-breaking effort and make this transformative learning experience freely accessible to nursing educators and students, furthering our dedication to excellence in healthcare education.” Dr Siobhan Smyth, Principal Investigator and a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “ViReTrain empowers students and educators with an innovative, accessible and immersive learning tool. In this European project, we developed complex, authentic VR scenarios and modules, providing nurse educators with an educational framework and the software required to introduce VR simulation into their curricula. The project offers students the opportunity to acquire nursing skills in a safe and interactive environment that complements existing learning strategies.” Trish Galvin, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Stroke at University Hospital Galway, which forms part of the Saolta University Health Care Group said: “It’s amazing to see where stroke medicine has come over the last number of years in terms of acute interventions, improvements in outcome for patients in terms of mortality and morbidity. Today it has now entered the world of virtual reality,  and to see nursing at the forefront is fantastic because the role of the nurse is central to patients journeys on the stroke pathway.” What is the virtual reality learning system for nursing educators? The Virtual Reality scenarios have been crafted by project researchers, offering nursing students invaluable experiential learning opportunities and helping them to prepare for the multifaceted challenges they will encounter in clinical practice. How does the VR simulation work? Students don a VR headset and hold VR hand controllers to enter a virtual clinical ward. Here, they meet a VR patient and are tasked with providing nursing care within the context of the VR scenario. Similar to physical, and in-person simulation, a VR simulation includes a pre-briefing and a debriefing to maximise the learning experience. What is the role of the nursing student? Students assume the role of a newly qualified nurse, providing care to an individual patient. The patient's personal and clinical situation evolves, and the student's decisions influence responses by the patient and other staff members, as well as the patient's condition. Ends

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

University of Galway supports local school students as official observer delegation attends Dubai summit   To coincide with University of Galway's official observer status at the COP28 global summit, a "Dear World" message from a group of young people is being shared. The letter, and video which can be viewed here on YouTube, have been created to articulate the hopes and fears about the climate crisis of students in two post-primary schools in the Cois Fharraige Gaeltacht in Galway. The Cois Fharraige to COP project, which was conducted entirely through the Irish language, coincides with the attendance of a five strong delegation of University of Galway academics and researchers at the summit - the first time the University has been represented with official observer status. Twenty students from Coistí Glasa, or Green Committees, in Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal (Spiddal) and Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán (Inverin) participated in three workshops organised by a team from the University, supported by Fóram Chois Fharraige um Phleanáil Teanga. Guest speakers were brought in to help gather student inputs and ideas on issues related to the negotiations at COP28. The students heard about distinctive flora in the area, the importance of peatlands, the challenge of rising sea levels and the impact of climate change on agriculture. The workshops led to the students helping to draft a letter to the world to express their views:   Dear World, From this small community on the edge of Europe, we’re asking for help.  We live on the west coast of Ireland, between peat bogland and the shore, in a place that has always had respect for the sea. When it’s calm, we go swimming and fishing. But with the advent of climate change, the things we value most are turning into a threat.  Research shows that sea levels and temperatures continue to rise. We see that Atlantic storms are getting more powerful, more frequent. Rainfall levels are growing continuously. And it feels like the seasons are out of sync. We are grateful for the beach, the fields, the blanket bog and everything that lives and grows there. But we are worried too. Even during our lifetime, we can see nature’s treasure in decline. It wasn’t young people who burnt the oil, cut the turf, felled the trees. But we will suffer the consequences most of all. This generation is ready to tackle climate change with enthusiasm and energy. But are you? Let’s stand together, as one global community, and turn our words into action. Yours hopefully, Young people of Cois Fharraige.   The sentiments were subsequently recorded on video as a message from young people in Connemara, on the edge of Ireland and Europe, to global leaders at COP28. Full details of the project are on https://www.universityofgalway.ie/cop28/ President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “While our University is embedded in our community and is deeply conscious of the role we can play for the public good by attending COP28, we are also here to offer opportunity to those in our community to play their part. The students who supported the Cois Fharraige to COP project have created a message to the world at what is clearly a critical juncture. The impact of humanity’s effect on the planet is becoming visible on all corners and the message from young people, here in the west of Ireland, is a unique perspective on how the climate and biodiversity crises are having an impact, in the present tense. The time is now and we hope their thoughts make an impression and resonate as loudly as the calls for action at COP28.” The University of Galway delegation at COP28 includes Professor of Engineering Jamie Goggins, Professor Charlie Spillane, Director of University of Galway’s Ryan Institute; Dr Una Murray, lecturer and researcher in Geography and with the Ryan Institute; and two researchers studying for PhD - Yuhan Zheng and Lala Rukh Memon. Dr John Caulfield, Director of Strategy Implementation at University of Galway, who led the Cois Fharraige to COP project, said: “If we don’t take action to tackle climate change, our young people will suffer the consequences. That’s why we worked with secondary school students in Cois Fharraige to help them express their hopes and fears about our changing climate with the world. Climate change is felt differently depending on where you live, and our teenagers have described in a compelling way how climate change is impacting the west of Ireland here and now.” While 20 students from the two schools took part in the Cois Fharraige to COP project, six feature in the video: Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal – Kate Ní Raghallaigh, Ella Nic Dhomhnaill, Chloe Ní Choisdealbha; Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán – Daniel Mac Eochagáin, Aodán Ó Donnchadha, Paul Bheilbigh. Ends

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

Labhraíonn déagóirí Gaeltachta amach ar son na timpeallachta Léigh an teachtaireacht agus éist leis na déagóirí ag: www.universityofgalway.ie/cop28   Tá 20 dalta meánscoile ó Chois Fharraige i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe tar éis labhairt amach faoina gcuid tuairimí agus imní maidir leis an athrú aeráide. Tá an litir a scríobh siad, agus físeán atá bunaithe air, á roinnt ar líne le linn COP28 – an chomhdháil dhomhanda faoi chúrsaí aeráide atá á reáchtáil ag na Násiúin Aontaithe in Dubai faoi láthair. D’oibrigh daltaí i gColáiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal, agus Coláiste Cholmcille, in Indreabhán, in éineacht le baill foirne Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, foireann Fhóram Chois Fharraige um Phleanáil Teanga, agus aoichainteoirí ar chúrsaí timpeallachta chun an teachtaireacht a scríobh.  Le linn trí cheardlann, phléigh siad an timpeallacht anseo in iarthar na hÉireann, na hathruithe atá tagtha ar an aeráid agus an timpeallacht de réir an taighde, agus na mothúcháin atá acu maidir leis na hathruithe sin. Is i nGaeilge a reáchtáladh na ceardlanna ar fad, le haoichainteoirí atá lonnaithe sa cheantar, ina measc: Seathrún Ó Tuairisg (Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge), a labhair faoina thogra Flóra Chois Fharraige Nuala Ní Chonghaile (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe), a labhair faoi ról speisialta an phortaigh Ríonach Ní Néill (Ciotóg), atá ina healaíontóir agus gníomhaí pobail, agus a labhair faoin ardú ar leibhéal na farraige Aonghus Ó Coisdealbha (An Garraí Glas), a labhair faoi thionchar an athrú aeráide ar an bhfeirmeoireacht Ananda Geluk (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe) a bhí ina háisitheoir don cheardlann dheireanach Is é an Dr John Caulfield (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe) a stiúraigh an togra. Dar leis: “Murar féidir linn dul i ngleic leis an athrú aeráide, is iad an t-aos óg a bheidh thíos leis. B’in é an fáth gur oibrigh muid le daltaí meánscoile i gCois Fharraige chun cuidiú leo a gcuid dóchais agus imní maidir leis an athrú aeráide a roinnt leis an domhan mór. Ní hionann an t-athrú aeráide gach áit ar domhan, agus déanann na déagóirí cur síos cumhachtach ar an tionchar atá aige in iarthar na hÉireann ag an bpointe seo.” Buíochas leis na múinteoirí Bróna Ní Uallacháin (Coláiste Chroí Mhuire) agus Dónal Ó Fátharta (Coláiste Cholmcille) agus le Katie Ní Loingsigh agus Saoirse Holic ó Fhóram Chois Fharraige um Phleanáil Teanga a chuidigh leis an togra.    Téacs na litreach A Dhomhain Mhóir, Ón bpobal beag seo ar imeall na hEorpa, tá bhur gcuid cúnaimh á éileamh againn. Tá cónaí orainn ar chósta thiar na hÉireann, idir portach agus cladach, áit a raibh meas riamh ann ar an bhfarraige. Nuair a bhíonn sí socair téimid ag snámh agus ag iascaireacht. Ach le teacht an athrú aeráide, tá na rudaí is luachmhaire linn ag éirí ina mbagairt. Léiríonn an taighde go bhfuil leibhéal agus teocht na farraige ag fás go leanúnach. Feicimid go bhfuil stoirmeacha an Atlantaigh níos cumhachtaí, níos coitianta. Tá líon na báistí ag méadú gan stad. Is cosúil go bhfuil na séasúir féin as a riocht.  Táimid buíoch as an trá, na garrantaí, an portach agus gach a mhaireann ann. Ach táimid buartha freisin. Fiú le linn ár saoil, feicimid taisce na timpeallachta ag dul i léig.  Ní hé an t-aos óg a dhóigh an ola, a bhain an mhóin, a leag na crainnte. Ach is muid a bheas thíos leis. Tá an ghlúin seo réidh le tabhairt faoin athrú aeráide le fonn agus fuinneamh. Ach an bhfuil sibhse?  Seasaimis le chéile, mar phobal daonna domhanda, is déanaimis beart de réir ár mbriathar. Is muide le dóchas, Déagóirí Chois Fharraige.   Críoch

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