NUI Galway Researchers Highlight Importance of Culture and Arts to City Economy

NUI Galway Researchers Highlight Importance of Culture and Arts to City Economy-image

Friday, 17 September 2010

Researchers at NUI Galway have published an article examining the importance of culture and the arts to Galway City's economic and social development ahead of today's (Friday, 17 September, 2010) national day of action on the importance of the Arts to Ireland's economic recovery. The publication entitled - Culture and creativity: A case study from the West of Ireland was published this week in the international journal Cities. In the article, researchers Dr Patrick Collins of NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change and Dr Frances Fahy of the School of Geography review cultural policy in Ireland and focus on the production of culture and gauge its assimilation into the economic life of Galway City by looking at various facets of the city's economic structure. The issues highlighted by the researchers are exceptionally relevant in light of today's national day of action organised by the 'National Campaign for the Arts', an organisation made up of individuals and groups working in the Arts in Ireland. The day of action aims to highlight the fundamental importance of the Arts to Ireland's economic recovery. The authors argue that Galway provides interesting insights for policy and practice as well as cultural and creative activity arising out of place specific circumstances. The research explores the changing role of culture and draws attention to the tensions surrounding the perceptions of ownership of culture and questions to what impact this will have regarding the city's sustainability into the future. Dr Collins commented on the importance of the Arts for the city of Galway saying: "Aspects of culture and the arts have filtered down to form many economic, urban and social facets we recognise in Galway today. The positive spillovers in terms of quality of life, place competitiveness and urban morphology are seen as crucial to prospective investors and visitors to the city". -Ends-

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Observatory Open Nights at NUI Galway

Observatory Open Nights at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

NUI Galway is offering open nights at the Imbusch Observatory in Dangan, on 13 and 27 October, 10 and 24 November and 8 December at 7pm. An informative hour-long lecture will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night, weather permitting. The Imbusch Astronomical Observatory was opened in 2004 and is used by students studying Physics and Astronomy at NUI Galway. The observatory is equipped with a modern computer controlled 16" telescope and camera, and a radio telescope with a hydrogen line spectrometer, which is able to map out and measure the velocity of the sun and the Milky Way. There is also a 10" portable telescope - computer controlled – for visual observations of planets, star clusters, nebulae and other bright objects. Admission is limited to two per person and is strictly by ticket only, on a first come first served basis. All bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to tara.shanahan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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International Television Journalist Dave Marash to Speak at NUI Galway

International Television Journalist Dave Marash to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Religion of Journalism: Our God is Reality – What's There? The MA in Journalism Programme at NUI Galway has announced that international television journalist, Dave Marash will give the first lecture as part of the 2010/11 Guest Speaker Programme. The title of the lecture is "The Religion of Journalism: Our God is Reality – What's There?" and will take place on Tuesday, 21 September at 12 pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building. The event is free and open to the public. Dave Marash is expected to draw on his wealth of experience as an American television journalist to discuss the nature and best practices of journalism and the role the industry plays in a democratic society as well as a range of other topics. Bernadette O'Sullivan, Director of the MA in Journalism at NUI Galway, says: "The Guest Speaker programme is an integral part of the MA course content. It gives students the opportunity to engage with, and exchange ideas with working journalists and editors. To kick start with someone of Dave Marash's calibre and range of experience, at a time when so many media changes and challenges are evolving in front of our eyes, is exciting, not just for the journalism students at NUI Galway but also for those interested in media, politics and critical thinking". For over sixteen years, Dave worked at ABC News on Nightline, a highly-influential nightly current affairs programme. In his time there, he covered major stories that took him to such places as the Former Yugoslavia, Sudan, Honduras and Northern Ireland. Before Nightline, he spent more than a decade in local news and sports, and worked at ABC's 20/20 and CBS Radio. The broadcaster won an Overseas Press Club Award for his 1972 radio reports on the Munich Olympic Games terrorist attack, and also received an Emmy Award for his Nightline coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and for his coverage of the explosion of TWA Flight 800. Dave Marash attracted considerable attention when he joined Al Jazeera English (AJE) to become the network's Washington DC anchor. This was a significant move for such a high profile journalist. Al Jazeera English is a 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, headquartered in the Middle East, that reports from the region and the developing world back to the Western World, and from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Due to various perceptions of the channel's output, AJE has no major cable or satellite distribution deal in the United States but it is available on the Web. The event is sponsored by the NUI Galway campus company www.socialmedia.net, a web-based publisher, focusing on developments in technology, innovation, and social media. Its mission is to cover the next phase of the Web, making it accessible to both technical and non-technical readers alike by providing, a positive view of technological developments in the online world, a place where interested parties can contribute to articles, and a place to find some useful and emerging ideas in the area of the Web. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Moves Up World Ranking for Third Consecutive Year

NUI Galway Moves Up World Ranking for Third Consecutive Year-image

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

For the third consecutive year, NUI Galway has increased its position in the QS World University Rankings. Rising 11 places to 232nd in this year's ranking, NUI Galway is one of only two Irish universities to move up the league table. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said of the achievement: "This is excellent news for NUI Galway and a fitting acknowledgement of the exceptional developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. Although all ranking systems have their limitations in that they seek to measure performance across a narrow range of criteria, the QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world, and it is great to see NUI Galway making its mark on that ranking. This increase to 232nd in the world, is the third consecutive jump for NUI Galway, and represents an increase of an incredible 252 places in the last three years. This result confirms NUI Galway's position as one of Ireland's leading universities, and a growing force in research on the international stage". President Browne added: "It is clear that Irish universities are competing in a global market now. In spite of the economic difficulties the country faces, we need to continue to invest in teaching and research if we are to continue to attract the best staff and students and to maintain and enhance Ireland's position within higher education globally". NUI Galway also remains in the top 300 ranking of universities for Arts and Humanities (274) for the second year in a row, in the QS World University Rankings' discipline categories. The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world's leading universities. The calculations leading to the QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus). -Ends-

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Second Phase of National Syllabus Project for Irish at Third Level Launched

Second Phase of National Syllabus Project for Irish at Third Level Launched-image

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey T.D. launched the second phase of a national syllabus for Irish at third level at an event in Dublin on Monday, 6 September. The project is directed by An Mheitheal um Theagasc na Gaeilge ar an Tríú Leibhéal, a support group established in 2008 and comprising representatives of Irish Departments in two universities and other third level institutions on both sides of the border. The work is co-funded by Foras na Gaeilge and the participating colleges. With the support of Foras na Gaeilge, a Project Manager was re-employed to design a syllabus and teaching and learning materials for students of Irish in the second year of the BA or B Ed programmes. A first year syllabus and accompanying teaching and learning materials were published in September 2009, also with the support of Foras na Gaeilge. Professor Máirín Nic Eoin of the Department of Irish, St. Patrick's College and Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish, NUI Galway, are Joint Directors of the project. Professor Nic Eoin said: "I am extremely proud that we now have a syllabus and teaching materials available for both first and second years. The Project Manager, Ailín Ní Chonchúir, has worked very hard to develop attractive multi-media resources. We are looking forward very much to moving on to the final phase of the project, the development of a third year syllabus, once we have secured appropriate funding". According to Dr Walsh of NUI Galway: "Our group, An Mheitheal um Theagasc na Gaeilge ar an Tríú Leibhéal, are pioneers in the teaching of Irish. Everything we have done has been based on the European Framework of Reference for Language Learning and is in tune with the latest best practice regarding the teaching and learning of languages. We believe that this work is very important particularly in the context of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language which is to be published soon. The syllabus and teaching and learning materials are published electronically, and are available on the Project website www.teagascnagaeilge.ie, which is administered by Dr Caoimhín Ó Dónaill of the University of Ulster. The launch took place in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, in Dublin, where the Project Manager is based. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Offer Discounted Laptops for Engineering and Informatics Students

NUI Galway Offer Discounted Laptops for Engineering and Informatics Students-image

Monday, 6 September 2010

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway have once again joined forces with PC manufacturers Lenovo and Compupac to present engineering and informatics students the opportunity to purchase a high performance laptop at a 40% discounted price. This is the second year in a row the University has provided this scheme, the only university in Ireland and the UK to have established such an initiative. The initiative was introduced to ensure that all students within the engineering and informatics disciplines have access to a quality laptop with the capability of meeting the demands and challenges of a student on campus, as well as having the performance specifications required to run advanced applications. The College of Engineering and Informatics, in conjunction with Lenovo and Compupac, have identified a specific high performance laptop which is specially built to last the four-year duration of the degree programmes. Each laptop is preloaded with software tailored for engineering and informatics which is essential for the students. The University has also negotiated a credit agreement with the local Bank of Ireland branch which will allow students the option of paying for the laptop over three years. When students purchase the Lenovo ThinkPad T410 Notebook they will have access to an introductory workshop, on-campus support services, next working-day consulting facilities, a four-year warranty and four-year accidental damage insurance. Students will also have access to the 85 wireless hotspots across the NUI Galway campus. A new addition to this year's scheme is the inclusion of 3G, making mobile computing a reality, allowing the student to work anywhere anytime. Speaking about the initiative, Aodh Dalton, Chief Technical Officer, Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "The College of Engineering and Informatics is delighted with the high-performance Laptop Programme as it gives our students a distinct advantage with their studies. This initiative also ensures that the students have and familiarise themselves with the tools used in the industry". For more information on the Laptop Programme visit http://nuiglaptops4students.compupacit.ie/ or contact Aodh Dalton at aodh.dalton@nuigalway.ie or 091 495288. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Graduates Volunteer to Teach in Tanzania

NUI Galway Graduates Volunteer to Teach in Tanzania-image

Monday, 6 September 2010

Five NUI Galway graduates have volunteered to travel to the village of Suji in Tanzania to teach at a secondary school this October. The volunteers have been co-ordinated by Maureen Mescall from the College of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and in association with the charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. The volunteers will spend a year in the school in Suji, which currently has only two teachers for the 450 pupils. The NUI Galway volunteers are Jim Lovett from Newcastle, Galway, who is currently studying for a PhD in Mathematics and is also a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Arts and Literature graduate; Higher Diploma in Business Studies graduates Áine Standún from Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo; Belinda Crossan from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; Aisling Mitchell from Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim; and Bachelor of Commerce graduate Aaron Cunningham from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Speaking about the NUI Galway volunteers, Maureen Mescall said: "The students in Suji are very lucky to be gaining the services of these very fine graduates of NUI Galway and I know from experience that they will be welcomed and cared for by the people of Suji". Tanzanian Village Renewal is a registered charity and was set up by Maureen and her husband Michael. The Mescalls first travelled to Tanzania in 1999 on holiday where they met Dr Margaret Hogan, a Clinical Psychologist working at the National Hospital Muhimbili in Dar es Salaam. Impressed by the work carried out by Dr Hogan and her team, Maureen returned to Dar es Salaam to volunteer over the summer months. While volunteering the Mescalls were asked if they could help to carry out small projects and with this in mind, set up the registered charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. In March 2008 the couple led a team of electrician and plumbers to carry out work in the village of Vikrouti in Tanzania, where they wired houses, schools, outhouses and repaired broken wells. The work of the volunteers resulted in the locals having lights in their homes, toilet and shower facilities, access to television and radio, as well as being able to grow their own vegetables. Tanzanian Village Renewal is once again getting ready to lead a team of builders and carpenters to build an extension to the school in Suji. If you would like to volunteer, or to offer your support, contact Maureen at 087 7981788. -Ends-

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Former EU Commissioner to Deliver NUI Galway Lifecourse Seminar

Former EU Commissioner to Deliver NUI Galway Lifecourse Seminar -image

Monday, 6 September 2010

Former EU Commissioner Pádraig Flynn will deliver a lecture entitled 'EU Policy Entrepreneurship – How EU disability policy was made and the lessons for the Lifecourse' at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 22 September. The event will take place at 6pm in Room MY129, Áras Moyola, and is part of a series of public lectures being organised by the new Lifecourse Institute at NUI Galway. The former Commissioner will discuss the formation of EU disability law and policy in the mid-1990s which took place when he was Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs in Brussels. He will be joined by Terry Stewart, a former Director in the European Commission and responsible for disability policy development. Former Commissioner Flynn will also be joined on the panel by Dr Arthur O'Reilly, former Chief Executive of the National Rehabilitation Board and the National Disability Authority, who played a leading role in disability policy development at both Irish and European levels at the relevant time. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said: "This is an exciting event for NUI Galway. The mid-1990s was a turning point for European disability policy. The history should not be lost – in part because it tells how things can still be achieved even in bad times". Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the Child and Family Research Centre, and current Chair of the Lifecourse Institute at NUI Galway, commented: "It is important for people to understand how advances for one group can have policy and tactical lessons for other groups including the elderly, families and children. I would urge those interested in the future of European elderly policy and family policy to attend as well as those interested in disability". This event will be an opportunity to reflect on the role Ireland played in advancing disability policy at EU level and discuss how future policy-development, both in Ireland and in Europe can continue to advance the rights of people with disabilities. The Lifecourse Institute brings together the research and educational programmes of three Centres at NUI Galway involved with public policy aspects of the human lifecourse, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Child and Family Research Centre. The lecture is open to all memebers of the public. For further details please contact Dr Eilionóir Flynn in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at eilionoir.flynn@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Arts in Action at NUI Galway

Arts in Action at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 6 September 2010

NUI Galway is delighted to announce the 2010/2011 'Arts in Action' Programme, which invites students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. Aimed at students across the campus, 'Arts in Action' offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. New additions and highlights this year include an exhibition from the Architectural Association of Ireland, an NUI Galway/Telegael digital media exhibition and a contemporary opera from the Italian ensemble Gatto Marte. Following from the success of last year's programme, the 2010/2011 programme will see the return of the popular 'Arts in Action' Traditional Arts concert in both semesters, with Frankie Gavin featuring this October and Máirtín O'Connor with Contempo in March of 2011. NUI Galway's continuing commitment to the arts, its contribution to the many current initiatives on and off campus, is founded in the strong belief that the relationship between academic studies and the arts is significant. Engagement with the Arts shapes future lives, develops highly qualified graduates, active citizens and leaders in many fields of endeavour. Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action Programme at NUI Galway, explains: "Arts in Action is an original and unique programme which has now become part of the University's academic schedule. Its core commitment is to make creative arts of international standards of excellence available through embedding the arts into the academic life of the student". Several new modules associated with this year's programme include Medicine and the Arts, (Clinical Sciences) Exploring the Arts, (Discipline of English) The Art of Good Communication, (J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics), Access to the Arts, (ACCESS programme) and volunteers on the ALIVE programme. The Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, said: "The exploration of the creative arts has been aligned historically with the academic study of literature and the humanities. The new developments at NUI Galway extend well beyond the confines of these traditional affiliations, embracing the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Medicine and the Arts is the University's first foray into the field of music therapy while Business and the Arts explores the connections between the creative and commercial sectors, which will be vital to the success of the smart economy". Further information can be viewed at http://www.nuigalway.ie/arts/artsinaction.html or join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Arts.in.Action.NUI.Galway. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researcher Wins Top Prize in International Web Challenge

NUI Galway Researcher Wins Top Prize in International Web Challenge-image

Friday, 3 September 2010

A researcher at NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) has won the first prize at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Mashup Challenge, which seeks technologies that combine existing web resources into a new and useful service. Dr Alexandre Passant, Postdoctoral Researcher and unit leader at DERI, developed and built an innovative web-based music recommendation system* called dbrec. The core new feature of dbrec is its capability to explain recommendations to its users, in that with a simple click of a mouse a user can understand why particular information is related to others in the search, for example, two artists may be linked by the fact that they are in the same music genre or perhaps that they both play guitar and are on the same recording label. dbrec relies on DBpedia, a structure version of Wikipedia, to compute the recommendations and makes them available using Web standards so that new applications can be built on top of it. The linkages between search items are made possible by using Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies, two major trends regarding the evolution of the Web, that are actively researched in DERI within various national and international projects as well as standardisation activities. The Semantic Web is largely concerned with improving connections in the World Wide Web to make more sense of the data that is published online. Award winner Dr Alexandre Passant explains: "dbrec shows the new and exciting possibilities offered by Semantic Web and Linked Data in terms of open recommendations systems and explanatory user-interfaces. It also demonstrates the value of Linked Data to build mash-up applications and how to make use of structured information using Web standards". The AI mashup prize was awarded at the closing ceremony of the Extended Semantic Web Conference 2010 by Elsevier, a leading publisher in science and health information, following a demonstration during a public session at the conference, and this first prize is the result of the votes from the attendees. DERI's impact on Semantic Web and Linked Data was demonstrated further at the conference when Dr Passant picked up a second award in the Semantic Web Scripting Challenge for sparqlPuSH, awarded by Talis, which was collaborative work between Dr Passant and members of the Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University, Ohio. sparqlPuSH provides an infrastructure for real-time information monitoring on the Semantic Web, and can consequently be used in scenarios such as emergency management. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI at NUI Galway, said: "These recent prizes provide further confirmation of the high quality of research at this University and in Ireland, leading to innovative products and services". -Ends-

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