University of Stirling

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News Archive

February 2006

Free Care for the Elderly is Fairer System

University Golfers Shape Up in the USA

University to Host Cross-Country Championships

Rwandan Ambassador Visits Institute of Aquaculture

Plight of the British Bumblebee

University Wins More Than £1.1 Million in Scholarships

Reward for Services to the Environment

Are Women Getting Their Fair Share of News?

Gender and Citizenship

Is Hydrogen Scotland's Safe, Secure and Sustainable Energy Solution?

Could Smoking Ban Stop Other Bad Habits?

War for Oil?

Free Care for the Elderly is Fairer System

Date released: Wednesday 1 February 2006

Scotland’s go-it-alone policy of providing free personal care for older people at home and in residential and nursing homes has created a fairer system without undue extra public spending. Older people who use care services and their families feel that the arrangements introduced in 2001 are more equitable and an improvement on the past, as do social care managers in Scottish local authorities and care home providers, according to an independent assessment carried out for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation by the University of Stirling.

And while free personal care – such as help with washing, dressing and grooming – has reduced means-testing and money worries for older people with modest means, it has not led to a feared reduction in informal support provided by relatives and friends. Researchers from the University of Stirling, who organised group discussions with older people and their relatives, indicated that free personal care at home had helped informal carers by allowing them more time to carry out other, less hands-on support tasks.

An economic analysis included in the report shows that the policy has cost more than expected (for example, £127 million in 2002/3 compared with the £107 million planned). However, the current annual cost of £140 million takes 0.6 per cent of the Scottish Executive’s total £25 billion budget, so only makes a marginal impact on other areas of public spending.

The study also concludes that differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK in the public costs of personal and nursing care are smaller than policy debates have suggested. This is because care home residents in Scotland no longer receive Attendance Allowance (worth £61 a week at the higher rate) while payments for nursing care are typically more generous in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (£65 per week in Scotland, compared with up to £129 a week in England). Scotland has also managed to reduce its cost profile by making proportionally greater use of care at home for frail, older people.

Looking ahead, the report anticipates that a major increase in the number of people aged 85 and over might lead to a potential tripling of the public costs of personal care by 2053. However, a further shift towards providing more care services at home, combined with policies to promote healthier life expectancy, could significantly reduce the projected bill.

Researchers Professor David Bell and Professor Alison Bowes of the University of Stirling also found that:

• Free personal and nursing care has particularly benefited older people with degenerative conditions such as dementia, ensuring that means-tested payments are no longer a burden at a time when they require increasing personal care.


• There are still some misunderstandings among older people and carers about the extent of free personal care. When the policy was first introduced, many had believed that all care would be free of charge, including bed and board ‘hotel’ charges in residential homes. Even so, free personal and nursing care are seen as an improvement.


• There is continuing concern among local authorities as well as older people and their carers about the interaction between care charging policies and other parts of the welfare system, especially benefits.


• Older people from black and minority ethnic groups continue to have limited access to care services that recognise and provide for their cultural needs.

Professor Bowes of the Department of Applied Social Science said: “We found that free personal care in Scotland has promoted more ‘joined up’ approaches to the care of older people, while reducing their money worries and enabling their relatives and friends to continue provide additional, informal care. In that way, it has helped to improve the quality of life for frail older people and improve and support their choice of care services.”


Professor Bell of the Department of Economics added that the Scottish experience had important implications for the rest of the UK – although a transfer of the free personal care policy to England, Wales and Northern Ireland would not be simple or straightforward: “Changes in the past five years in provision of nursing care have caused the funding of the care systems in different parts of the UK to diverge. As a result, applying free personal care in other parts of the UK would be extremely complex. Even so, the Scottish experience offers valuable insights for future care policies that could be pursued elsewhere.”

Welcoming the report, Sir Christopher Kelly, former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Heath in Whitehall and chair of the JRF’s Advisory Group on Long-term Care of Older People said: “Although older people, their families, local authorities and care home providers agree there are anomalies that need ironing out, it is clear that the arrangements in Scotland are an improvement on the past and regarded as fairer than comparable schemes for the rest of the UK. The Scottish experience provides important clues to the ways that the English White Paper on health and social care could produce reforms that better fit the aspirations and sense of fairness of those affected.”

Lesley Pollock
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Professor David Bell

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

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Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467486 or 07720 440835


University Golfers Shape Up in the USA

Date released: Friday 3 February 2006

The University of Stirling women’s golf team returned this week from a 16-day competitive trip in buoyant mood after a number of spectacular performances on the Florida Orange Blossom Women’s Golf Tour.

Leading the way was 4th year Business Studies student, Olivia Briggs. The England internationalist lost out in the final of the Doherty-Jones Championship at the 3rd extra hole, played over the Robert Trent Jones designed and owned Coral Ridge Country Club.

The field for the event was exceptionally strong and included current US Curtis Cup team captain, Carole Semple-Thompson and current US Seniors Champion Diane Laing, as well as a number of other leading US players. Alex Marshall (3rd year Sports Studies) and Dawn Dewar (3rd year Marketing) were also prominent in the event. England internationalist, Marshall, won the First Flight Championship whilst Scottish internationalist, Dewar, lost out in the Second Flight final.

Briggs and Dewar continued their fine form during the second week at the Orangebrook CC Women’s International Four-ball Event. They eventually lost in the semi-finals to a last-green defeat from the Florida-pairing of Michelle Hartnell and Paula Fitzpatrick. The event was won by home-state players, US senior women’s amateur golf champion Diane Lang from Weston and Monica Von Glahn (North Palm Beach).

Olivia Briggs said: “I am very happy with the way I played. Considering our last competitive event was in October, I was pleasantly surprised with how well all of the Stirling players fared. It is thanks to the University that we were able to make this fantastic trip and hopefully we can come back next year, go one step further and bring home a championship title.”

The trip, funded by the University’s International Sports Scholarship Programme, was completed with a match against the University of Central Florida’s women’s team who are coached by former British Women’s Open champion and Solheim Cup player, Emile Klein.

Praising the Stirling players, Klein said: “The Scottish girls can hit the ball a long-way and show excellent competitive spirit. I’m sure they could step-up to the plate in any NCAA competition.”

The trip represented the second time in as many years that the University’s women’s golf team has visited the USA. Last year the team travelled to Seattle to compete in the University of Washington’s Invitational Tournament. In April, Stirling’s men’s golf team, the reigning British Universities’ champions, visit Georgia, USA, to compete against a number of NCAA institutions. The trip culminates with a collegiate Ryder-Cup match against current American champions, the University of Georgia.

 

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

 

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Raleigh Gowrie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 7740500140


University to Host Cross-Country Championships

Date released: Friday 3 February 2006

Some of Britain’s best young distance runners will congregate at the University of Stirling this weekend to compete in the British Universities’ Cross-Country Championships.

More than 750 runners from 70 different universities are expected to compete in four events staged on Saturday 4 February. Two challenging course have been set up at the north end of the university campus. Both tracks cover undulating terrain made up of short and medium length grass and woodland track. The courses also provide scenic views of the famous Wallace Monument and the picturesque Ochil Hills.

Ian Graham, the University’s Sports Facilities Manager, is looking forward to the event:

“The University is pleased and excited about hosting this major event. It provides an excellent opportunity for the Department of Sports Studies to demonstrate its commitment to student sport at national level, as well as showcase the range and quality of our sports facilities to the public.”

Spectators are most welcome. The first race starts at 11.30 am.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

 

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Raleigh Gowrie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 7740500140


Rwandan Ambassador Visits Institute of Aquaculture

Date released: Tuesday 7 February 2006

The Rwandan Ambassador to the UK, Mr Claver Gatete, visited the University of Stirling on Monday 6 February to tour the facilities of the Institute of Aquaculture.


In 2004 Mrs Sylvie Karasira became the first student from Rwanda to complete her Masters in Aquaculture with support from the University of Stirling and Government of Rwanda, through a programme supporting the training of Rwandan women in Scottish Universities. It is hoped that another woman will benefit from the Aquaculture Masters programme this year.


Professor James Muir, who heads the international work of the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “Rwanda has significant aquaculture potential with a good supply of water and good local markets and it is encouraging to see policies in place to develop skills in this sector.”


The Rwandan government has included aquaculture in its '2020 Vision' which sets out how the country will develop over the next two decades, particularly to bring the majority of people out of poverty.


During his visit, the Mr Gatete highlighted the “need to provide high quality nutrition for the people of Rwanda” which he believes “is best achieved through eating fish."


The Ambassador is keen to see a partnership develop between the agricultural university in Rwanda and Stirling, building on the international expertise available in the Institute of Aquaculture.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Anton Immink

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466577


Plight of the British Bumblebee

Date released: Tuesday 7 February 2006

University of Stirling ecologist, Professor Dave Goulson has won a British Ecological Society (BES) grant to uncover the causes of the dramatic decline in certain bumblebee species in the UK.

Professor Goulson, who recently joined the University’s School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, said: “Many bumblebee species have undergone alarming declines in recent years, with three species becoming extinct in the UK. Species that have declined most have a more specialised diet, favouring pollen from Fabaceae (peas and beans) and certain Schrophulariaceae (figwort) and Boraginacea (comfreys). They seem to be particularly associated with unimproved grassland, a habitat of which the UK has lost more than 98% in the last 50 years. But the questions remain: why are some bumblebee species markedly more specialised than others and why do the rarer species almost all specialise on the same subset of plants?”

Preliminary studies suggest that pollen of plants that the specialist bumblebees select have higher concentrations of protein and essential amino acids, but this is hard to study because of the rarity of these habitats and bumblebees in the UK.

The BES grant will allow Goulson to carry out fieldwork in southern Poland together with the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow.

Professor Goulson said: “Eastern Europe provides an opportunity to study these species in a setting where they are relatively abundant. However, it may not do so for long as agricultural subsidies become available through EU membership.”

 

Lesley Pollock
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(01786) 467058

 

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Professor Dave Goulson

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467759


University Wins More Than £1.1 Million in Scholarships

Date released: Friday 10 February 2006

The University of Stirling’s excellence in social sciences has been recognised with an award of more than £1.1 million in scholarships from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The award means that the University has 23 new scholarships to offer to postgraduate students in Economics, Film and Media, Applied Social Science, Management and Organization, Marketing, Psychology and Education.

Professor John Field, Deputy Principal for Research and External Relations, said: “Stirling’s leading position in management and social science research is confirmed by this award. The ESRC was particularly impressed with the way we ensure that our graduates are prepared for research careers. For example, we offer research training combined with employer partnerships in our MSc in Retail Management, and courses like the MSc in Applied Social Research can be studied part-time. Our research students go on to make a vital contribution to the wider community through the knowledge that they create, building on the University’s tradition of combining excellence with flexibility and partnership.”

 

Lesley Pollock
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Professor John Field

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466145 or 07725 739475


Reward for Services to the Environment

Date released: Tuesday 14 February 2006

A University of Stirling academic has been commended by the Institute of Contemporary Scotland for her outstanding contribution to the environment.


Ms Kate Sankey, Depute Director of the University’s Division of Academic Innovation and Continuing Education (DAICE), has been awarded the Brian K Parnell Award for Services to the Environment and has been made a fellow of the Institute’s Academy of Merit.


The award recognises Ms Sankey’s long standing work in environmental education and her contribution to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park through her activities as a board member of the authority.


Ms Sankey was one of twelve men and women named Scots of the Year at the Institute’s awards ceremony on Saturday 11 February in Dunfermline.

Lesley Pollock
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Ms Kate Sankey

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467944 or 07870 156502


Are Women Getting Their Fair Share of News?

Date released: Wednesday 15 February 2006

The results of a Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) to map the representation of women and men in the global news media are published today (Wednesday 15 February 2006). The monitoring exercise was carried out on 16 February 2005 in 76 countries across the world, including Scotland.

Scottish media outlets were analysed for one day by a team from the University of Stirling’s Media Research Institute, led by Maggie Magor, to explore how women and men figure in the Scottish news.

The Scottish results, which were based on examining one television news programme (Scotland Today), one radio news programme (Good Morning Scotland) and one Scottish newspaper (The Herald), include:

News Subjects and News Content

• The GMMP global results state that women make up only 21 per cent of people featured in the news. This is consistent in Scotland where men predominate as news subjects on radio (women 25%; men 75%) and in newspapers (women 29%; men 71%). However, on Scottish television news, women figured as news subjects to an almost equal degree as men (women 45%; men 55%).

• Women were most likely to appear as news subjects in stories where they are the victims of crime and violence, or when they are celebrities (this result was influenced by the reporting of three murders of women in Scotland on the global day of monitoring).

• Men dominate as spokespersons in the news, although women did figure as speakers to a slightly higher degree in the Scottish media (27% female speakers compared to 73% male) compared to the global average (14% female speakers compared to 86% male).


Reporters and Presenters

• The global results state that the news is mainly still reported and presented by men. In the Scottish media, this proved to be the case with print media – 90% of the examined newspaper reports were written by male reporters.

• However, on Scottish radio news, there were more female presenters than male (female 58%; male 42%) and on television news, there were more female reporters than male (female 57%; male 43%).

The international launch of the GMPP results will take place in London today at an event chaired by Jon Snow of Channel 4 news. A copy of the full global findings and more information about the GMMP can be found at: www.whomakesthenews.org

 

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

 

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Maggie Magor

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 7989 975311


Gender and Citizenship

Date released: Tuesday 21 February 2006

Esteemed scholar Ruth Lister CBE, Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University, will give a lecture on Gender and Citizenship at the University of Stirling on Wednesday 22 February.

Professor Lister is a former Director of the Child Poverty Action Group and served on the Commission on Social Justice, the Opsahl Commission into the Future of Northern Ireland and the Commission on Poverty, Participation and Power. She is also a founding member of the Academy for Learned Societies for the Social Sciences and a trustee of the Community Development Foundation. She is currently a member of the Fabian Commission on Life Chances and Child Poverty and is the Donald Dewar Visiting Professor of Social Justice at the University of Glasgow.

She has published widely around poverty, welfare reform and women's citizenship. Her latest books are Citizenship: Feminist Perspectives (2003) and Poverty (2004).

The lecture will take place in the Department of Applied Social Science, Common Room, Colin Bell Building, at 4pm.

Lesley Pollock

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Dr Sharon Wright

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467688


Is Hydrogen Scotland's Safe, Secure and Sustainable Energy Solution?

Date released: Thursday 24 February 2006

Representatives from the Scottish Executive, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Local Authorities and SEPA will gather at the University of Stirling today (Thursday 23 February) to hear how hydrogen energy could benefit Scotland.

The workshop, being hosted by the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences (SBES), will examine hydrogen’s potential as an environmentally friendly and economical energy supply.

Dr Ian Moffatt of SBES said: “It is essential that we examine different ways of generating energy supplies that are safe, secure and sustainable. The use of carbon based fossil fuels is altering the earth’s climate and these resources are finite. Hydrogen energy uses water, a plentiful resource in Scotland, and its waste product is water, making it one of the most environmentally friendly energy options available. However, to develop hydrogen energy in Scotland further research and investment is needed.”

The University of Stirling is part of a consortium of five Scottish Universities – Strathclyde, St Andrews, Heriot-Watt, Aberdeen and Stirling – exploring the idea of using hydrogen as the basis for a sustainable economy. The Interdisciplinary Network for Hydrogen and Related Technology Applications is supported by the Scottish Funding Council and the University of Stirling’s Research Quality Fund.

The workshop’s main speakers will be Professor Dennis Hawkes of the University of Glamorgan, Wales and Dr Neil Strachan, Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute, London. Professor Hawkes will focus on recent research into “The Welsh Hydrogen Economy Prospects and Barriers”; while Dr Strachan will examine “The UK Energy Review: Policy and Prospects for hydrogen and other carbon mitigation resources”.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Dr Ian Moffatt

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

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Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467854


Could Smoking Ban Stop Other Bad Habits?


Date released: Monday 27 February 2006

Psychologists at the University of Stirling are carrying out a study to test whether the national smoking ban not only leads people to smoke less but also to make other lifestyle changes. The research is being conducted in conjunction with Forth Valley Health Board.

The study will involve gathering data from research participants before and after the implementation of the smoking ban in public enclosed spaces, which comes into force at 6am on Sunday 26 March.

Lead researcher, Diane Dixon said: “Our health is affected by our lifestyle –for example, by how much we eat, exercise, smoke and drink. While several studies to date have focussed on either smoking, diet, alcohol consumption or physical activity, few have looked at the relationships between these health related behaviours. Our study will examine the impact of the smoking ban on all four areas.”

Lesley Pollock
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Diane Dixon

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466840


War for Oil?

Date released: Monday 27 February 2006

University of Stirling academic Dr Vassilis Fouskas and Dr Bulent Gokay of the University of Keele argue that energy concerns are the real reason behind America’s wars in the Middle East in a new book published by Praeger Security International.

The New American Imperialism: Bush’s War on Terror and Blood for Oil asks:  What are the main features of America's global system of governance? What is the "war on terror"? Why is American power in the world in full stretch today? Why do Europeans obey? Can China, India and Russia challenge America's supremacy in Eurasia in the 21st century?

Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Dr Fouskas said:

“America is a vulnerable Empire: it is dependent on oil and gas imports, it does not know how to cope with the rise of China, it handles relations badly with both Russia and India and its ‘war on terror’ is bogus. But most significantly of all, its currency, the US dollar, is losing its attraction vis-à-vis the euro. The Europeans, including the Brits, are less of a friend to America than many people believe.”

There will be an opportunity for members of the public to discuss the issues posed by the book when it is launched at on Thursday 2 March, 6-7.30 pm, in A96 Pathfoot, University of Stirling. The event will include short presentation of the main arguments of the book by both authors – followed by discussion. The authors will also sign copies of their book after the event.

Lesley Pollock
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Dr Vassilis Fouskas

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

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Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467570