All 2011

Distinguished Lecture on Inequalities, Interculturalism and Diversity

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Lifecourse Institute (LCI) at NUI Galway is holding its annual Honorary Public Lecture on Wednesday, 18 May entitled Inequality and Diversity across the Lifecourse: Intercultural Perspectives. The main speaker, UNESCO Chair, Professor Jagdish Gundara will address the issues of interculturalism, diversity, in-equality and how groups of children and families, older people and people with disabilities are affected. The lessons learnt from interculturalism in the UK and elsewhere will be drawn on, as well as looking at the Irish perspective and where we stand now within a recession context and going forward. Professor Gundara is a distinguished academic in the area of intercultural education and human rights and holds the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural Education in the University of London. He has also acted as an advisor to a range of Governments on intercultural approaches, including the former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair. His presentation will be followed by a response from an Irish perspective by Dr. Siobhán Mullally of the Law Faculty of University College Cork. Dr. Mullally is an expert on international human rights law and its applicability in Ireland and elsewhere and has published and presented widely on issues on interculturalism, equality, gender issues. She has also acted as an advisor to a range of UN bodies and international NGOs. Dr. Siobhán Mullally has held visiting posts in a range of international universities, including Harvard and Cornell Law Schools. The Lifecourse Institute comprises a multidisciplinary facility which is intended to integrate and enhance the work of three existing centres at NUI Galway: the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Child and Family Research Centre, and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. The aim of the Lifecourse Institute is to impact positively on future policies for children and families, persons with disabilities and older people through advancing an integrated approach to research, policy and services. Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the LCI, commented: “We are delighted to host such distinguished speakers and to open up the debate to the floor on such an important topic that has implications for many groups in Irish society.” Ireland is currently at a crossroads in terms of how we address diversity going forward and the type of society we want to become. Professor Dolan added: “Less than five years ago, Ireland was discussing how it could import migrants to meet the requirements of the labour market and now we are feeling the effects of the recession and the resulting hardships, including emigration. Ireland has, however, become more multicultural over the last decade and it is essential that we look at how we can become a more inclusive society and ensure that newcomers are welcomed and interculturalism and integration are promoted.” The lecture is open to all and it is hoped to have a lively debate after the presentations. The Lifecourse Institute Annual Honorary Public Lecture will be held on Wednesday, 18 May at 5:30 to 7:00pm in MY243 Aras Moyola at NUI Galway. Bookings and further information on the seminar can be obtained from Iwona Jakubczyk ‎at -Ends-

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NUI Galway and GMIT sign Strategic Partnership

Friday, 6 May 2011

NUI Galway and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) are pleased to announce a new strategic partnership to serve the educational, social and economic needs of their students and the wider regional, national and international communities. The agreement, formally signed in GMIT this evening (Thursday 5th May), provides for collaborative opportunities in teaching and learning, research, entrepreneurship, regional development, commercialisation, programme design, distance education, and work-based learning. Increasingly, higher education institutions are finding new ways of pooling expertise, knowledge and resources as a means of releasing new energy and vision in the national interest. This agreement has been drawn up in that spirit of co-operation and collaboration. Both institutions will work closely together in promoting flexible learning, flexible programme delivery, student placements, internships, staff development and the development of adjunct research positions. GMIT and NUI Galway will also devise a joint Teaching, Learning and Assessment strategy to provide programmes that focus on the needs of students, the workplace and the world of professional practice in the region, nationally and internationally. A key objective of the agreement is to ensure that research programmes are of the highest quality and delivered in accordance with best international practice. Recognising NUI Galway as the lead institution in the research domain, and the established research experience of GMIT in particular areas, both institutions will work together to develop a collaborative strategy for research. It is envisaged that research staff and students will also have access to each other’s research facilities. In addition, in another very significant development, GMIT and NUI Galway will actively develop joint and dual research awards at Masters and Doctoral levels. Both institutions are also committed to supporting the emerging vision for Galway 2040 and engaging with local businesses and the community in developing and delivering key projects to ensure that Galway continues to grow and prosper. Speaking from the US where he is currently on University business, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said: “This partnership between NUI Galway and GMIT underlines the fact that both our educational institutions are working with the strengths and needs of our region and in the interest of the regional and Irish economy. GMIT has an excellent record in teaching and learning and NUI Galway is proud to collaborate with the Institute to support research and education at both institutions. NUI Galway is committed to building national and international alliances which will serve society, support industry and generate economic activity.” GMIT President Michael Carmody said: “I very much welcome this important and historic alliance between our two higher education institutions. Collaborations of this kind are key strategies in the future development of higher education nationally and internationally. ” “I would like to acknowledge the important contribution of GMIT Chairman Rory O’Connor whose term as Chairman ends later this month and who was instrumental in bringing this agreement to fruition.” added Mr Carmody. -Ends-

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New Report Identifies Importance of Life Course Perspective to Policy Planning

Friday, 6 May 2011

A life course approach to policy planning now will promote solidarity between future generations A report into the developmental welfare state was launched today by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD, at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. The research report is entitled ’Community Engagement in Ireland’s Developmental Welfare State: A Study of the Life Cycle Approach.’ The research was funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “This research demonstrates the understanding that community organisations have of the needs of ordinary people in the current economic climate. It is extremely relevant to Government because it provides a clear picture of the realities of policy-making in challenging times,” said Minister Burton. The NUI Galway research report is the product of an 18-month study and consultative research process by researchers at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and School of Business and Economics. The result is a highly relevant and timely research report that sheds light on current and future policy priorities for vulnerable groups. Research results show that successful social policy planning requires a focus on the future, which means taking a life course perspective and a ’person-centred’ approach [i.e. planning for the childhood, maturity and old age of babies born today]. The report states that achieving that person-centred approach is challenging but achievable. The key is to put the citizen at the centre. “The idea that ’people matter’ in policy planning is recognised by international organisations such as the UN,” said lead author of the report, Dr. Gemma Carney. “In Ireland, we are fortunate to have an engaged and resourceful community sector that is willing to speak up for less fortunate groups. The test now is how we use that resource in challenging economic circumstances,” she added. There is room for learning in terms of how policy is developed for current and future generations. Best practice for one vulnerable group should be used to inform development of policy for others. “A life course perspective is about being both strategic and practical,” says Dr. Carney. “Recommendations of the National Positive Ageing Strategy, when that is published, should be mindful of what is already published in the National Women’s Strategy. This hasn’t been done in the past and, as a result, lack of educational opportunities, combined with caring responsibilities leave many women without an old age pension. If we were planning for the whole life course, our system of social protection would help women avoid these sorts of later life traps.” The researchers concluded that the broad range of strategies used by community activists inside and outside social partnership are an asset for good governance. Dr Tony Dundon, co-author of the report, added: “By embracing diversity and engaging in social dialogue, new opportunities for creativity and participation can benefit society more generally. Our research shows that the vitality of the community and voluntary pillar in Ireland is an exemplar of equity, voice and governance in policy-making.” Research participants from the Community and Voluntary pillar demonstrated a wide range of policy innovations in supporting vulnerable citizens across all life stages. Children’s rights, long-term care for older people, implementation of national strategies, and unemployment are among some of the key outstanding issues. Community activists who engaged in the research cited the Developmental Welfare State, itself an initiative of social partnership, as highly significant. The research recommends that a clear national strategy should be established in order to accomplish the Developmental Welfare State by embracing diversity and inclusion in both social and economic policy-making. -Ends-

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NUI Galway's Moore Institute to Host Workshop on Modernism

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

As part of the research project '1916 and After', the Moore Institute and the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, NUI Galway, will hold a one-day workshop entitled The Shadows of Modernism on Thursday, 12 May, 2011 at the Moore Institute Seminar Room, NUI Galway. The workshops, led by Margaret Higonnet (University of Connecticut), and Mario Perniola (University of Rome, Tor Vergata) will interrogate aspects and issues of modernism which have been neglected or are still unsought in the context of the rapid transformation of aesthetic and social phenomena. Margaret Higonnet's workshop is titled Breaking Down and Building Up: Women, War and Modernism. Mario Perniola's workshop will deal with The Stalling of Western Aesthetics and the Rising of Oriental Thought. The workshops will have a master-class format with opportunities for discussion and interaction. For further information please contact Paolo Bartoloni at Registration to the workshop is free. To make a booking please email This project is sponsored by a NUI Galway Research Support Fund. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Comic Book Society Scoop National Society Award

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The NUI Galway Comic Book Society has won the Best New Society Award at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) Awards ceremony held at NUI Galway. BICS, the Board of Irish College Societies is dedicated to providing a national forum for the societies across Ireland s Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Education and promoting their interests and working towards best practice in the sector. The National Awards are the highlight of the year for the Societies nationwide where the best from each institution compete for the coveted awards. According to this year's Awards coordinator and NUI Galway Societies Officer Ríona Hughes, "NUI Galway was delighted to host the largest awards to date. The standard was outstanding congratulations to all the winners." Full details of the Awards at -Ends-

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