NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute Identifies Emerging Achievement Gap Between Young Migrants and Their Non-Migrant Peers

NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute Identifies Emerging Achievement Gap Between Young Migrants and Their Non-Migrant Peers-image

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Whitaker Institute’s research studies find population and migration trends have profound impacts on all areas of social policy and societal development   The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway is the largest national research Institute focused on business, social and public policy issues. The Institute’s upcoming publication Impact Insights, offers a succinct overview of the research being conducted there. As part of that work, the Population and Migration research cluster at the Whitaker Institute has identified an emerging achievement gap between young migrants and their non-migrant peers, which will result in a significant under-representation in third-level institutions. Given the ongoing importance of migration in Ireland, the work of the Population and Migration cluster is particularly interesting. The cluster has three central aims: To research key features of contemporary population and migration in critical ways. To contribute to a better understanding of prostitution and sex trafficking/migration. To contribute to the design of improved policies relating to population and migration and help meet existing needs of society.   Several studies carried out by the group encompass the ‘new Irish’- the children of immigrants - and the ease, or otherwise, with which they have integrated into Irish society. Research projects completed and in progress include studies of Brazilian immigration to Ireland, youth workers, second generation return migration, advocacy on behalf of immigrant groups and contributions to improved policy design. In particular, the work of Dr. Valerie Ledwith and Dr. Kathy Reilly from the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway examines the educational outcomes and experiences of young migrants in second level education in Galway City and urban-rural fringe. Funded by the Irish Research Council and the European Commission, The Galway Education Survey looked into how variables such as neighbourhood, school and home environment affect the educational outcomes and experiences of young migrants in second level education. Key Statistics by Migrant Category 66.7% non migrants and 56.2% of all migrants plan to attend University – this 10% difference found that similar proportions of non migrant students plan to attend university but migrant students are less likely to realise their aspiration. Non migrants are 2 times more likely to sit Higher level Maths than Irish born children of foreign born parents. Non migrants are 2.25 times more likely to sit Higher level Science than Irish born children of foreign born parents. Their work highlights the inequality of access for migrant students as a result of current school attendance policies that make it easier for long-term Irish national residents to access schools because of the use of sibling or family as past pupil clauses in reaching enrolment decisions. Furthermore, their research draws attention to the link between these enrolment practices and the emerging achievement gap between young migrants and their non-migrant peers. The research also shows that young migrants are less likely to take Junior Certificate subjects at Higher Level, which restricts the student to sitting that subject at Ordinary Level for the Leaving Certificate. This directly limits the number of points students can achieve. Without a change to the current points system, these results suggest that young migrants will be under-represented within third level education. Dr. Valerie Ledwith stated, “In general, the results of our research suggest that an achievement gap is emerging between young migrants and non-migrants in Ireland. Moreover, this achievement gap is linked to enrolment practices that constrain the school choices available to young migrants.”  Dr. Ledwith continued, “This research arose from our concern with the potential emergence of a two-tier education system in Ireland. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that this is the case, with a clearly apparent achievement gap between young migrants and their non-migrant peers. “ This research was incorporated into the Galway County Integration and Diversity Strategy 2013-2017. Actions linked to the strategy involve further research in the Institute, including an exploration of migrant experiences at university level and mapping migrant services across Galway City and County. This research engages multiple practitioner and community interests and will be conducted throughout 2014 to 2015. The Population and Migration research is funded from an extensive range of national and international sources including: Atlantic Philanthropies; Barnardos; Department of Education and Skills, NI; Department of Health and Children; EU; Galway Educate Together; Health Research Board; Higher Education Authority; Irish Research Council; UNESCO and WHO. Its membership is equally diverse, with researchers from economics, geography, political science, sociology, health promotion and psychology. This diversity reflects the need for a multi-disciplinary approach in considering the social, political and economic dimensions of migration and population change. Dr. Mary Cawley from the Whitaker Institute explains, “The creation of the cluster provides an opportunity to come together and be more aware of each other’s research. In so doing we can identify areas where there may be scope for collaboration, including the development of funding initiatives. Some colleagues are already involved in developing joint grant proposals.” For further information on the Whitaker Institute visit www.nuigalway.ie/whitakerinstitute Ends.

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NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights Plays Key Role In Landmark Resolution Adopted On Human Rights

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights Plays Key Role In Landmark Resolution Adopted On Human Rights -image

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

  Monday, 10th March 2014 A landmark reform of the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations was based, in large part, on the research of Professor Michael O'Flaherty from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. The reform will mean greater accountability and efficiency in protecting the rights of oppressed groups in societies across the world – such as victims of discrimination and others on the margins of our societies. The UN human rights oversight mechanism, known as the treaty body system, had become very bureaucratic and inefficient and increasingly starved of resources. This undermined its capacity to do its job of getting governments to uphold the human rights of their peoples. The ‘Dublin Process’, initiated by Professor O’Flaherty and largely funded by the Irish government, set out to strengthen and enhance the structures of the system. The process aimed, for example, to simplify the reporting duties of governments under UN treaties, a framework that had developed incrementally over time, resulting in significant overlapping procedures, inefficiencies and unnecessary delays, as well as to attract more financial support from governments An example of how the treaty body system works to uphold human rights is the way in which it triggered considerable international media attention to the human rights abuses committed in Magdalen laundries and put that topic firmly on the agenda of the Irish government. Internationally, the system has led to numerous changes in law and improvements in the situation of the most vulnerable and marginalised of people. In 2009, Professor Michael O’Flaherty, on the invitation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, convened an expert group in Dublin to set out a road map for a reform process that would deliver meaningful results. World-wide consultations followed and resulted in 100 recommendations adopted at a second meeting in 2011, again convened in Dublin by Professor Michael O'Flaherty.  Those recommendations were then put before the UN General Assembly by means of a report submitted to it by the High Commissioner. The subsequent two-year debate, in which Professor O'Flaherty participated in an expert capacity, was brought to a conclusion with an historic resolution on the 11th February 2014.  The resolution in large part reflects the recommendations that had emerged from the Dublin Process. Professor O'Flaherty, Director of NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, said, "This is a defining moment in a treaty body reform process that got underway in Dublin in 2009. Remarkably, it does so with some success, paving the way for the delivery of enhanced resources to the long neglected sector and re-affirming the independence of the treaty bodies and their membership. The pathway to the adoption of the resolution was also notable, comprising a multi-stakeholder engagement that was exceptional in terms of UN human rights diplomatic practice.” “The Dublin Process will serve as a template of how other intractable problems of the UN Human rights system can be tackled in an effective way” he said. “The Irish government deserves great credit for its steadfast support for the exercise.  The Dublin Process highlights the impact that university-based research can have in shaping international public policy.”   For more information on the process Professor O'Flaherty discusses it in a recent blog post at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/news/-professor-oflaherty-on-strengthening-of-the-un-human-rights-treaty-body-system.html Ends.  

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NUI Galway to Discuss Education to 2030; How Can It Help Make Better Citizens, and How Will It Improve Society?

 NUI Galway to Discuss Education to 2030; How Can It Help Make Better Citizens, and How Will It Improve Society?-image

Monday, 3 March 2014

Opening the Sociological Association of Ireland (SAI) Postgraduate Conference 2014 the Roundtable will address the wider role for Higher Education in society   An NUI Galway roundtable discussion will address the role of universities in the development of citizens, and their role in making a better society for all. The discussion will form part of the Sociological Association of Ireland (SAI) Postgraduate Conference 2014 supported by the School of Political Science, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway   The roundtable discussion, open to the public is titled “The role of the university as porous in the contemporary development of citizens?” and will take place on Friday 7th March 2014 at The Ruby Room, The Kings Head, 15 High Street, Galway from 7pm - 9pm.   Creativity, as a driving force for economic growth has had a profound effect in the last ten years on a range of social institutions, especially in education. This new creative ethos is linked to unlocking talent through the teaching of entrepreneurial modelling and programmes that encourage employability, particularly in higher education institutions.   Although the university’s role in the area of creativity, innovation, and technology transfer has been much addressed and catered for, there is neglect amongst experts, policy makers and university leaders as to the university’s broader role in contributing to and producing an open and tolerant social climate through civic or community engagement activities.   Dr Jennifer Dagg, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway said “The effect of neo-liberal values eroding the education system is a very current debate in Irish society. The activities, by universities for example, with their surrounding communities often get sidelined in these types of discussions. We want to discuss the role of the university as embedded in the communities in which it is located, and the value of this form of activity.”   According to Professor Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, regional creativity and economic growth is partly dependent upon the integration of the third level education sector into the broader creative ecosystem. Professor Florida says, “The old model of a university pumping out research results and educated students or even commercial innovations and start-up companies, is no longer sufficient for the era of creative-knowledge-based capitalism.”   The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 states that "Engagement with the wider community must become more firmly embedded in the mission of higher education institutions. Higher education institutions need to become more firmly embedded in the social and economic contexts of the communities they live in and serve."   This roundtable discussion session will bring together academics working in the field of education, civic engagement, technology, and development, to discuss the role of the university as porous in the contemporary development of citizens.   Roundtable attendees will hear about the role of the University and Higher Education Institutions in serving public interest values from Professor Kathy Hall from University College Cork. Dr Su-Ming Khoo from NUI Galway will talk about the role of the University and the (global) ethics of engagement, while Dr Brendan Smith from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway will talk about how NUI Galway is making a positive contribution through web technologies. Lastly, Lorraine McIlrath from the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway will talk about the ‘civic university’. This will be followed by a Q&A session.   For more postgraduate conference details see www.sociology.ie.   Ends.

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Enniskillen

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Enniskillen -image

Monday, 3 March 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Enniskillen on Thursday, 13 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14. Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Fermanagh, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Enniskillen is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Enniskillen, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie or 087 2440858. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Introduces CAO ‘Performance Points’ for Elite Athletes

NUI Galway Introduces CAO ‘Performance Points’ for Elite Athletes-image

Monday, 3 March 2014

15 Elite athletes, who meet strict criteria, will be awarded 40 CAO Performance Points for undergraduate courses under the new NUI Galway Scholarship Scheme NUI Galway is to reward elite athletes with 40 CAO Performance Points in recognition of their skill, time and dedication in reaching the highest level of their chosen sport. This is an extension of NUI Galway’s current Elite Athlete Scholarship scheme which includes a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. The scheme will award 40 Performance Points to a limited number of athletes, applying for undergraduate courses, who meet strict criteria in a number of identified sports. The points will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in 6 subjects. The closing date for applications for NUI Galway's Performance Points for athletes is Monday, 31st March 2014 and the closing date for CAO applications is Thursday, 1 May. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said “NUI Galway has a long and proud tradition of sporting success. Our success has fuelled our ambition. We aim to be leaders in research, innovation and learning and as a university we are proud to support the next generation of elite athletes as their ambition and dedication leads them to sporting success.” NUI Galway Elite sports officer Gary Ryan said “NUI Galway has produced and supported leaders in sport for many years. The Performance Points Scheme will broaden the horizon of achievement both for NUI Galway and for the athletes themselves, and we have the facilities, structure and supports in place to help athletes achieve their goals, both academic and sporting.” Robbie Henshaw, member of Ireland's Six Nations squad is a second year arts student. Speaking at the launch of the Performance Points Scheme, he said “Performing at the highest level means you can’t take your eye of the ball, so it’s great to see NUI Galway rewarding elite athletes for their dedication through this scheme. University support like this allows you to concentrate on getting the best results both on and off the pitch.” Twelve current and former NUI Galway Sports Scholarship students were part of Clare’s 2013 All Ireland winning panel, with other scholarship students enjoying similar levels of success; Des Leonard, World Junior Champion and World Senior Silver medallist in Kickboxing 2011 and 2012; Seamus Hennessy, All-Ireland winner with Tipperary and Rising Star award winner 2010; Niall Burke and Joseph Cooney, Galway All-Ireland Hurling Final 2012; Carol Staunton, Irish Women’s team at the World Rugby Cup in 2010 and many more exceptional athletes. Applicants will be selected through an application form and interview process. The assessment will be based on sporting achievement and potential as well as evidence of their academic achievement and commitment. The successful candidates will then receive a conditional offer of the 40 performance points in May prior to the Leaving Certificate and CAO changes. Students hoping to study medicine are not currently eligible to receive bonus points under this scheme, but it is being examined in the hope of including it in the future.  The ‘Performance Points’ athletes will receive similar benefits to those enjoyed by the current NUI Galway Elite Athlete scholarship scheme. Benefits will include a subsistence grant, performance supports, gym membership and medical support. Supports will be provided for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidates as per the terms and conditions of the NUI Galway athlete’s charter and will be reviewed on an annual basis. The scheme will only apply to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses at NUI Galway. Applicants must be under 21-years of age on 1st April in the year of application and only sports whose national governing body is recognised by the Irish Sports Council will be considered. For further details see http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarships_info.html ENDS Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh ‘Pointí Feidhmíochta’ CAO ar fáil do Lúthchleasaithe den scoth Bronnfar 40 Pointe Feidhmíochta CAO ar 15 sárlúthchleasaí, a chomhlíonann dianchritéir, do chúrsaí fochéime faoi Scéim Scoláireachta nua de chuid OÉ Gaillimh Tá OÉ Gaillimh chun aitheantas a thabhairt do shárlúthchleasaithe as a scil, am agus dúthracht chun an leibhéal is airde a bhaint amach sa spórt is rogha leo trí 40 Pointe Feidhmíochta CAO a bhronnadh orthu. Is leathnú é seo ar an scéim Scoláireachta reatha atá in OÉ Gaillimh do Shárlúthchleasaithe a áiríonn deontas cothabhála, tacaíochtaí feidhmíochta, ballraíocht sa ghiomnáisiam agus tacaíocht leighis. Bronnfaidh an scéim 40 Pointe Feidhmíochta ar líon teoranta lúthchleasaithe, a dhéanann iarratas ar chúrsaí fochéime agus a chomhlíonann critéir dhéine i roinnt spóirt ainmnithe. Cuirfear na pointí leis an íosriachtanas 350 Pointe CAO ó shuí aonair den Ardteistiméireacht i sé ábhar. Is é an dáta deiridh a nglacfar le hiarratais do Phointí Feidhmíochta OÉ Gaillimh do lúthchleasaithe Dé Luain, an 31 Márta 2014 agus is é an dáta deiridh d’iarratais CAO Déardaoin, an 1 Bealtaine. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne “Tá traidisiún fada agus láidir spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh. Chuir an rath atá bainte amach againn lenár n-uaillmhian. Tá sé mar aidhm againn a bheith inár gceannairí sa taighde, sa nuálaíocht agus san fhoghlaim agus mar ollscoil táimid bródúil tacú leis an gcéad ghlúin eile de shárlúthchleasaithe agus uaillmhian agus dúthracht á dtreorú chun cinn sa saol spóirt.” Dúirt Gary Ryan, an tOifigeach Forbartha don Spórt Éilíte in OÉ Gaillimh, “Tá ceannairí sa spórt tagtha chun cinn le tacaíocht ó OÉ Gaillimh le blianta fada. Leathnóidh Scéim na bPointí Feidhmíochta na féidearthachtaí atá ann d’OÉ Gaillimh agus do na lúthchleasaithe iad féin chun éachtaí a bhaint amach. Tá áiseanna, struchtúr agus tacaíochtaí ar fáil againn chun cabhrú le lúthchleasaithe a spriocanna acadúla agus spóirt a bhaint amach.” Tá Robbie Henshaw, ball de scuad Shé Náisiún na hÉireann, sa dara bliain dá chúrsa sna dána. Ag labhairt dó ag seoladh Scéim na bPointí Feidhmíochta, dúirt sé, “Nuair atá tú ag imirt spóirt ar an leibhéal is airde caithfidh tú a bheith dírithe go hiomlán air, mar sin tá sé iontach a fheiceáil go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ag tabhairt aitheantais do shárlúthchleasaithe as a dtiomantas tríd an scéim seo. Tugann tacaíocht Ollscoile mar seo deis duit díriú ar na torthaí is fearr a bhaint amach ar an bpáirc agus sa seomra ranga araon. Bhí dhá mhac léinn déag a bhfuil nó a raibh Scoláireachtaí Spóirt de chuid OÉ Gaillimh acu mar chuid de phainéal buacach an Chláir in 2013, agus d’éirigh go maith le mic léinn eile a raibh scoláireachtaí acu chomh maith; Des Leonard, Seaimpín Sóisearach an Domhain agus Buaiteoir Boinn Airgid i gCraobh Shinsir an Domhain sa Chosdornáil in 2011 agus in 2012; Seamus Hennessy, foireann bhuacach Thiobraid Árann i gCluiche Ceannais na hÉireann agus buaiteoir an ghradaim Rising Star 2010; Niall Burke agus Joseph Cooney, Foireann na Gaillimhe i gCluiche Ceannais na hÉireann san Iomáint in 2012; Carol Staunton, Foireann Éireannach na mBan ag an gCorn Domhanda Rugbaí in 2010 agus neart lúthchleasaithe eile den scoth. Roghnófar iarrthóirí ag brath ar an bhfoirm iarratais agus ar an agallamh. Beidh an measúnú bunaithe ar éachtaí spóirt agus ar phoitéinseal chomh maith le fianaise ar éachtaí agus ar thiomantas acadúil. Ansin, gheobhaidh na hiarrthóirí a n-éiríonn leo tairiscint choinníollach 40 pointe feidhmíochta i mí na Bealtaine roimh an Ardteistiméireacht agus roimh an dáta ar féidir athruithe a dhéanamh ar an CAO. Níl mic léinn ar mian leo staidéar a dhéanamh ar leigheas incháilithe le pointí bónais a fháil faoin scéim seo faoi láthair, ach táthar á scrúdú le súil iad a chur san áireamh amach anseo.  Gheobhaidh lúthcheasaithe na ‘bPointí Feidhmíochta’ sochair cosúil leo siúd atá ar fáil faoin scéim scoláireachta do Shárlúthchleasaithe in OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair. I measc na sochar tá deontas cothabhála, tacaíochtaí feidhmíochta, ballraíocht sa ghiomnáisiam agus tacaíocht leighis. Cuirfear tacaíocht ar fáil a fhad is atá na hiarrthóirí a n-éiríonn leo i mbun a gcúrsa fochéime mar atá leagtha amach i dtéarmaí agus coinníollacha chairt lúthchleasaithe OÉ Gaillimh agus déanfar athbhreithniú air seo go bliantúil. Ní bheidh feidhm ag an scéim ach d’iontrálaithe nua atá ag déanamh iarratais ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha fochéime in OÉ Gaillimh. Ní mór d’iarrthóirí a bheith faoi 21 bliain d’aois an 1 Aibreán i mbliain an iarratais agus ní dhéanfar a mheas ach na spóirt sin a bhfuil a gcomhlacht rialaithe náisiúnta aitheanta ag an gComhairle Spóirt. Tá eolas breise le fáil ar: http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarships_info.html CRÍOCH

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NUI Galway MBA Opens for Applications as One of Only 200 MBA Courses Worldwide to Achieve AMBA Accreditation

NUI Galway MBA Opens for Applications as One of Only 200 MBA Courses Worldwide to Achieve AMBA Accreditation-image

Monday, 3 March 2014

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is widely viewed as the leading qualification to add to an individual’s employability and as a signal of their intention to lead NUI Galway’s MBA course is now accepting applications for the 2014-2016 cycle. The course is open to both graduates and non-graduates with more than three years of full time work experience, and is completed on a part-time basis over two years. NUI Galway is the only Irish MBA programme outside Dublin to attain Association of MBA (AMBA) accreditation.  AMBA accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard of excellence for MBA education. NUI Galway is one of only 200 Schools worldwide to attain AMBA accreditation among the many thousands of MBA programmes globally. The next cycle of the NUI Galway MBA commences September 2014 and runs until May 2016.  Two information evenings, in NUI Galway on March 12th at 5.30pm and in the Clarion Hotel, Sligo on March 18th at 5.30pm, will give prospective students the opportunity to meet both lecturers, current and past students.  First round applications are accepted until 31st March and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis thereafter.  Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Course Director says “A distinguishing feature of the NUI Galway MBA is our focus on real-life learning based on the best practice nationally and internationally.  Students work on real case studies throughout the two year programme and in second year, students work with companies in various industries to shape and guide their strategy through real-life consulting projects. Many of our MBA students, who already work in management roles, see the MBA as the stepping stone to promotion and career advancement, and we do everything we can to facilitate that.” The programme also includes the opportunity to complete a Global Leadership Course in Fordham University in New York, a mentoring programme with senior business leaders and a series of Business Leader Masterclasses. ‘These features, along with a tailored career and professional development programme give the NUI Galway MBA a distinctive competitive advantage” says Dr McCarthy. Current student Eileen Sweeney, Brand Manager with Galway medical device company Aerogen said “Once you have an MBA you show your poker hand. It changes the perception of you within your workplace because you have let it be known that you want to be a leader. It marks you out as ambitious.” The NUI Galway MBA is focused on enhancing and broadening management, leadership and strategic skills enabling students and graduates to perform more effectively in their current and future roles. Graduates of the NUI Galway Executive MBA have significantly advanced their careers with many being promoted, starting their own business, or changing careers after completing the programme. Full details available at www.cairnes.nuigalway.ie/mba or contact Emma Brinton at 091 495066 or emma.brinton@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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NUI Galway Deputy President calls for better entry routes to Southern Universities for A Level students

NUI Galway Deputy President calls for better entry routes to Southern Universities for A Level students-image

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

As universities in the Republic of Ireland begin to look at ways of opening up access to third level places for Northern Irish students, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, newly appointed Registrar and Deputy President of the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway), has voiced his support for a review of the current admissions criteria, with a view to encouraging more students in the North to move South. Commenting on the Irish University Association’s decision to initiate a review of admissions criteria for Northern Irish students, Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “I welcome the universities’ decision here in the Republic to review the current admissions arrangements for A Level students, which make it difficult for many Northern Irish students to consider university in the South as a realistic option. I look forward to seeing a more equitable admissions process emerge as a result of the review”. “A diverse student population greatly enhances the learning experience for all third-level students. Bringing students together from different backgrounds and learning experiences is advantageous not just for the universities, but for society as a whole.  I believe that changes to the system will benefit both the North and the South”, he added. At present,  almost 30 percent of first-year undergraduates from Northern Ireland go to study in England, Scotland and Wales, while only 1.3% go to the Republic. Numbers have fallen since the introduction in 2005 of changes to grade equivalences between A Levels and the Leaving Certificate, which have had the effect of making it more difficult for A Level candidates to gain entry to universities in the South. With an A Level A grade valued at 150 CAO points, students gaining three As could achieve a maximum of 450 CAO points, compared to a maximum of 600 points for Leaving Certificate candidates. As the majority of Northern Irish students study three, not four, A Levels, the current situation effectively rules A Level students out of a wide range of popular, high points courses in the Republic. While many Northern Irish students go to university in the UK , the introduction of tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year in England and Wales means that the Republic, where fees will be €3,000 in autumn 2015, has become a more affordable option. Professor Ó Dochartaigh, who has recently joined NUI Galway from the University of Ulster, has seen at first hand the growing interest from Northern Irish students:  “At NUI Galway, we are seeing increasing interest in our courses from students in the North. They know that they will get a good education here but without the escalating tuition costs now associated with universities in England and Wales”. If the current review delivers much-anticipated changes to the admissions criteria, the imbalance in cross-border student traffic may finally begin to be addressed. Ends

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NUI Galway Only Third-Level Institution to Win Prestigious Digital Media Award

NUI Galway Only Third-Level Institution to Win Prestigious Digital Media Award-image

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

App aimed at Leaving Certificate students launched in August 2013 NUI Galway scooped a major award at the prestigious Digital Media Awards, which took place recently in Dublin. Ireland’s best and brightest from the world of digital media were celebrated at the 2014 Samsung Digital Media Awards. The University won Bronze in the hotly contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category for their iPoints app. The NUI Galway iPoints app is the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points. The free app was launched in August 2013, ahead of Leaving Certificate results being released and has since been downloaded over 6,000 times. The winning entries are judged on the overall strategy, objectives, design, innovation and results. NUI Galway was the only higher education institution to be shortlisted. NUI Galway were shortlisted in three categories, ‘Best Use of Mobile’, ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ and ‘Best App’, and were delighted to win Bronze in the contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category, surpassing both the Bulmers and Eircom brands. NUI Galway, in partnership with former information technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. Students using the app can simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level and the app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The annual Digital Media Awards celebrate the very best in Online Marketing. Commenting on the awards, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said “We are delighted to have done so well in such hotly contested categories. The key objective for NUI Galway was to provide a useful app that allows Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results.”  The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Team Math 2014 National Final

NUI Galway Hosts Team Math 2014 National Final-image

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The national final of the Team Math 2014 competition will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Saturday, 8 March from 1.15pm. This year 13 teams of four pupils from schools across Ireland will compete to be crowned champions. Countries represented at the final will include Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois, Dublin and Monaghan. Each team has qualified through regional finals which were held throughout the country earlier this year. The event is organised by the Irish Maths Teachers Association, with voluntary input from the schools and mathematics teachers. Dr Götz Pfeiffer, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, said: “It is good to see these smart young people enjoying maths in a competitive way. We look forward to welcoming them to NUI Galway, where we offer a variety of mathematics courses to form part of their future academic education.” -Ends-

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Minister for Justice Describes NUI Galway Research as “Marvellous” Which “Should Be Compulsory Reading For Us All”

Minister for Justice Describes NUI Galway Research as “Marvellous” Which “Should Be Compulsory Reading For Us All”-image

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Minister Alan Shatter TD, speaking in Dáil Éireann was speaking about the PhD research of Dr Maeve Hosier, undertaken in NUI Galway, on the evolution of the legal profession   The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter praised NUI Galway, School of Law graduate, Dr Maeve Hosier’s PhD thesis during a recent parliamentary debate on the Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011. Minister Shatter described Dr Hosier’s PhD on The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland as a “marvellous” study, which “should be compulsory reading for us all.” The Law graduate’s PhD thesis was supervised by Professor Laurent Pech, formerly of the School of Law at NUI Galway, now Head of the Law Department at Middlesex University London. Highlighting Maeve Hosier’s thesis during the parliamentary debate the Minister stated, “One Maeve Hosier has written a marvellous PhD thesis entitled The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland, which should be compulsory reading for us all. It sets out the history of the legal profession and how it evolved. It evolved continually until approximately 1870 and then went into paralysis and nothing has changed since.” The Minister continued, “The only thing that has changed subsequently was as a result of the enactment of the Courts Act 1971, when the then Minister for Justice, Des O'Malley, conferred rights of audience on solicitors in all the superior courts. That is the only fundamental change effected since approximately 1870 to the manner in which the Irish legal profession operates. It is extraordinarily curious that people think the world stopped in 1870.” Professor Laurent Pech said, “Maeve’s thesis on the Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland makes a decisive contribution to the on-going scholarly and policy debates on this issue, by evaluating the present regulatory framework and offering a number of suggestions to improve it in a context of increasing transnationalisation of the market for legal services. Professor Pech continued, “Her innovative approach to the problem of lawyers’ misconduct is, in particular, worth noting. This aspect of her work has the potential to help alleviate a problem which has been extremely costly for both the legal profession and wider society alike. Her doctoral research also provides a valuable insight into the impact of the Troika upon the regulation of the legal profession in so-called ‘bailed-out countries’. Maeve should be congratulated for having made an exceptional contribution to the current debate on the regulation of the legal profession both nationally and internationally. I have no doubt that her original and thought-provoking work will be useful to policy-makers and scholars alike.” Maeve Hosier is originally from Belfast and currently living in Connemara, she graduated from NUI Galway last month (February 2014) with a PhD in Law. Maeve's thesis has been deposited in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. -Ends-

>> Read full story about Minister for Justice Describes NUI Galway Research as “Marvellous” Which “Should Be Compulsory Reading For Us All”

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