27 September 2023

University of Galway team up with county libraries to encourage young people to engage with STEM

Audiovisual kits available to borrow in six libraries in Offaly, Mayo, Cork and Galway as young people take part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition    The University of Galway based STEM programme ReelLIFE SCIENCE has presented six libraries around Ireland with audiovisual equipment to help young people in schools and youth groups take part in the innovative science video competition.  Now in its 11th year, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges young science enthusiasts and filmmakers across the island of Ireland, north and south, to produce fun short science videos to educate and entertain the public.  With a prize fund of more than €5000, the best videos from primary schools, secondary schools and youth organisations will each win €1000 and will be screened for the public at the Galway Science and Technology Festival at University of Galway on November 12, 2023. Videos can be up to three minutes in length and can communicate any aspect of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), including topics like: Climate Action, How Things Work, Emerging Technology and Marvels of Medicine.  Filming can be on smartphones, tablets or cameras. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 13.  Through the Digital Libraries partnership with Foróige, the audiovisual kits were presented to libraries in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Castlebar and Ballina in Co Mayo, Castletownbere and Youghal in Co Cork, and Westside Library in Galway City.  The kits can be borrowed by young people to help them with their productions. Speaking about the collaboration, ReelLIFE SCIENCE Founding Director Dr Enda O’Connell, said: “We are very excited to launch this pilot project with these six libraries, to enable more young people to engage with science and technology in a creative way. Having a scientifically engaged public from all regions and backgrounds has never been more important, and through the support of Science Foundation Ireland, we plan on expanding this initiative to more libraries around the country in the coming years.” Since launching in 2013, more than 23,000 young people in 700 schools and youth organisations in Ireland have taken part in the ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme, producing over 2,500 short science videos.  ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme, University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, the CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, and the Cell EXPLORERS science outreach programme. More information about taking part can be found at www.reellifescience.com. An introductory video on ReelLIFE SCIENCE is also available in English or Irish.  Ends

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26 September 2023

University of Galway’s open days to feature interactive, hands-on experiences

University of Galway are inviting prospective students, parents, guidance counsellors and teachers for the autumn undergraduate open days – with new special events offering hands-on experiences of some of the most innovative teaching and learning facilities. A perfect opportunity for students to start preparing for CAO 2024, the autumn open days take place Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, from 9am to 3pm. The University offers over 60 internationally recognised undergraduate degrees courses in areas such as Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences, Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, Law and Hotel Management and over 90% of courses offer students a work placement and/or study abroad opportunity ensuring graduates are work place ready, and much sought after by employers at home and abroad. The two-day event is spread across five exhibitions and the schedule includes the largest ever programme of talks with over 100 course, subject, career and student support talks on offer. A special feature of this open day will be exclusive access to some of the University’s most innovative teaching and learning facilities and hands-on experiences including: -       Future medical students and their parents will not want to miss the interactive tour of new world-class healthcare simulation facilities located in the Clinical Science Institute Building. The interactive tour takes place on Saturday only and places are limited. Visitors can book a place on the tour at the Medicine stand in the Red Zone and the tour commences at 9:45am from the Red Zone. -       The School of Law’s Moot Court will be open to visitors with five tours taking place each day. The Moot Court is designed to replicate the experience of a real court hearing for our students! Registration is required in advance at Stand 4 in the Orange Zone. -       The College of Science and Engineering are offering interactive zones for future students to explore pathways and courses from 9am to 3pm on both the Friday and Saturday in the Green Zone (Engineering) and Purple Zone (Science and Computer Science). -       Visitors are invited to join a Drama Masterclass, a practical drama workshop that gives a taste of the University’s degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Spaces are limited and registration is required in advance at the Drama stand in the Orange Zone. -       Music students will be interested in a Music Masterclass by the ConTempo Quartet, recognised as one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today. The masterclass is taking place on Friday only at 1pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Pink Zone. The open day schedule includes a series of talks that will help students and parents prepare for college life with talks on Student Life, Sport, Study Abroad, Careers and ALIVE volunteering. The Access Centre will host sessions on alternative pathways, mature student supports and the QQI/FETAC/PLC entry route. Parents are invited to attend a Parents’ Talk taking place on at 11:30am (on the Saturday only) with advice and guidance on how parents can support the progression to third level.  Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, highlighted the importance of providing students with opportunities to explore the campus and think about their future studies: “The aim of our open days is to give students a taste of college life and hopefully a sense of great possibility for their future university studies. Our University is ranked in the top 2% of universities globally and in the top 100 in Europe in addition to being ranked 34th in the world and number one university in Ireland by the THE Impact Rankings for its efforts in progressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Our lecturers, staff and students are looking forward to meeting future students to help them navigate their way through the many diverse and exciting study and career pathways that await them.” Advance registration is required, with further information and the full programme available at www.universityofgalway.ie/opendays, or by emailing opendays@universityofgalway.ie. Ends

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25 September 2023

University of Galway awarded special €1.3m fund for consent research and education

Higher Education Authority announces Performance Funding in recognition of work of Active Consent   University of Galway has been awarded a special €1.3million fund in respect of efforts to develop research, education and awareness around consent. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. announced the Performance Funding at an event at SETU Carlow as part of dedicated investment by the Higher Education Authority which recognise innovative programmes to help create a better society. University of Galway is one of only 5 institutions to be awarded funding under the HEA initiative. The €1.3million fund was secured following the submission of a case study which outlines the pioneering and innovative work of the Active* Consent programme, from its inception in 2013 as a consent education and research initiative, through to it being scaled up from 2019-2022, and its place as a national programme promoting healthy relationships and fostering a culture of respect.  The programme has worked with nearly all Irish higher education institutions, addressing student needs on consent, sexual violence and harassment and upskilling the staff who support them.  University of Galway has been successful in securing HEA performance funding in all four rounds of allocation, totalling almost €4 million. Projects supported highlight areas of strength and development such as gender equality; research excellence - on the back of a very strong performance in the Horizon 2020 programme for European research; and Access - enabling university opportunities for students from non-traditional backgrounds including students with disabilities, Irish Travellers and students from further education. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The award of €1.3m in Government funding to help progress the consent agenda is both a recognition of the success of the work done to date in research, education and awareness, as well as being a signal of what more can be achieved. The work has always been firmly embedded in one of our University’s core values – respect. I would like to pay tribute to the work of all those involved in Active* Consent and those who support its endeavours every day.”  Caroline Loughnane, Secretary for Governance and Academic Affairs at University of Galway, said: “Huge credit goes to all those who have been involved in the pioneering work of Active* Consent. We are delighted to see the recognition for the academic work, as well as the impact that the team and their initiatives are having in wider society. This allocation of performance funding for the fourth successive year further demonstrates the impactful, progressive nature of initiatives at University of Galway.” Dr Pádraig Mac Neela, Head of Psychology at University of Galway and co-director Active Consent, said: "The Active* Consent programme works with young people and staff in universities, further education, post-primary schools, and we have established evidence-based resources, training and education that open up conversations about consent and help young people build the skills that they need. We prepare staff to support positive developmental transitions and to manage disclosures of assault or harassment. The HEA Performance Funding award will enable us to continue our ten-year story of research, training and education to meet our ambition of having integrated Consent education from post-primary schools into Further and Higher Education.”  As highlighted in the submission to the HEA, Active* Consent has had a wide-ranging impact in higher education, on national policy, and as part of the national discourse on consent. 22,000 first year students participated in workshops (2022-23)  90% recommend workshop participation and 91% learned something useful 2,800 students attended live consent drama (2022-23); with 75% agreeing their understanding of consent improved  1,500 HE staff and students trained as consent workshop facilitators since 2016 170 staff completed 12-hour First Point of Contact disclosure skills training since 2021 Earlier this year, Active* Consent marked the launch of its 2023-27 programme with the publication of a report reviewing the scale of work undertaken during its first large scale programme, 2019-2022, and an outline of goals to expand the work over the next five years. Active* Consent is now acknowledged as the sectoral standard and leading national programme for consent, with a wide range of stakeholder partnerships including Union of Students Ireland, Galway RCC and Rape Crisis Network Ireland, and SOLAS/Education & Training Boards Ireland. In 2021 the HEA adopted the Active* Consent campus climate survey tool to assess student and staff experiences. Ends    

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