University of Stirling

Development and External Affairs

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News Archive

October 2004

Olympic Spirit Under Pressure

25 Years in Bangladesh

Stirling Promotes the Role of Arts in Education

The Principal's Music

Research Seminars in Sport

New University of Stirling Sports Facilities

An Alternative Economic Strategy for Scotland

Olympic Spirit Under Pressure

Date released: Friday 1 October 2004


The Olympic Games have once again enthralled the world - despite an unprecedented number of challenges to the celebrated Olympic spirit. While Michael Phelps, Kelly Holmes, Hichem El Garrouj and others provided us with a wealth of unforgettable memories, Athens 2004 will also be remembered as the Games of contested decisions and judging controversies.

German three-day eventer, Bettina Hoy, lost her gold medal after a technical transgression in the show jumping phase. American runner, Joanna Hayes, held on to hers despite a collision between two of her fellow competitors in the 100 metres hurdles. Meanwhile the fate of the gymnastics gold won by the American, Paul Hamm, in the men’s all-round competition hangs in the balance after the US Olympic Committee rejected the proposal of the Fédération Internationale Gymnastique to hand the medal over to South Korea’s Yang Tae-young who claims that he missed out on top spot because of a scoring error.

Several athletes were stripped of their medals following positive drug tests, and Greek sprinters Kostas Kenderis and Ekaterina Thanou controversially withdrew from the Games after failing to attend a pre-Games test - and then being involved in a motor cycle crash a few hours later.

With these incidents still fresh in the memory, UK Sport has now published an important new report examining a wide range of initiatives that have been developed around the world to promote the concept of fair play. Produced by Professor Wray Vamplew and Dr Paul Dimeo from the University of Stirling, “Sporting Conduct: An International Perspective”, provides a base of evidence that will inform UK Sport’s thinking about widening the sporting conduct agenda, with children and young people being a potential target.

While Professor Vamplew‘s investigations reveal many examples of fair play across the world - both pan-sport and sport-specific - he also finds a remarkable lack of consensus about the definition of ethical conduct in sport and how to achieve it.

Professor Vamplew said: “Improving sporting conduct by exhortation and osmosis seemed to be the overwhelming feature of most strategies and very little evaluation of the outcome of most initiatives has been undertaken.”

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Wray Vamplew

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466491

boy holding tray of fish25 Years in Bangladesh

Date released: Monday 4 October

Long established as one of the leading international centres in its field, working with people, organisations and governments all round the world, the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture is celebrating 25 years of collaborative work in research, teaching and development projects in Bangladesh.

Though home to millions of the world’s poorest people, Bangladesh has immense water resources and fish and shrimp play an important cultural and economic role, bringing essential nutrition to poor households and valuable earnings on international markets. Aquaculture has been one of the biggest success stories in development in Bangladesh and since 1979, with the support of the UK Department of International Development (DFID), the Institute has been working with research and teaching institutions in Bangladesh to protect resources, develop aquaculture and work with communities to improve their conditions.

One of the most important links is with the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), which is hosting a day of celebrations on Tuesday 5 October to mark 25 years of co-operation with Stirling. Professor Christina Sommerville, Stirling’s Dean of Natural Sciences, who made the Institute’s first British Council funded visit to Bangladesh in 1979 upon the basis of which future collaborations were founded, will be a special guest.

Professor James Muir, who runs the current DFID Aquaculture and Fish Genetics Research Programme and has been extensively involved in academic training, research management and development projects in Bangladesh over this period, will also attend, and provide a keynote presentation on the future directions for development.

Current DFID projects with the BAU include looking at how aquaculture and agriculture systems interact and developing mechanisms to maximise returns, improving marketing channels for aquatic products and understanding how poor people can achieve sustainable benefits from these systems. The Institute and BAU are also investigating how poor farmers can effectively produce and market young tilapia from rice fields.

DFID Research Programme Officer, Anton Immink, said: “Traditionally wild fish have been harvested from rice paddies, but the introduction of higher yielding rice and accompanying pesticides have reduced yields of fish and other aquatic animals. One approach we have tried with poor farmers is to use rice fields to produce juvenile fish that can then be sold to pond owners. Stocking and harvesting fish can double poor farmers’ incomes compared to producing rice alone. This approach is promoted through farmer field schools.”

More than 100 Bangladeshis have studied for a Master’s or PhD as a result of the joint collaborations. The Institute of Aquaculture has also just received funding from the Association of Commonwealth Universities for a new distance learning Master’s in Aquatic Resource Development, which will widen access further.

To find out more about the Institute’s work in Bangladesh and the DFID Aquaculture and Genetics Research Programme log onto: www.dfid.stir.ac.uk/afgrp


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Dr Dave Little of the Institute of Aquaculture

telephone Tel: 07746 373382
address Mr Will Leschen of the Institute of Aquaculture
telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466578
address Dr Benoy Barman of the Institute of Aquaculture
  Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466582
address Professor Abdul Wahab of the Bangladesh Agricultural University
telephone Tel: Home (+880) 9154927
telephone Tel: Mobile (+880) 173 000 930

Stirling Promotes Role of Arts in Education

Date released: Tuesday 5 October

A survey of arts organisations, arts education officers and creative links officers in Scotland has shown great enthusiasm for using the arts in formal education. However the research, undertaken by the University of Stirling’s Institute of Education, has revealed a classroom conflict between meeting curriculum targets and time to engage in the arts.

The Institute’s Development Officer for Arts and Social Inclusion, Heather Lynch, said: “Teachers are under great pressure to fulfil specified levels of attainment in traditional academic subjects which are not generally associated with the arts. So while some space can be made for primary school children to enjoy a limit amount of time with arts specialists, as they move to secondary - unless they benefit from attending a school in which the head particularly recognises the value of the arts - such opportunities are increasingly limited.”

Respondents to the survey have described the barriers to arts in education as primarily attitudinal, where there is a lack of understanding by many teachers of what the arts are and what are the benefits of their use in the classroom.

Ms Lynch said: “The survey has shown that while a few enlightened teachers have embraced the arts as a learning tool, such understanding is far from widespread and the school timetable and structure of the curriculum are still very much viewed as at odds with opportunities to engage with the arts.”

In a bid to identify the arts as a fundamental means of nurturing creativity in young people, the Institute is holding a participatory conference for 10-14 year olds on Wednesday 6 October (today) entitled ART-LAB. The young delegates will be offered a range of workshop opportunities, where they will be able to engage with artists who are developing ideas that link with the curriculum.

Ms Lynch said: “The main aim of the conference is to provide an experience thorough which young people can express their views on use of the arts in learning. Throughout the course of the conference and subsequent to it, the young people who have taken part will be given the opportunity to reflect on their experience. They will be invited to explore just what they think that they have gained or not from the workshops and how this compares with more orthodox methods of teaching which they have experienced at school.”

The information generated by the conference will add to the discussion on how the arts can be used in education to promote learning within curricular areas as well as nurturing creativity and widening perception of the arts. This will all be seen from the perspective of young people who are ultimately on the receiving end of any new educational approaches.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

 

 
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Heather Lynch

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466262

The Principal's Music

Date released: Tuesday 12 October 2004

The University of Stirling will continue its series of informal lunchtime musical recitals in the MacRobert Foyer - The Principal’s Music - with a performance by Blackford Fiddle Group this October.

The band will play a selection of traditional tunes from 12.15-1pm on Monday 18 October.

The next recital in the series will take place on Monday 8 November when the Billy Thom Band will play swinging mainstream jazz from 12.30-1.15pm.

The final recital of the semester will be held on Monday 13 December when Dollar Academy Chamber Choir will sing a selection of Christmas songs from 1.15-2pm.

All three events are open to the public and are free of charge. Further information is available from the External Relations, University of Stirling, Tel: (01786) 467055 or E-mail: c&d@stir.ac.uk


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Khlayre Mullin

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466675

Research Seminars in Sport

Date released: Tuesday 19 October 2004

The University of Stirling's Department of Sport Studies will launch a series of research seminars in sport this semester.

The first lecture in the series will take place on Thursday 21 October in the Tennis Centre Meeting Room, Gannochy Sports Centre, University of Stirling at 5.30pm.

Dr Derek Ball, of the School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, will give a talk on Integrating Fat And Carbohydrate Utilisation At Rest And Under Metabolic Demand.

The process of muscle contraction and force generation utilises ATP - the body fuel necessary for this muscle contraction. There is no store of ATP rather it is regenerated from the oxidation of fat and carbohydrate. The muscle cell integrates each metabolic pathway but precisely how this is achieved is still not fully understood. This lecture will examine how a common metabolite in both fat and carbohydrate catabolism could hold some insight into metabolic integration.       

The next lecture in the series will take place on Thursday 11 November at 5.30pm when Professor Stefan Szymanski of Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London will speak on The Economics of Baseball and Soccer: A comparison. The venue will be the Tennis Centre Meeting Room.

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

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Dr Joe Bradley

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466493

New University of Stirling Sports Facilities

Date released: Tuesday 19 October 2004

The University of Stirling will officially launch its new artificial sports pitches and running track on Thursday 21 October thanks to a funding partnership with the Foundation for Sport and the Arts.

The new artificial football, hockey and athletics surfaces will enhance the state of the art facilities already on offer at the University. These include the National Swimming Academy 50m swimming pool, the Gannochy National Tennis Centre, golf academy, squash courts, fitness centre, sports hall, grass pitches and angling, sailing and canoeing opportunities on Airthrey Loch.

Head of University's Department of Sports Studies, Professor Grant Jarvie said: "The creation of these new sports facilities on campus is fantastic news for the University, the local community and the Department of Sport Studies.   Stirling has just been granted Healthy City status and we hope that its citizens will continue to take advantage of the fantastic sport facilities on offer at the University. The University is grateful for the support the Foundation for Sport and the Arts has provided to this project. It is crucial that Scottish universities are able to keep apace with the very best sporting provision in English universities. Higher education has a vital part to play in the delivery of sports facilities, teaching and sports research in the UK."

Lord Faulkner of Worcester, trustee of the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, will perform the opening ceremony which will commence at 11.30am.

Facts about sport at Stirling:

  • The University was the first Scottish University to invite the community to use its sports facilities back in 1974 and today two thirds of users are from the community.
  • 270 children per week attend after school sports coaching classes delivered by the Department of Sport Studies and in June this year 545 children from local schools attended sport activity days.
  • Four Stirling students fulfilled their lifetime dream when they competed in the Olympics in Athens: hockey player Graham Moodie (History) played in all of team GB's matches during the qualifying stages, swimmers Todd Cooper (Film & Media Studies) and David O'Brien (Sports Studies) competed in the pool and Nick Neckles (Economics) swam for Barbados.  
  • Psychology graduate Mhairi Love (BSc 2003) competed in a number of events in the Paralympics winning two silvers medals in the women's 50m freestyle and the women's 400m freestyle.
  • The University has been awarded £500,000 by the Sportscotland Lottery Fund towards the development of a national training centre for tennis. Based at the Gannochy National Tennis Centre, the new facilities will include two indoor acrylic and two outdoor clay courts to complement the four existing courts as well as office space for performance staff.
  • Professor Fred Coalter of the Department of Sport Studies has been appointed as a ministerial adviser on physical activity, exercise and health.
  • The University will launch a new Physical Education degree in September 2005 for students who aspire to be a positive influence on the lives on young people.
  • The University's International Sports Scholarship Scheme now includes more than 40 students.

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

For further information:

 
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Professor Grant Jarvie

Head of the Department of Sports Studies

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466490

An Alternative Economic Strategy for Scotland

Date released: Thursday 21 October 2004

Professor Gregor Gall will launch a set of proposals aimed at bringing about extensive participation and democracy at work at a conference on An Alternative Economic Strategy for Scotland in Glasgow tomorrow (Friday).

The proposals entitled, The Case for Industrial Democracy, lay out rights for individual workers, union and non-union, and for collectives of workers, union and non-union. They cover rights of information, consultation, representation and negotiation, and culminate in the right to the co-determination of the business or organisation in which staff work.

Commenting on the proposals, Professor Gall said:

“Currently, people can vote in elections to decide their government and local councils but they have no say in the appointment of those that manage and control them at work. These proposals do not advocate the election of management but they do say that workforces should have the ability to co-determine the conditions under which they work. This would mean a major advance on the low-level and restricted type of consultation currently required of employers. Not only would the proposals ensure an elementary level of democracy at work but morale and productivity would likely increase too.”

The conference is being held at the STUC’s Glasgow headquarters. Professor Gall is scheduled to speak at 11.15am.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Professor Gregor Gall

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467315 or +44 (0) 131 556 5064