8x8 Festival Brings Global Perspectives to Irish Campuses

8x8 Festival Brings Global Perspectives to Irish Campuses-image

Friday, 10 October 2014

This October and November, the 8x8 Festival will be taking place on campuses in NUI Galway, UCC, UCD, TCD and DCU. 8x8 is a development focused arts festival, presented by Suas Educational Development and University campus partners. The festival is designed to raise awareness and challenge student’s perspectives of some of the key issues that are shaping our world today. A national survey of third level students conducted by Suas in 2012 found that 85% of students think it is important to take action on global development issues; yet only one in five believed that they could influence decisions affecting our world. This festival was born out of a need to inspire action amongst student and youth populations. In 2014 over 2,500 people attended the 8x8 Film Festival and for this year’s Festival we are expecting an increase in interest. The 8x8 exhibition touches the surface of what is currently happening worldwide. The exhibition and associated events bring together elements that we believe are key to achieving sustainable development and global justice. The exhibition begins with a focus on consumerism, its impact on people and the environment and the rising competition for natural resources. It continues with a glimpse into innovative solutions to development challenges before focusing on education and its role in sustainable development. Finally, it puts a lens to the topic of human rights, and people’s participation in democracy. The festival was launched recently, and will run in NUI Galway the week of October 13th, after which it will tour to DCU, UCC and finally UCD. Each campus will host the outdoor photo exhibit as well as a number of events including speaker events, discussions and film screenings, drawing out the themes of the festival. To find out more about the films, and to book free tickets for the festival, visit www.stand.ie/8x8. The 8x8 Film Festival is funded by Irish Aid and Europe Aid, and is part of the Irish and European Global Campus Programme. In NUI Galway it is part of the new Societies Global Week which runs from the 13th-17th of October  The themes for the week are: Celebrating Difference, Being Kind to The Planet & Understanding Global Issues. The timetable can be viewed on www.socs.nuigalway.ie.  There is a Global Fair on Monday 13th in the Bailey Allen Hall which will be transformed into a Global Village from 12pm-4pm.  Highlights will include Games from around the world - Storytelling - Short Films - Cakes of the World - Free Veggie Pizza - How to build a Water Purification System - Bicycle checks - Pétanque - Free tours - Food from all over the Globe - Dance - Stalls...and our community partners will be involved highlighting and raising awareness of global and green issues. ENDS Tugann Féile 8x8 léargais domhanda do hollscoileanna na hÉireann   Beidh an féile 8x8 ar siúl an Deireadh Fómhair agus Samhain seo i gcampas OÉ Gaillimh, UCC, UCD, TCD agus DCU. Féile na healaíona í dírithe ar forbairt idirnáisiúnta, a chur i láthair ag Suas Educational Development agus a bpáirtnéirí na hollscoile. Bhí an fhéile a cruthaíodh chun feasacht a ardú agus dúshlán a chur ar na mic léinn faoina príomh-shaincheisteanna ár ndomhan sa lá atá inniu. Thug Suas faoi deara tríd suirbhé náisiúnta i 2012 gur cheap 85% na mic léinn go bhfuil sé an-thábhactach chun gníomh a ghlacadh ar saincheisteanna forbartha domhanda; afach, ní chreideann ach duine as gach cúigear go bhfuil siad ábalta tionchar a chur ar na cinntí a théann i bhfeidhm ár ndomhan. Rugadh an féile seo amach as an gá chun gníomh a spreagadh i measc pobal na mac léinn agus an óige. Bhí níos mó ná 2,500 duine i láthair ar an féile i 2014 agus bímid ag súil le méadú an bhliain seo. Léiríonn an taispeántas 8x8 dúinn cuid de na rudaí ag tarlú ar fud an domhain faoi láthair. Tugann an taispeánas agus na imeachtaí a bhaineann leo heilimintí go bhfuil lárnach le forbairt inbhuanaithe agus ceartais dhomhanda le chéile. Thosaigh an taispeántas le díriú ar an tomhaltachas, a thionchar ar dhaoine agus ar an gcomhshaol agus leis an iomaíocht ag ardú le haghaidh acmhainní nádúrtha. Leanann sé ar aghaigh le léargas ar réitigh nuálacha le dúshláin forbartha roimh díriú ar oideachas agus ar a ról i bhforbairt inbhuanaithe. Ar deireadh, cuireann sé lionsa ar an ábhar ar chearta an duine, agus rannpháirtíocht na ndaoine sa daonlathas Beidh an Féile ar seoladh ar campas TCD ar an 6 Deireadh Fómhair, ar campas OÉ Gaillimh ar an 13 Deireadh Fómhair le haghaidh Seachtain an Domhain ina dhiaidh sin a mbeidh sé ar camchuairt go DCU, UCC agus ar deireadh UCD. Beidh gach gcampas a óstáil an taispeántas grianghraf amuigh faoin aer chomh maith le roinnt imeachtaí, le imeachtaí cainteoir  díospóireachtaí agus scannáin san áireamh, téamaí na féile ag tarraingt amach. Chun a fháil amach níos mó faoi na scannáin, agus chun ticéid saor in aisce don fhéile a chur in áirithe, cuairt a thabhairt ar www.stand.ie/8x8. Bíonn an Féile 8x8 a maoiníodh le Irish Aid agus Europe Aid, agus bíonn sé i bpáirt mar chuid de The Irish and European Global Campus Programme.

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Insight hosts major Workshop On ‘Controlled Natural Language’

Insight hosts major Workshop On ‘Controlled Natural Language’ -image

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics recently hosted a major international workshop in NUI Galway on ‘Controlled Natural Language’ that was attended by renowned experts in a field that is becoming increasingly important as a methodology for describing technical information related to web technologies. According to Dr Brian Davis of Insight, “The everyday or natural languages that humans use to communicate can be difficult for machines to understand as it is inherently ambiguous with for instance the same word having entirely different meanings in different contexts. So ‘Controlled Natural Language’ or CNL is designed to be a simplified language with restricted vocabulary, grammar, and semantics (meaning) which can be used to improve technical communication among humans, especially for non-native speakers of the respective natural language and is now commonly used in sectors such as ICT, localisaton, airline industries, global maritime among others. Applications include authoring and translating technical doucuments. It is about making it easier for computers to understand and to analyze documents faciliating for instance creating datababes or automatic translations into other languages.” Speakers at the workshop, that was sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Eurosentiment (http://eurosentiment.eu/ ) and Digital Grammars, included Professor Marti A. Hearst of the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Aarne Ranta of the University of Gothenburg and Professor Johan Bos, Univeristy of Groningen. Co-organisers of the workshop were Dr Brian Davis (Insight), Dr Tobias Kuhn (ETH, Zurich) and Dr Kaarel Kalijurand (University of Zurich). The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is a joint initiative between researchers at Dublin City University, NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin and other partner institutions. Insight brings together more than 200 researchers from these institutions, with over 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. For further information, contact Dr Brian Davis at brian.davis@insight-centre.org. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award

NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award-image

Monday, 13 October 2014

Winners selected from almost 5,000 submissions from 200 institutions worldwide An NUI Galway student was awarded a 2014 Undergraduate Award - an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research. A further ten NUI Galway students were highly commended. Louisa Brophy Browne from Knocknacarra, Galway City was announced winner of the Undergraduate Award in the Classical Studies & Archaeology Category for her paper entitled Discuss and Evaluate the Main Points of the Debate on the Ethnics of Archaeological Work in War Zones and Occupied Territories Using Case Studies. Judged by a panel of academics and industry experts from each field, the winning essays were selected from almost 5000 submissions in over 200 colleges and universities across the globe. Congratulating Louise and the other highly-commended NUI Galway students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “Louisa's success highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in. Such success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to the academic development of our students as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching.”  Each winner is recognised as the top student in their respective field globally and will be awarded a gold medal of this achievement. Louisa, along with the 48 other UA winners, will be brought to Dublin for the UA Summit from 19-21 November to receive her medal. The Summit is designed to celebrate these outstanding students from across the world, and to inspire them with speakers assembled from a diverse range of backgrounds. For further information on the UA Summit and the results of the 2014 Undergraduate Awards, please see http://www.undergraduateawards.com. -Ends-

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Applications now open for NUI Galway Students' Union Enterprise Awards

Applications now open for NUI Galway Students' Union Enterprise Awards -image

Monday, 13 October 2014

The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards, a competition to encourage enterprise and innovation among students, has been launched at NUI Galway. Now in its fifth year, the initiative invites students across campus to put forward proposals for a project or business, with a prize of €10,000 investment capital for the overall winner and two runners up prizes of €5,000 each. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of business and/or social entrepreneurship. The six projects progressing to the second round will receive €500 each to develop their proposal further. They will also participate in a series of workshops in areas such as marketing, IT, legal and financial issues. The NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Awards are generously supported by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union. The closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday 28th November. More information is available at www.su.nuigalway.ie  Declan Higgins, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, said: “The Enterprise Awards are a showcase for the best and brightest student minds on campus and reflect the dynamic, innovative and creative graduates we all wish to see emerging from NUI Galway, now and in the years ahead.” Last year’s winner Brian Slattery of ‘Student Talks’ said: “The Student Enterprise Awards is a fantastic experience and I believe a must to enter if you want the chance of gaining expert advice and hopefully some considerable financial backing to kick-start your enterprise. I encourage anyone and everyone who has a business idea to take part, even just the process of applying is a good way to formalise your vision and refine your business model.”  -Ends-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Castlebar

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Castlebar-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Castlebar on Thursday, 23 October. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Harlequin Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. 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 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). 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 Mayo, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Castlebar 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 Castlebar, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Become Scientists for a Day with NUI Galway

Become Scientists for a Day with NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Following the huge success of their respective roadshows, Cell EXPLORERS, Eco EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry based in NUI Galway, are joining forces to host a day of fun science-related activities for children aged 7 to 13 years on Thursday, 30 October. DNA extractions, colourful chemical reactions and live exotic animals will be part of this exciting programme. With Cell EXPLORERS, children will learn about the fascinating world of cells and DNA. They will then learn how to design an experiment to extract DNA from fruit that they can do at home with their parents! Kitchen Chemistry will teach children how to make their own glow sticks and how to grow crystals at home. Eco EXPLORERS will complete the day with an exciting display of live exotic animals, ranging from tarantulas to snakes and stick insects. All three workshops will be delivered by NUI Galway students and staff members, all of whom want to share their enthusiasm for science. The workshops will run from 10am to 3pm and the cost of attending is €10 per child, with discounts available for multiple bookings (€15 for 2 children, €20 for 3 children). To register, email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie or or call 091 495748. Registration forms and payments will be organised on the day, from 9.30am to 10am. Places are limited, so early booking is advised. -Ends-

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Irish Centre for Human Rights and ICCL win top EU Rights contract

Irish Centre for Human Rights and ICCL win top EU Rights contract-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), NUI Galway, in close collaboration with project partner the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has won a major EU contract for Irish Law and Social Data Research and will become Ireland’s new national focal point for the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). This is the first time that the prestigious FRANET-Ireland contract for data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues in Ireland has been awarded to an Irish University-led bid. FRANET is the FRA’s multidisciplinary research network. It is composed of contractors in each EU Member State who provide relevant data to FRA on fundamental rights issues, to facilitate the Agency’s comparative analyses. This work of the FRA then informs EU policy and initiatives across the EU member States. The ICHR/ICCL project has assembled a team of Ireland’s leading human rights and social science experts, located at academic institutions and in civil society. Professor Michael O’Flaherty, the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, who becomes the FRANET Senior Expert for Ireland, commented: “We are very pleased to take on this contract that will generate crucial findings for the strengthening of fundamental rights in Ireland and across the EU. We are particularly pleased to partner with the ICCL and with Ireland’s top specialists to undertake this ground-breaking work.” Mark Kelly, the Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, who becomes the FRANET Senior Legal Expert for Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the ICHR to ensure that the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency has legally accurate and up-to-date information about the state of human rights in Ireland. We also look forward to spreading the word about the important evidence-based research published by the FRA.” Research will focus on a number of thematic areas. These include: access to justice; victims of crime, including compensation to victims; respect for private life and protection of personal data; Roma integration; judicial cooperation; rights of the child; discrimination; asylum, immigration and borders; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance.   ENDS

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NUI Galway Students are Building Ireland’s Most Energy-Efficient Car

NUI Galway Students are Building Ireland’s Most Energy-Efficient Car-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Engineering students from NUI Galway are designing and building ‘the Geec’ (Galway energy-efficient car), Ireland’s most fuel efficient car, efficient enough to drive from Galway to Dublin on less than €1 worth of electricity. In May 2015, the team will compete with 200 other teams at Shell Eco-marathon Europe as the first team ever to represent Ireland in the event. At Shell Eco-marathon a future generation of engineers and scientists aged 16-25 from around 25 countries compete in cars they design and build. Success is measured on who can drive the furthest on the equivalent of 1 kWh of electricity or 1 litre of fuel, thanks to their creative designs and technical know-how. Shell Eco-marathon aims to involve citizens globally in challenges related to energy and mobility, while inspiring them to consider innovative solutions. In May 2015 in Rotterdam, the Geec from NUI Galway will race in the prototype electric category. The car combines electric drive with a streamlined composite body and ultra-low resistance tyres. The team consists of students across the Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic and Energy Systems Engineering disciplines with full backing from the University’s College of Engineering and Informatics. The team is currently testing and tuning the car and is seeking to build relationships with partners and sponsors who can help to develop this project for the 2015 Eco-marathon and beyond. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, recently unveiled the car alongside Shell representatives, students and alumni. “The Shell Eco-Marathon was first established in 1939 and I am delighted to see students from our College of Engineering and Informatics participate as the event challenges students across the world to design build and race ultra-efficient vehicles. There has never been an Irish team to compete in the event and this will change in 2015 with NUI Galway's contribution to the world of eco-friendly transport. This is a great team of students taking on the design, building and racing Ireland's most fuel efficient car and I really do commend them and wish them well.” Shell Eco-marathon is one of the world’s most challenging student innovation competitions and takes place annually in Europe, America and Asia. The competition brings together current and future leaders, along with a broader public passionate about energy issues. It encourages debate around sustainable solutions to the challenge of rising global energy demand. Speaking at an event today where the Engineering students presented and exhibited the vehicle, Michael Crothers, Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland Limited, said: “Shell E&P Ireland is delighted to support NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics as it competes in the 30th anniversary of the Shell Eco-marathon in 2015. The design of ultra-energy efficient vehicles is both a lot of fun and a great chance to learn as students apply their talents across a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines.”  Continuing, Mr Crothers added: “The NUI Galway team will be pitting their technical skills against 3,000 of the best and brightest engineering students in Europe, and I know they will represent the great tradition of Irish engineering excellence very well.  I wish the team every success in the competition.” For more information on NUI Galway’s entry visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NUIGEcoMarathon, or visit www.nuigalway.ie/thegeec. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Exhibition on German Artist Caspar Walter Rauh

NUI Galway Exhibition on German Artist Caspar Walter Rauh-image

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

NUI Galway’s discipline of German will launch a new art exhibition presenting engravings by Caspar Walter Rauh on Wednesday, 22 October at 5pm in Art Gallery in the Quadrangle. Rauh (1912-1983) was a German graphic artist, illustrator and painter working in the tradition of Fantastic Realism and Surrealism. Despite the huge initial success of his drawings and engravings after World War II, inspired by traumatic experiences as a soldier in Russia, public interest in his works declined as Germany turned its back on the war. He became an outsider who was ignored by mainstream art. It is only in recent years that Rauh’s work has been rediscovered with its Bosch-like testimony to the cruelties of the war. For the first time in Ireland, this exhibition displays some of his finest engravings, mostly created after 1960 – technically brilliant phantasmagories reminiscent of earlier traumas but increasingly revealing the artist’s whimsical sense of humour and his inclination towards the idyllic and bizarre. Dream-like images, oscillating between barbaric violence and fairy-tale fantasies, reflect the complexity of a highly original artist. The exhibition has been curated by NUI Galway’s Professor Hans-Walter Schmidt-Hannisa and Michael Shields, and is sponsored by the German Embassy and the Arts Office, NUI Galway. All are welcome to attend the launch, followed by a reception in the presence of the German cultural attaché, Peter Adams. The exhibition will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 1-4.30pm until Saturday, 8 November. -Ends-

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Law Lecturer Appointed by Government to Working Group on Asylum

Law Lecturer Appointed by Government to Working Group on Asylum-image

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dr Ciara Smyth, Director of the Doctoral Programme in the School of Law, NUI Galway, has been appointed to the government’s Working Group on Asylum.  The Working Group, which is convened by the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, and chaired by retired High Court judge, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, is to recommend to Government what improvements should be made to the State’s existing direct provision and protection processes for asylum seekers in the short and longer term.  The establishment of the Working Group comes in response to mounting criticism of delays in the Irish asylum procedure and the conditions in which asylum seekers are required to live while they await the outcome of their asylum applications.  Other members of the Working Group include: Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council and Sophie Magennis, Head of UNHCR in Ireland.  Dr Ciara Smyth has been working in the asylum field for over fifteen years, both as a practitioner and as an academic.  She teaches Immigration Law, International Human Rights and International Law in the School of Law, NUI Galway, and Refugee Law in the Irish Centre for Human Rights.  She has been involved in training of staff in the asylum institutions, has conducted master-classes for barristers, solicitors and asylum decision-makers on various aspects of refugee law, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Refugee Council.  She has just published a monograph with Routledge on  European Asylum Law and the Rights of the Child. Last year Ciara was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg for her PhD thesis on ‘The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance’, which she completed at Leiden University. Welcoming the announcement of Dr Smyth’s appointment to the new Working Group, the Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, said: “This is a well-deserved recognition of Ciara Smyth’s standing as a leading Irish and European scholar on asylum and related matters. I have no doubt that she will make an invaluable contribution to the Working Group which will be chaired by Judge McMahon who was, previously, a part-time Professor in the School of Law at NUI Galway.” -Ends-

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