NUI Galway to Host First National Social Work Education Conference

NUI Galway to Host First National Social Work Education Conference-image

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The first ever National Social Work Education Conference will take place in NUI Galway on Friday, 11 February in Áras Moyola. This event is being co-hosted by the National Social Work Qualifications Board (NSWQB) and the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. It brings together student social workers, newly qualified social workers, practice teachers, researchers, policy makers, universities and employers for the first social work education conference of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. A range of speakers will explore the current issues in social work education and practice encompassing student, teacher, research and employer perspectives. It will create a picture of the current state of play in the discipline and work towards an action plan for the way forward. The aim of the conference is to create a lasting partnership between stakeholders in social work in order to meet future challenges within the discipline. The conference will highlight the importance of continuing professional development for those carrying out challenging work with a focus on one well established accredited post qualifying course in Practice Teaching. Future developments at NUI Galway in this area will also be announced. A Framework for Practice Placements in Ireland will be launched on the day. This is in response to the need for a strong framework of induction for those social workers beginning their careers, and employer-led initiatives for providing appropriate caseloads and supervision for new graduates will be explored at the conference. Professor Bríd Featherstone, Director of Social Work at NUI Galway says: "This conference is being held at a difficult time in Irish history. It will highlight the strengths and challenges facing social workers in a climate where there are increasing levels of need and distress and consider what the key policy issues should be for an incoming government in order to ensure that a high-quality workforce is sustained and developed further. The next decade of social work education in Ireland will be informed by the insights and recommendations that will emerge from this unique gathering at NUI Galway." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Co Investor in Kernal Capital Fund

NUI Galway Co Investor in Kernal Capital Fund-image

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Kernel Capital today launched the €10M Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund, Ireland's first Seed Fund to focus exclusively on the indigenous medical technology sector. With investments ranging from €100,000 to €500,000, the Fund is focussed on export orientated high potential start-up Life Sciences companies that operate in the medical device, diagnostics or medical/laboratory sectors. The Fund will operate synergistically with the Information Communications and Technology focussed Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund also managed by Kernel Capital as well as Kernel Capital's later stage Technology Funds that invest in the €2m to €5m range. The launch of this Fund marks the introduction of 'NUI Galway' as an investor with Kernel Capital. NUI Galway joins its strategic alliance partner the University of Limerick, Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in supporting this unique initiative for early stage Medical Technology companies. As one of the top performing sectors in the Irish economy, medical technology directly employs more than 24,000 people and generated €6.8bn in exports in 2009. Nine of the world's top ten medical technology companies have invested significantly in Ireland. The medical technology market is estimated to be worth circa US$300bn worldwide and the west of Ireland in particular is noted globally as a centre of excellence in the creation of innovative research based companies and indigenous medical device start ups. This new Fund creates greater access to investment enabling early stage companies to capitalise on the sectors potential. Commenting on the announcement, Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland recognises the importance of supporting start-up businesses across emerging sectors including medical technology. The launch today of the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund with our strategic partner Kernel Capital further demonstrates our commitment to this key growth area and our continuing support for domestic export orientated businesses in Ireland. We are delighted to be a key investment partner in this Fund and welcome the involvement of NUI Galway and University of Limerick and the valuable research work conducted in both Universities to support these emerging sectors." "Enterprise Ireland sees the medical devices and related areas as offering very strong potential for innovative, export focussed start up companies. This new Fund is very welcome, marking an important increase in the availability of capital to support the commercialisation of new and innovative products from ambitious Irish companies," said Seamus Bree, West Region Director, Enterprise Ireland. Dr. James J. Browne, President of National University of Ireland Galway, said: "Through its research activities, NUI Galway continues to play an important role in the development of the Medical Technologies sector in Ireland, so it is particularly appropriate that we are involved in this new initiative. We are delighted to invest with Kernel Capital and join with the University of Limerick in supporting the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund. This Fund will enable new companies to gain access to the seed funding necessary to bring their innovations to the product development stage". Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick, added: "Today s announcement reflects the University of Limerick's commitment to working with Irish industry and reinforces the UL-NUI Galway Strategic Alliance. This Fund will play a key role in helping start-up and emerging companies to access early stage capital to grow, create jobs and commercialise new innovations." Niall Olden, Managing Partner of Kernel Capital said: "We are very pleased to confirm the NUI Galway as our new partner joining Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and University of Limerick Foundation continuing to invest in our new Fund initiatives. It is excellent timing, Ireland boasts Europes leading cluster of MedTech industries and there is considerable untapped potential for new enterprise creation, Irish start-up companies are ideally placed to pioneer the next generation of global healthcare devices. The Fund will operate synergistically with Seroba Kernel our Life Science Associate Firm which is focussed on larger Life Science deals and which has the ability to provide significant follow on finance to appropriate investments." ENDS

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NUI Galway and UL Announce Business Course Partnership

NUI Galway and UL Announce Business Course Partnership-image

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

NUI Galway and the University of Limerick have announced a partnership of the NUI Galway part-time Bachelor of Commerce and the UL Bachelor of Business Studies programmes. The coordination is part of the NUI Galway/UL Strategic Alliance which aims to further a shared commitment to academic excellence. This latest initiative will open access to business students in both institutions; improving the overall student experience and broaden career opportunities. The part-time Bachelor of Commerce by blended learning at NUI Galway's JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics and the Bachelor of Business Studies by flexible learning at UL's Kemmy Business School will be delivered through a mix of face-to-face weekend workshops, online lectures, tutorials and discussion forums. Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, podcasts and blogs will be used in an innovative way to achieve programme level learning outcomes. Blended and flexible learning methods of delivery provide third level access to mature students with work and family commitments in any location. In the next academic year, (2011/2012) students will jointly study Organisational Behaviour, delivered by the Kemmy Business School and Business Negotiations/Integrated Case-Based Workshop delivered by the JE Cairnes of School of Business & Economics. In the following year, a greater amalgamation between both business programmes is envisaged. Programme Manager of the part-time Bachelor of Commerce at the JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway Éilis O Regan says, "Delivering our combined part-time Business programmes via blended/flexible learning, with monthly face-to-face workshops at NUI Galway and University of Limerick, will increase third level assess to mature students, with work and/or family commitments. This innovative delivery format will also broaden third level access across Ireland for those who did not or could not avail of third level education immediately following second level. The JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners in the Kemmy School of Business." Course Director of the Bachelor of Business Studies by Flexible Learning at Kemmy Business School, UL, Dr. Ronan Carbery says, "The UL/NUI Galway Strategic Alliance adds significant value to students on both Business programmes by not only allowing them to broaden their experience of third level education with the delivery of modules in a new University setting, but by also benefitting from the shared expertise across both Business faculties. The ability for students in both Universities to collaborate with each other and with a broader range of academics will further facilitate a stimulating learning environment in which to engage with the programmes." ENDS

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January 2011

NUI Galway Spin-Out Company Targets Finance Markets

NUI Galway Spin-Out Company Targets Finance Markets-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

A spin-out company of NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) – Peracton Ltd. has partnered with FusionExperience to offer one of Peracton's flagship products MAARS Fund Management Analytics to the market. The technology was initially developed within DERI at NUI Galway and through Peracton, the MAARS technology is being offered to the finance/business world. The original MAARS technology development research has been funded by Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. MAARS is a platform that provides complex analytics decision support for most common equities selection (stocks, funds, ETF etc.), audit and compliance as well as forensic capabilities. In a recent report of summer 2010, Forrester claimed that Peracton s MAARS was the Hot Technology to Watch for 2010. A Forrester excerpt says: "Focusing on solving the core industry-specific business problems is the next big wave in the tech industry. Nowhere is it more evident of technology s unique role in solving business problems than in the highly tech-dependent banking market." Mr. Gordon Easden, Practice Leader, FusionExperience says: "The partnership with Peracton will allow us to add the impressive MAARS analytics application to our already extensive set of offerings. This can only be good news for our existing and potential clients and further increase the excellent end to end service we provide to the financial services community. We look forward to working closely with Peracton in the future." Mr. Richard D'Silva, UK Business Development Manager, Peracton says: "At Peracton, we are really excited about working with FusionExperience. Not only does Fusion provide a great opportunity for MAARS to get the right exposure to key people in the Investment and Asset Management space but also their experience in the Financial Services industry will be invaluable as we develop and release more MAARS financial analytics applications in the coming months." Professor Manfred Hauswirth, Vice-Director of DERI at NUI Galway said: "Peracton is a direct outcome of the foreseeing investment of the Irish government into the Smart Economy to create indigenous companies in the knowledge economy. Peracton successfully demonstrates how the "research-to-industry pipeline" can work: from Science Foundation Ireland funded basic research, via Enterprise Ireland supported translation into industrial strength products to a new Irish company providing jobs and producing tax income." For further information contact: info@peracton.com -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme Launch

NUI Galway Hosts Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme Launch-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

A Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme launch was held at NUI Galway recently to encourage the University's academic staff to become conference ambassadors with the focus on the development of International Conferences being hosted on campus. NUI Galway hosted over 40 conferences in 2010 attracting over 5,000 delegates to the region, many of whom were international. Speaking at the launch of the Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme, Orla Canavan, Business Tourism Manager, Fáilte Ireland stated that the average spend per overseas delegate attending a conference is €1,500 with the aforementioned conferences contributing significantly to the local economy by well over €5 million. The University facilities have been dramatically transformed through an extensive ongoing capital development programme. The University now boasts one of the finest conference centres in the West of Ireland which includes the recently opened Bailey Allen Hall with capacity for 1,200 delegates. Speaking at the launch, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Registrar, NUI Galway said: "The Conference Ambassador event highlighted the excellent facilities and services at this University to support world-class conferences, meetings and events. We look forward to attracting significant International Conferences to our campus and the impact of this will be twofold; bring real academic benefits for the University – networking, reputation and peer review, and also it will have an enormously important economic benefit to tourism and business in our region." For further information please contact Patricia Walsh at the Conference Office on 091 493467 or email tricia.walsh@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host Emily Anderson Memorial Concerts

NUI Galway Host Emily Anderson Memorial Concerts-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway and Music for Galway will celebrate the memory of Galway scholar Emily Anderson (1891-1962) with two concerts featuring the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet performing Beethoven's late quartets. Both concerts will take place in the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle Building at NUI Galway from 11 to12 February, at 8pm. Emily, a daughter of former NUI Galway President, Alexander Anderson, held a position as German lecturer at the University before settling in London where she worked in the Foreign Office. However, her international reputation was secured by translating the complete correspondence of Beethoven and Mozart into English. Sponsored by NUI Galway, the programmes of the memorial concerts alternate between the two master composers and this year Beethoven is featured. The members of the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet have been living and working in Cork since 1986 when they became the fourth ensemble to hold the RTÉ string quartet residency, established in Cork in 1959. They were appointed Artists-in-residence to University College, Cork in 1991. In 2009, the Quartet took up a position as part-time lecturers in chamber music at DIT Conservatory of Music. The quartet has nurtured, inspired and supported countless young Irish musicians and has commissioned and championed dozens of new works by Irish composers. At the same time it has built an enviable international reputation, regularly touring Europe, the Americas and the Far East. The quartet has released twenty-five CDs, including the complete Beethoven quartets. As part of Music for Galway's outreach programme, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet will present and discuss excerpts from various string quartets for the students of Maoin Cheoil na Gallimhe on Saturday at 11am. The Huston School of Film and Digital Media will show the documentary In search of Beethoven by Phil Grabsky on Saturday at 2pm. For booking information contact Music for Galway 091 705962. Tickets are available from Opus II in the Cornstore Shopping Mall in Galway City or www.tht.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Graduates Undertake Volunteer Teaching in Tanzania

NUI Galway Graduates Undertake Volunteer Teaching in Tanzania-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway's ALIVE programme in partnership with Tanzanian Village Renewal have announced a new initiative whereby five graduates of NUI Galway commenced work as volunteer teachers in Suji Malindi Secondary School, Tanzania from January to December 2011. The initiative was conceived by Lorraine McIlrath of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and Maureen Mescall, formerly of the Discipline of Economics, NUI Galway and founder of the registered charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. The five graduates; Aine Staunton, B.A., H.Dip. Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Aisling Mitchell, B.A., H. Dip. Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, Belinda Crossan, B.A., H.Dip. Letterlenny, Co Donegal, Aaron Cunningham, B.Comm. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and James Lovett, B.Sc., M.Sc., Newcastle, Galway accompanied a group of builders to Tanzania on 31 October, 2010 where they assisted in the construction of a large extension to Suji Malindi Secondary School. Once the builders returned to Ireland following their two week building blitz, the graduates began teaching English to local adults, the girls set up net ball and basket ball courts to the delight of the pupils while Aaron took charge of football matters. The academic year is now in full swing in Suji and with the addition of the five Irish volunteer teachers and their organisational abilities; pupils who had left the school have returned. There are increased numbers of first year students and this year for the first time in many years there will be a fourth form class as retention has improved. The Chairman of the School Board, Mr Nyanga said "It is wonderful to have these teachers here in Suji, and already we are seeing the benefits of their role in our community. We thank them for volunteering and we are grateful to NUI Galway and Tanzanian Village Renewal for organising the initiative and we look forward to many years of continued involvement with our school and village. The people of Suji value education very much and we see it as the means of providing a secure future for our people." The volunteer teachers are setting up a library in the school which they hope will be of benefit to the local community as well. In this regard Maureen Mescall of Tanzanian Village Renewal is appealing to parents, schools and pupils to donate old school books (except through the medium of the Irish language) and appropriate novels which will be sent to Suji at the end of February for the library The books for the curriculum are too expensive for the local parents to purchase and the teachers are currently organising an initiative in conjunction with Tanzanian Village Renewal whereby they will purchase a complete set of all school books for all years and rent them to pupils at a nominal fee for the year. The books would be returned at year end to be rented out the following year again. You can get details of this and follow the progress of the teachers on http://nuigalwaysujiteachers.blogspot.com/ and you if you feel you would like to help by sponsoring a uniform or school books you will find details of how to do so at http://tanzanianvillagerenewal.blogspot.com/. Further information contact Maureen at mpmescall@gmail.com -Ends-

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Lecturer Says Irish Plays Central Role in Socio-Ecomonic Development

Lecturer Says Irish Plays Central Role in Socio-Ecomonic Development-image

Monday, 31 January 2011

The promotion of Irish has a positive influence on Ireland's socio-economic development and the language should have a central role in the effort now needed to rebuild the country, that's according to the author of a new book entitled Contests and Contexts: The Irish Language and Ireland's Socio-Economic Development. In his book, NUI Galway lecturer in Irish at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Dr. John Walsh illustrates how historians and commentators on Irish society have ignored the consequences of the rapid decline of Irish. "There is virtually no discussion of language shift in most of the general histories of Ireland published in the past forty years," said Dr. Walsh. "On the other hand, there is another tradition stretching back as far as Thomas Davis and Douglas Hyde of authors who argue that the promotion of Irish has a positive impact on the development of Ireland. I survey those authors, from Davis to contemporary commentators such as Joe Lee, Michael Cronin and Finbarr Bradley and then examine their arguments in the light of various theoretical fields such as sociolinguistics, political economy and development studies. I conclude that we need a new theoretical model, combining elements of sociolinguistics and socio-cultural development, in order to better understand the link between language and development." The language-development link is examined in a number of contexts. Three Gaeltacht areas are chosen as case-studies of the ways in which the promotion of Irish interacts with local socio-economic development. The new developmental policy of Údarás na Gaeltacht is examined, as is the changing focus of the organisation, particularly in the light of renewed concern about the strength of Irish in the Gaeltacht. Areas outside the traditional Gaeltacht – west Belfast and Galway City – are also examined. The book was launched on Friday, 28 January in the Galway City Museum by Peadar Kirby, Professor of International Politics and Public Policy at the University of Limerick. "This is one of the most important books written on the Irish language for a very long time", said Professor Kirby. "For the first time, it examines the claim made by authors as far back as Thomas Davis in the 1840s and continued up to Joe Lee's magisterial book of 1989, that the decline of Irish as the vernacular language of the Irish people has had a detrimental effect on Ireland s socio-economic development. Walsh's book adopts a rigorous social scientific approach to interrogating this claim, contributing important insights not only to debates about Ireland's future development but also to international debates about culture and development. Coming at a time of major national re-appraisal of where we are going as a society, this book has a huge contribution to make to charting the road towards a better future." Dr Walsh was appointed as a Fulbright Irish Language Scholar in 2009 and spent six months researching for the book at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Contests and Contexts: The Irish language and Ireland's Socio-Economic Development is published by Peter Lang in the 'Reimagining Ireland' series. It can be ordered at www.peterlang.com. Further information available from Dr. John Walsh at 091 492563 or john.walsh@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Authors Argue Roy Keane was 'Fantasy Embodiment of Celtic Tiger'

NUI Galway Authors Argue Roy Keane was 'Fantasy Embodiment of Celtic Tiger' -image

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Can sport tell us who we are, where we come from, and even where we may be going? A new book by researchers at NUI Galway provides strong evidence that it can. And, just as recent developments have shown in the economic sphere, Europe is a big part of our sporting past, present and future. Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe examines, among other areas, the media construction of former Irish international Roy Keane in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s economic boom. The relevant chapter, by Marcus Free of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, argues that the Manchester United star and former Ipswich manager was the fantasy embodiment of Celtic Tiger Ireland. Free's essay is just one of fifteen in a new collection edited by Philip Dine, Senior Lecturer in French at NUI Galway and Seán Crosson, Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, also at NUI Galway. Sport Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe opens with a foreword by Paddy Agnew, Rome correspondent of the Irish Times. The book then looks at the role sport has played in the evolution of various regional, national and international identities across Europe. Also examining the Irish experience, Alan Bairner explores the life stories of soccer players from a Catholic background who have represented Northern Ireland in international competition, including Pat Jennings, Martin O'Neill and Neil Lennon. This contribution particularly considers the link between the new political arrangements in the North and the possible emergence of a more widely shared sense of Northern Irishness. Other essays in the volume look at the role sport has played in countries across Europe, including France, Greece, Spain, Germany, England, Italy and Hungary, as well as exploring international governing bodies such as UEFA, which have significantly influenced the development of sport across the continent. The sports featured range from boxing to association football and athletics, including a study of the impact of the Olympic Games on Greek national identity by Eleni Theodoraki, a member of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee. Among the contributors are James Riordan, former professional footballer, Russian scholar and author of the bestselling Comrade Jim: the Spy who played for Spartak (Fourth Estate, 2008), who examines sport and politics in Russia and the former Soviet Union; eminent European sports specialist, Arnd Krüger, who looks at sport and identity in Germany since reunification; and Trinity College's very own 'boxing professor', David Scott, who traces the relation between boxing and masculinity from the later nineteenth century to the present day, focusing particularly on textual and visual representation. Sport Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe was launched earlier today in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media by Professor Mike Cronin, co-author of The GAA: A People's History and Academic Director, Boston College Ireland. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Observatory Open Nights

NUI Galway Observatory Open Nights-image

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy is once again opening its doors for their annual series of public lectures. The first lecture in this series, entitled How to make (and break) a star, will take place at 7pm on Wednesday February 2nd in the Larmor Lecture theatre. The lecture will be given by NUI Galway's Dr Matt Redman from the Centre of Astronomy, School of Physics at NUI Galway, and will explore the life cycle of stars focussing on the way they are formed from enormous, bitterly cold dark clouds to their often spectacular ultimate destruction in supernova and other explosions. Aimed at a general audience, the talk will be illustrated with many tunning images from observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory s Very Large Telescope. Dr Redman's research looks at the conditions around the birth of stars. His talk will also encompass the work of other members of the Centre of Astronomy. Speaking about the upcoming open evenings and lecture series, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of the Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway, said: "We are happy to start this years series of public lectures with Dr Matt Redman talk on the life of stars. We have planned five talks on different aspects of astronomy and are suitable for all. We are happy to showcase our work and thus illustrate the contribution NUI Galway makes to the public understanding of science." More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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