Minister Officially Launches Energy Systems Engineering Programme at NUI Galway

Minister Officially Launches Energy Systems Engineering Programme at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 28 June 2010

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan T.D. officially launched the B.E. Programme in Energy Systems Engineering today (Monday, 28 June) at NUI Galway. The new course, which will be based in the new Engineering Building currently under construction at NUI Galway, has been developed in partnership with key members of the Energy industry including; ESB, GE Energy, Airtricity, Bord Gáis, Wavebob, a wave energy technology company, and ARUPS and RPS, two consulting engineers' practices. Speaking at the launch, Minister Ryan said: "The Government has set out ambitious plans for energy, and particularly renewable energy over the next ten years. In order for these plans to come to fruition, we must seek to build on our technical expertise, and continue to add to the highly-skilled energy workforce in this country. These are the skills we need to move from our current level of 15% renewable electricity to 40% by 2020 and to develop this industry to its full potential. It is in developing a strong academic platform, with practical, on-site experience that our future successes will be guaranteed. I must commend NUI Galway and its industry partners for their foresight in developing this course, which I'm sure, will be in great demand". The strong links with industry provides the degree programme with very practical routes. The partnership will also support innovation and technology transfer, working with a cluster of energy companies in the West of Ireland including Wavebob, Eirecomposties, Enerit, and C&F Engineering. The Energy Systems Engineering programme will incorporate aspects of traditional civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, with emphasis on energy policy, economics, environmental issues and a strong focus on informatics. The programme will include a range of additional optional modules which will provide students with maximum flexibility to choose from diverse career paths. The multidisciplinary programme will culminate in integrated design projects that address the sourcing, conversion and utilisation of energy. Subjects on offer will also include strong elements of civic engagement and service learning, with, for example, student volunteers travelling to India and Africa to install solar systems. Students are also required to study a broad range of related subjects, including Economics, Sociology and Politics, and Law and Science. The current National Development Plan and Programme for Government have placed a strong focus addressing energy issues. The new course on offer has been developed to meet a range of requirements of the 'Green Tech' sector and will play a key role in the furthering the Government's Smart Economy agenda. Additionally, the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation listed energy as a research priority. The course will enhance and further support the strong energy research activity that already exists on the NUI Galway campus. Graduates of the programme will be multidisciplinary engineers equipped to solve problems across the whole spectrum of energy systems. The new degree programme can be applied for through the CAO as change of mind option. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, says; "The B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway is designed to meet Ireland's future demand for graduates in the emerging energy sectors. The new programme builds on a strong tradition of engineering in the University going back more than 150 years. These energy graduates are critical to Ireland's recovery and can play a crucial role in the emerging fields of renewable energy and smart grids". Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented on the new course: "NUI Galway is well positioned to deliver such an engineering programme in energy, as it has a strong range of all relevant engineering disciplines within its College of Engineering and Informatics. The new Engineering Building on campus, due for completion next summer, incorporates many sustainable energy and environmentally friendly features. In itself, the building will provide a real-life experimental environment for students of the new programme". -Ends-

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NUI Galway Honour Four Outstanding Individuals with Honorary Degrees

NUI Galway Honour Four Outstanding Individuals with Honorary Degrees-image

Friday, 25 June 2010

Four outstanding individuals were conferred with honorary degrees from NUI Galway today, Friday 25 June, 2010. Those honoured were Bernard Collins, Anne Maria Dennison, John Killeen and Seán Ó hUiginn. Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said: "NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals. In different ways, they represent and exemplify the talents and achievements of modern Ireland in the fields of business, engineering, international relations and social and cultural development. We are delighted to honour them individually as well as the groups they represent". Bernard Collins – Doctor of Laws Bernard Collins is a seasoned businessman with 30 years international management experience. Mr Collins is an investor, chairman and non-executive director of several medical device companies, six of whom are based in Galway. One of the highlights of his career was bringing Boston Scientific Corporation to Ireland and establishing Lifemed, to promote growth and partnership in lifescience companies. He is a non-executive director of IDA Ireland, Creganna, Irish Life & Permanent and Arc Royal and a board member of IDA Ireland. He also holds the position of chairman of Vhi Healthcare, Heartsine Inc USA, Haptica, AnsaMed, Proxy Biomedical, Aerogen Ireland Ltd / Aerosurge Ireland Ltd, Vysera, Vivasure Medical and Creagh Medical. He is Chairman of Cancer Care West, the largest cancer patient support centre in Ireland which in 2007 opened Inis Aoibhinn, a residence for patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment at University Hospital Galway. Anne Maria Dennison – Doctor of Arts Anne Maria Dennison is National President of the Irish Countrywomen s Association (ICA) which celebrates its centenary in 2010. A native of Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, she joined the ICA in 1989 and over the past 21 years she has held leadership roles at every level of the ICA, the largest women's organisation in Ireland,. Anne Maria has represented ICA, on Limerick County Community and Voluntary Forum and has been Honorary Secretary of its Executive Committee. She has been a member of Limerick County Council Cultural Action Group, with responsibility for organising a programme of events in Limerick County during Seachtain na Gaeilge. She participated in the National Economic Social Forum on Child Literacy and Social Inclusion Project and is currently a member of the Teagasc Education and Training Forum. John Killeen – Doctor of Laws Born in Roscommon, John Killeen, began his career with structural engineering firm, Stanislaus Kenny & Partners in Dublin where he worked as assistant project manager on Ireland's first large scale tunnel project, the Grand Canal Scheme. Mr Killeen is CEO of the Colas Group (Cold Chon) and Chairman of the Galway Docklands Redevelopment Committee. Mr Killeen is a fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers in London, the Insitute of Engineers of Ireland (now Engineers Ireland) and the Academy of Engineers of Ireland. He is former President of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland and former Chairman of Engineers Ireland, West Region. In 1997 he was Founding President of the Academy of Engineering in Ireland. As Chairman of 'Let s Do It Galway' he led the effort that brought the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway. In May this year he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Galway for his work in promoting the development of Galways docklands for bringing successive international festivals to Galway as part of the last and next Volvo Ocean Race. Seán Ó hUiginn – Doctor of Laws NUI Galway graduate and Mayo native, Seán Ó hUiginn, has held a succession of key roles in the Department of Foreign Affairs including Secretary to the Irish Embassy in Berne, Deputy Head of the Irish Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Consul General of Ireland in New York, Irish Ambassador to Saudia Arabia, Joint Secretary of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast, Ambassador to Denmark and headed the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department as Second Secretary. Mr Ó hUiginn was appointed Irish Ambassador to the United States in 1997 and served as Irish Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2002 to 2006 and from then to retirement in 2009 as Irish Ambassador to Italy. He holds honorary doctorates from several American universities and was appointed Grand Officer of the order Della Stella della Solidarita Italiana by the Italian Government. Today's graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Sean Purcell, the late Merv Griffin, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan. -Ends-

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Irish Conference of Medievalists

Irish Conference of Medievalists -image

Thursday, 24 June 2010

NUI Galway will host the Irish Conference of Medievalists from 25–27 June 2010. More than 70 medievalists from Ireland, Australia, Finland, Germany, the US and the UK will come together for the 24th annual gathering to attend a series of 15 sessions covering the latest research in history, literature and archaeology. The keynote address on Friday 25 June, will be given by Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards and is entitled 'Wales and the Irish, 400–700,' Professor Charles-Edwards is the author of the acclaimed study Early Christian Ireland (Cambridge 2007), which the journal History described as 'THE definitive book on Ireland between the fourth and ninth centuries.' Further sessions of the conference will cover a range of subjects from crowd control in sixth-century Clonmacnoise to sheela-na-gigs (often obscene female figures found on the walls of medieval churches). Two areas of special emphasis will be panels on the Amrae Coluimb Chille, the Old Irish lament for St Columba, and reports on the latest work done by the Discovery programme, the public institution set up to pursue advanced research in Irish archaeology. NUI Galway's Dr Jacopo Bisagni, chair of the Galway organising committee, said, 'The Irish Conference of Medievalists is one of the largest medieval conferences in Ireland, so it's a real privilege for us to host it this year. All of us in Galway are looking forward to three days of interesting papers and good craic.' -Ends-

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NUI Galway Launch new Intergenerational Community Learning Model

NUI Galway Launch new Intergenerational Community Learning Model -image

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

NUI Galway, in collaboration with St Vincent de Paul, Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre and Galway Community College, yesterday (Tuesday, 22 June) launched a new community model of Intergenerational Learning, adapting the University's current Living Scenes Intergenerational Programme, which has been operating in Irish Secondary Schools for the last ten years. The current school-based model of Living Scenes is a groundbreaking educational programme, the first of its kind in Ireland and Europe, possibly even worldwide. The innovative programme was first piloted in Galway City's Presentation Secondary School in 1999, and quickly became established as part of its Transition Year. Living Scenes has since developed and expanded through partnerships between NUI Galway and five further secondary schools: Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Millstreet Community School, Millstreet, Co. Cork; St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare; St Joseph's Secondary School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo; and St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. NUI Galway's Director of the Living Scenes Programme, Dr Mary Surlis, contends that: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish Society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in local communities, regenerating relationships between the older and younger generations is crucial in responding to the challenge currently facing our society. Working with Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre and the Galway Community College provides an ideal opportunity to extend the current remit of the programme to a wider target group and the University is delighted to be involved in this collaboration". The Living Scenes Community Programme is a collaborative education initiative which will target teenagers and retired older adults. This model will be based in Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre (St. Vincent's de Paul), participants will take part in a weekly structured curriculum over a 30 week period. The programme will focus on positively impacting on the lives of both groups through empowering, enabling and relationship building in a specifically designed learning environment which allows both groups to develop, bond and form new relationships and friendships. Commenting on the potential for the programme Loretta Needham, Centre Manager, Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, said: "This new programme, assisted by the Maureen O'Connell Fund of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, offers an exciting opportunity for us to link with NUI Galway and to be involved in piloting a community model of Intergenerational Learning which will benefit a wide spectrum of our participants throughout Galway City and County and further afield". Rita Duffy, Principal Galway Community College, comments: "It is heartening for us to see NUI Galway reach out to young people who have no tradition of third-level education in their families or communities. Society is losing a wealth of talent and creativity because the gifts of these young people remain under-developed. Our students, like all teenagers, invest heavily in relationships. We are delighted that they will have an opportunity to work with and benefit from the wisdom of people who have faced and overcome many of life s challenges. We welcome the opportunity for our students to engage in learning that is meaningful, relevant and attainable. Galway Community College is particularly grateful to Dr Mary Surlis for this exciting new initiative and to Loretta Needham for investing in the education and welfare of our students". President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne: "NUI Galway is committed to a strong ethos of civic engagement. We develop this by fostering a sense of social responsibility and citizenship amongst students and by working to share the knowledge resources of the University with the wider community. The Living Scenes programme of intergenerational learning is the embodiment of that ethos - reaching from the University into the heart of the community to work in an intergenerational capacity with younger and older people. As President, I am proud of the unique and pioneering work which NUI Galway has led, through Living Scenes, in building social cohesion in Ireland". -Ends-

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Exercise First for NUI Galway

Exercise First for NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

NUI Galway has become the first university outside North America to form a University Course Curriculum partnership with the American Council on Exercise® (ACE®). This partnership will provide NUI Galway with access to the ACE curriculum specifically designed for universities. ACE has formed similar partnerships with a range of prestigious North American universities including Stanford, Duke and Purdue. NUI Galway will initially use the ACE curriculum in the University's BE/MEngSc Sports & Exercise Engineering (SEE) programme. The partnership means that Sports & Exercise Engineering students at NUI Galway, by successfully completing the SEE programme, will have covered the curriculum for the ACE Personal Trainer and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist programmes, and thus will have the option of taking the exams for certification on both ACE programmes. Such certification has worldwide acceptance, providing additional opportunities for graduates to make meaningful and positive contributions to the health and fitness industry. Founded in 1985, ACE is a recognised leader in the field of physical fitness and has more than 50,000 certified health and fitness professionals in 110 countries. ACE is a non-profit organisation committed to enriching quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity. ACE sets itself the goal of protecting all segments of society against ineffective fitness products, programmes and trends through its ongoing public education, outreach and research. ACE further protects the public by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness professionals. Speaking about the new partnership, Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and SEE Course Director, said: "This is a very exciting development for NUI Galway as it aligns us with the United States' premier exercise promotion and training body and provides us with the opportunity to deliver the ACE curriculum to our student over the course of the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme". "We are pleased to share our leading curriculum with NUI Galway", said Scott Goudeseune, ACE's President and Chief Operating Officer. "It's exciting to see ACE's certification programs provide students on a global scale with enhanced credibility and the opportunity to educate, motivate, inspire and train others. We are confident that this partnership will help students make a difference in the fitness industry". The NUI Galway BE/MEngSc Sports and Exercise Engineering programme is a professional Engineering programme whose graduates will design systems for monitoring, performing and improving sport and exercise performance. The Sports and Exercise Engineering programme has four elements to the education of its graduates: Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Sports Science and Health Science. This development occurs as NUI Galway add a suite of Sports Science modules to the SEE programme, including Applied Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology of Human Movement, Sports and Exercise Psychology, and Exercise Prescription and Programming in the second semester of third year. The addition of these modules to the programme will provide students with a strong grounding in the science of sports and exercise and prepare the students for work in the sports and exercise industries. Electrical & Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway has also appointed Ted Vickey as Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme to advise the University on the further development of the SEE programme. Mr Vickey is President of FitWell LLC. He served as Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center from 1994 to 2005 for the George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. From 2001 to 2007, he was Vice-President of Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. "It is an honor to serve as Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Sports and Exercise Engineering programme," said Vickey. "As a champion of ACE and the important work this organization does in North America, I look forward to promoting ACE's mission within NUI Galway and educating students on the importance of enriching quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity". Commenting on the new developments in the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics said "I am delighted to see these important new developments in the Sports & Exercise Engineering programme at NUI Galway and particularly welcome the new partnership with the American Council on Exercise, which will provide international input into the SEE programme. At NUI Galway we are particularly proud to be the first university outside North America to form a university partnership with ACE". For further information on the NUI Galway Sports and Exercise Engineering programme visit http://www.eee.nuigalway.ie/Courses/see_gy411.html. To learn more about ACE visit www.acefitness.org. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers take part in European Stem Cell Public Engagement Project

NUI Galway Researchers take part in European Stem Cell Public Engagement Project-image

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway is part of a new EuroStemCell project which connects European citizens with stem cell research. The ambitious four-year project unites more than 90 European stem cell and regenerative medicine research laboratories in a coordinated effort to engage with the public about their science. The project's main component is a website www.EuroStemCell.org which acts as a multi-lingual portal composed by researchers. It explores stem cell research and maps where stem cell research stands for the different countries involved in the project. All countries in Europe are not at the same point in development of stem cell research. The website aims to dispel myths surrounding stem cell research, and give clear, accessible and comprehensive information and knowledge to the public. Programme Manager at REMEDI, Kieran Ryan says: "REMEDI are extremely proud to be leading a strand of the European Union FP7-funded EuroStemCell project. The quality and pedigree of the other partners involved in this project reflects very strongly on the achievements of REMEDI and NUI Galway in this emerging scientific area. Our involvement in EuroStemCell will ensure that Ireland is at the heart of the European discourse on regenerative medicine and we are very excited about contributing to this valuable endeavour". The EuroStemCell consortium of scientists, clinicians, specialist communicators, science museums and educators will work together to develop the EuroStemCell.org website into a dynamic, multilingual information hub. The site will provide current analyses of the latest scientific developments, ethical issues and regulations. It will also develop and act as a central repository for stem cell resources, teaching tools and activities. Project participants, including REMEDI, gathered in Edinburgh earlier this year to kick-start their collaborative effort. Representatives from REMEDI will be involved in all aspects of the project, from contributing to the website, to the collation and development of resources for public engagement for educators and evaluation of those resources. EuroStemCell.org arose out of a previous stem cell research project and has since been actively supported by scientists. The current project has been awarded €830,000 by the EU's Framework 7 programme. The website already provides information and educational tools from short films to frequently asked questions, news pieces and teaching materials. Dr Clare Blackburn, University of Edinburgh the Project's Coordinator, said: "We want to provide accurate information, but also to encourage real dialogue between scientists and the public. The goal is to enable people to understand, question and form opinions on the science they read about in the newspapers, learn about at school and that will impact future healthcare". REMEDI is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry funded research centre located at NUI Galway. Scientists and doctors at REMEDI are working together to combine the technologies of gene therapy and adult stem cell therapy to repair and replace damaged tissue. REMEDI research teams are looking at heart disease, arthritis, and neurological diseases, to research and develop medical therapies that enable repair of damaged and diseased tissue using living cells and genes. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Medical Teaching Tool Adopted by Belgian University

NUI Galway Medical Teaching Tool Adopted by Belgian University-image

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Campus Spin-Out Company Qpercom Awarded Contract from University of Leuven in Belgium Qpercom, a spin-out campus company at NUI Galway has been contracted to supply a performance and competence assessment tool for medical students to the University of Leuven in Belgium. The software packages developed at NUI Galway have improved educational decision making in NUI Galway's School of Medicine for the last year. Using the programmes Assessment Management Information Systems (AMIS) and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), critical medical skills of students can be assessed using real life situations, eradicating the need for laborious paper trails. The tools are being used in clinical assessments across all years of study in the School of Medicine and School of Nursing at NUI Galway. Clinical examinations for medical students consist of practical tasks which must be assessed. Traditionally the results of assessment of these different tasks, such as taking blood pressure for example, are recorded on paper. Examiners then have a large paper trail to contend with and it is very difficult to consolidate information. Each individual element of clinical examination is added together to get an aggregate pass mark. Qpercom's products enable assessors to have all information to hand on a specialised computer programme, allowing for more efficient assessment and a greater results analysis. The breakdown of assessments is easily available to determine where student skills may be lacking. The software also has features to enable examiners to create tailor-made assessment forms allowing for greater flexibility and transparency. This newly awarded contract with the Leuven University is a validation for the company. The Belgian University trains 450 medical students annually in clinical skill laboratories. Qpercom's product AMIS is already being used by a Dutch safety training and assessment company In Tense Safety and was recently nominated for the Ronald Harden Innovation in Medical Education Award in Kuala Lumpur. Professor Andrew Murphy of the discipline of General Practice in NUI Galway, said: "The new software product has exceeded our expectations - it is completely reliable, easy to use and has introduced substantial administrative economies. It has significantly enhanced our ability to validly determine competence". NUI Galway's Dr Thomas Kropmans, senior lecturer in Medical Informatics and Medical Education and CEO of Qpercom, said: "Spinning out is a very challenging experience in the current economic climate. Sales cycles are long and universities cut down their expenses. Leuven's school of medicine recognised the twofold benefit of eliminating the paper trail reducing cost and the advantage of immediate access to highly valuable information that has serious implication for patient and clinician safety". -Ends-

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International Environment and Health Conference Comes to NUI Galway

International Environment and Health Conference Comes to NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

NUI Galway will host International Conference and Workshops of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH) from 27 June until 2 July 2010. The focus of the event will be on Environmental Quality and Human Health. This conference and workshops, organised by NUI Galway's School of Geography and Archaeology, Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) provide an internationally leading forum for interaction between scientists, consultants, and public servants engaged in the multi-disciplinary areas of environment and health. Participants of the conference represent expertise in a diverse range of scientific fields, including: biology, engineering, geology, hydrology, epidemiology, chemistry, medicine, nutrition, and toxicology, as well as regulatory and industrial communities. The theme of SEGH 2010 "Environmental Quality and Human Health" is one of the most challenging issues that human beings are currently facing. Human activities have impacted our environment at an increasing speed, leading to changes in the quality of air, water, soil and food. More and more questions regarding the relationship between environmental quality and human health remain to be answered. A wide range of topics will be explored throughout the conference, encompassing technical aspects of geochemistry ,biochemistry, environmental impacts of climate change and human activities and, as well as the perception and communication of environmental health risks and social inequality. Keynote speakers at the conference include: Professor Iain Thornton, Former SEGH Chair, Imperial College and Imperial College Consultants London, who will receive a lifetime achievement award at SEGH 2010. Professor Shu Tao, Peking University, China, Dr Olle Selinus, Sweden, and Professor Luke Clancy, Director General, Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society will also speak. There is an organized conference session on "House Dust", which aims to explore the health implications associated with house dust. There will also be two workshops of MULTITUDE (Multiple Links Towards Integrating Teams for Understanding of Disease and Environment) and "Vapour Behaviour and Assessment at Contaminated Sites-Risks Posed to Human Health", running in parallel with the conference sessions. NUI Galway's Dr Chaosheng Zhang, SEGH 2010 Chair, says: "Ireland is traditionally an agricultural country, but we still cannot escape from environmental pollution and its potential danger to our health. Without exception, in Ireland we are facing pressing problems of air pollution, water pollution, agricultural pollution and traffic pollution. The legacy issues of contaminated land in Ireland have recently been highlighted, such as South Park in Galway, Silvermines in Tipperary, and Haulbowline Island in Cork. Specifically South Park and Silvermines have been chosen as the conference fieldtrip sites. "This is a valuable opportunity for Irish colleagues working in the field of environment and health to foster, develop and strengthen international links and collaborations. I hope this conference will help to raise both research and management in environment and health in Ireland to a new level" Dr Zhang added. The conference is sponsored by the Environmental Protection (EPA) Agency, Fáilte Ireland, Environmental Health Officers' Association, Ordnance Survey Ireland, Canadian Shield Research and National Roads Authority (NRA). -Ends-

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Colonialism Conference returns to NUI Galway

Colonialism Conference returns to NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

NUI Galway will host its sixth Conference on Colonialism entitled "Education and Empire" from 24-26 June 2010. The aim of this interdisciplinary event is to explore the role of education in shaping, promoting, and challenging imperial and colonial ideologies, institutions and processes throughout the modern world. The 2010 conference, organised in co-operation with TCD and the IRCHSS-sponsored inter-university research project, 'Ireland, Empire and Education', continues the prestigious tradition of a highly successful series of conferences, which has created an expanding network of international associations between Galway and institutions and individuals in continents across the world. The role of higher education in Ireland's colonial history and postcolonial present will be specifically addressed, as well as the relationship between these institutions and colonial power structures. Topics to be discussed at the conference range from missionary education to museums, from school stories to penal colonies, and from universities in the settler colonies to decolonization through education. Keynote speakers include; Professor John Coolahan, Emeritus, NUI Maynooth, Professor Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University, New York and Professor Sanjay Seth, Goldsmiths, University of London. The "Ireland, Empire and Education" research project was established to examine the complex relationships which developed between Irish universities and higher educational institutes and the British Empire, 1840-1940. This project draws on the existing interests of staff in the TCD School of Histories and Humanities as well as those of collaborators in NUI Galway and Queen's University Belfast. Dr Muireann O'Cinnéide, Director of the MA in Culture and Colonialism at NUI Galway, says: "It is particularly interesting to host this conference in NUI Galway as it allows us to consider the relationship between Ireland's rich educational tradition and its colonial history in the context of a wealth of different international perspectives and histories. The conference holds great relevance to academic programmes offered at NUI Galway and it promises to be a stimulating and challenging three days". Further information is available via www.conference.ie or from educationandempire@nuigalway.ie Ends

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Minister Launches Three-way Youth Development Partnership for Youth in Africa

Minister Launches Three-way Youth Development Partnership for Youth in Africa -image

Monday, 21 June 2010

A partnership between NUI Galway's UNESCO Chair in Children Youth and Civic Engagement at the Child and Family Research Centre, Foróige, the National Youth Development Organisation and Alan Kerins Projects, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) will be launched today, Monday, 21 June, 2010, in NUI Galway by the Minister of State with special responsibility for Overseas Development, Peter Power T.D. Through the work of NUI Galway's Professor Pat Dolan, the UNESCO Chair in Children Youth and Civic Engagement at the Child and Family Research Centre, the overarching aim of this partnership is to further the long standing commitment of UNESCO to address the challenges facing youth and to foster young people's participation in the development of their societies, with an initial focus on Zambia where each organization has well-established links. As a first step the partnership intends to initiate a pilot project in the Kaoma district in the Western Province of Zambia targeting youth affected by HIV/AIDS. The partnership will encompass activities across the core areas of the Chair's work which includes: research, teaching, policy, advocacy and programme development. The partnership is currently developing a model for a youth centre, which integrates youth work and sport. Using sport as the initial medium to reach out to young people, the proposed youth centre will provide a forum for youth to actively participate in a range of activities that extend beyond sport, including active citizenship and youth leadership programmes and life skills training. The partnership will also work closely with the University of Zambia to further facilitate access, sharing and adaption of knowledge between the two regions. The NUI Galway UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement through dedication to practice and policy orientated research on youth, along with its partners, Foróige, Alan Kerins Projects, an NGO working directly with children and young people in Zambia investing in health, education and sports services, are well placed to work in partnership towards furthering UNESCO's goals. Established in 2009, the UNESCO Chair is engaged in forming alliances between academic institutions and non-governmental organizations, youth work professionals and UN System agencies with a shared interest in promoting civic engagement for children and youth. The associated programme of work promotes the educational value of civic engagement and highlights its potential as a means of fostering resilience and enhancing social support networks for disadvantaged children and youth. Increasing access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes and promoting youth participation and leadership are key areas employed by governments and civic society organizations working with youth at risk. As part of its ethos, NUI Galway has a specific commitment to embracing community and civic engagement as a core part of its mission. Welcoming the announcement, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said "We look forward to fruitful co-operation with our partners on the ground in Zambia and to building new structures for co-operation with universities and NGOs through an exchange of research, training and policy initiatives." Speaking at the launch today, Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, T.D., said: "I am delighted to launch this partnership between the Alan Kerins Project, the UNESCO Chair of Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and Foróige. It is a clear demonstration of the commitment and enthusiasm within Ireland to find new and dynamic ways to assist those living in poverty and to end suffering in the developing world". "All of us gathered here today share a deep interest in Zambia, which is a priority country for Irish Aid, the Government's programme for overseas development. The key aim of Ireland's long-term development programme in Zambia is the reduction of chronic poverty and inequality. To this end, we work with in partnership with the Government of Zambia and other donors", the Minister added. "The Irish Aid programme in Zambia is focused on improving the quality of and access to education; reducing poverty in a coordinated and effective manner; tackling the scourge of HIV and AIDS and building good governance in order to ensure that the Zambian people are fully informed of and engaged in their country's development. "I know that we share many of the same goals and look forward to learning more about the experiences and successes of this innovative partnership over the months and years to come", concluded Minister Power. According to Alan Kerins, "All of us involved with the Alan Kerins Projects are embracing this new initiative with all our resolve and efforts. In welcoming our new strategic partners, UNESCO and Foróige, I am confident that our focus on Youth and Civic Engagement will continue to inspire us in supporting our friends in Zambia through concrete plans and programmes. The world would otherwise have forgotten these communities were it not by chance that I visited them in 2005. I witnessed firsthand their severe daily challenges and promised to help their plight. We are indebted and welcome this new initiative through genuine friendship which will help us all grow our activities for the betterment of our brothers and sisters". -Ends-

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