University of Stirling

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News Archive

March 2006

A Prosperous Future for People and Birds in the Uplands?

Can We Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?

Guide's Glowing Report of University

Childhood Nursing Dreams Come True

University of Stirling Announces Spring Honours

University Tees up with Council to Mark Golf Quincentenary

2006 Funding Announcement

Fancy Learning Something New?

Stirling Graduate Scoops Business Award

Stirling's Sterling Performance at Games

 

A Prosperous Future for People and Birds in the Uplands?

Date released: Thursday 2 March 2006

Experts from the University of Stirling are involved in a pioneering new research project to investigate what rural policy changes mean for the future of rural livelihoods and the countryside.

The project, a collaboration between scientists at the universities of Stirling, Sheffield and Nottingham, will assess the impact of fast-changing rural policies on communities in the Peak District – one of the UK’s most visited National Parks.

In recent years, overhauled farm subsidies, new EU land management regulations and extra scrutiny on traditional management practices have all had a significant impact on the countryside and the communities that depend on it.

This project, funded under the government’s Rural Economy and Land Use programme, brings together scientists from different disciplines to work with local stakeholders and policy makers to understand how rural communities can respond to these changes, and what the likely impacts are on wildlife and landscape quality.

The University of Stirling is taking the lead with one project that examines the impact of changes to farm subsidies. Professor Nick Hanley from the Department of Economics said:

“The new Single Farm Payment scheme represents one of the biggest changes to agricultural policy in Britain for decades. Our goal in the research is to understand how local hill farmers can respond to and cope with these changes and what this will mean for upland landscapes and biodiversity.”

Lesley Pollock
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(01786) 467058

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Professor Nick Hanley

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466410


Can We Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?

Date released: Monday 6 March 2006

The University of Stirling’s Department of Psychology is hosting two free public talks to mark National Science Week (10-19 March):

Can we teach old dogs new tricks?
Tuesday 14 March, 6.30 - 7.30pm, Room 2A73, Cottrell Building.

Ever despair at your pet’s bad behaviour? Does your flatmate never do the washing up? This session will highlight the power of positive reinforcement for bringing about changes in the behaviours of others. A method that takes into account the way in which animals learn and does not cause distress unlike some other training techniques.

This talk by Honorary Research Fellow, Dr Jean McKinley provides a brief introduction to animal learning before introducing the audience to some of the techniques used in Positive Reinforcement Training. The session aims to demonstrate how Positive Reinforcement Training can be used effectively to promote desirable behaviour in a wide variety of animals, including other humans. The benefits of this approach in terms of promoting animal welfare will be stressed. This talk is suitable for a general audience and there is no need to book a place.

The Sensory Perception of Alcohol
Friday 17 March, 6.30 - 7.30pm, Room 2A73, Cottrell Building.

This St Patrick’s Day session will explore the sensory aspects of drinking alcohol. What roles do appearance, smell and taste play in our perception of a drink’s flavour and desirability? This talk by Paul Lockyer and colleagues of Diageo will also address this year’s National Science Week theme, colour. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with experienced product developers who will use a series of practical demonstrations to highlight the relevance of the senses to the experience of drinking.

Attendance at this event is limited to those over 18 years of age, as there will be an opportunity to consume a small amount of alcohol during the session, and pre-booking is required. To book your place please call Sarah-Jane Vick on 01786 467648 or email sarah-jane.vick@stir.ac.uk

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Sarah-Jane Vick

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467648


Guide's Glowing Report of University

Date released: Thursday 9 March 2006

 

The University of Stirling receives glowing coverage in a new guide to British Universities published today (Thursday 9 March).

The Virgin 2007 Alternative Guide to British Universities by Piers Dudgeon describes the University of Stirling as “a premier-league university with a reputation for leading the way.”

Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christine Hallett said: “Stirling was the first UK University to introduce a semester system. Our system with continuous or periodic assessment in all courses ensures that our teaching is student focussed. Stirling scored high in teaching assessments and in the most recent research assessment exercise, as the guide points out.”

The University’s “5-star” sports facilities and “student centred ethos” come in for particular praise in the guide, as do its widening access initiatives – Stirling has been ranked 1st in the UK for widening access, with “28 per cent of the undergraduate student body coming from new-to-uni social groups”, and has a low drop-out rate of only “8 per cent”.

As for its location, the 360-acre campus is described as a “gateway to the highlands” boasting a loch, castle and golf course and offering an escape from “big city life” where its easy to make friends – according to the guide, “the student community is small, relaxed and very friendly.”

To find out more about studying at the University of Stirling log onto www.stir.ac.uk or come along to an open day – Tuesday 13 June 2006 and Wednesday 27 September 2006, 10am-3pm.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Lesley Pollock

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467058


Childhood Nursing Dreams Come True

Date released: Monday 20 March 2006

Inverness mum-of-three Linda Gregg has finally fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nurse at the age of 44.

Linda, who grew up in High Valleyfield in Fife, left school at 15 with no qualifications, after struggling with spelling. Devoted to bringing up her kids, she did not start to work in the care sector until nine years ago. It was only when Linda decided to study for an HNC in Social Care that her dyslexia was diagnosed. While Linda thought the diagnosis would dash her hopes of one day becoming her nurse, she was delighted to be accepted onto the University of Stirling’s Highland Campus Learning Disability Nursing Programme in 2002.

While Linda struggled at times with her assessments, she was supported by a personal tutor whose help she found invaluable. However Linda suffered a major set back at the end of her first year, when she had a heart attack and was forced to take time off – but in a show of sheer determination she was back studying within a month. Since graduating in 2005 with Bachelor of Science, Linda has secured a job at Cradlehall Care Home in Inverness which has a 10 bedded Learning Disabilities Unit.

The Department of Nursing and Midwifery has awarded Linda the 2006 R G Bomont award for the senior student who has best demonstrated a consistently high standard of performance in clinical practice.

Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Professor Tommy Starrs: “It is to Linda’s credit that not only did she demonstrate a high level of commitment and achievement in academic work, but she also managed to do so in the more challenging environment of modern healthcare practice. The decision of the judges was very difficult to reach due to the numbers of outstanding students in the Department but in the end they were clear that Linda was the ‘best of the best’.”

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Linda Gregg

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1463 794219 or 07799 730482


 
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Professor Tommy Starrs

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466345


University of Stirling Announces Spring Honours

Date released: Monday 20 March 2006

The University of Stirling will award the following honorary degrees at its spring graduation ceremonies on Friday 24 March at Stirling’s Albert Halls:

10am Ceremony
Thomas Gorman – Master of Arts

Mr Thomas Gorman will receive a Master of Arts in recognition of his long and outstanding contribution to supporting the health of individuals and communities affected by mesothelioma (a type of cancer) in Scotland and internationally. Mr Gorman has a long history of activity and advocacy with regard to health and community work.

In recent years he has worked across the whole of Scotland advising, supporting and representing those with chronic illnesses. In this capacity he has created networks involving communities, lay people and physicians, not only to address the immediate health needs of those with mesothelioma, but also to help research the disease in terms of best treatment and preventative measures.

12.30pm Ceremony
Ms Shirley Robertson – Doctor of the University

Ms Shirley Robertson will be made a Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to sailing, a sport in which she has achieved international acclaim. At the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, Ms Robertson became the first British woman to win a gold medal for sailing. Four years later, she again achieved gold – this time with her crew of three at the Olympic Games in Athens. She was voted World Female Sailor of the Year in 2000, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2001 and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005.

3pm Ceremony
Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC – Doctor of the University

Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC will be made a Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to human rights law. Lord Lester was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1964 and became a QC in 1975. He sat as a Recorder at the Crown Court and a Deputy High Court Judge, before becoming a Liberal Democrat Peer.

Between 1974 and 1976, he served as a Special Adviser to Labour Chancellor and Home Secretary, the late Lord Jenkins of Hillhead, when he had special responsibility for developing policy on race relations, sex discrimination and human rights.

Lord Lester campaigned for thirty years to make the European Human Rights Convention directly enforceable in British courts and introduced two Private Members’ Bills on the subject, which became models for the Human Rights Act 1998. He was a founder member of the Social Democratic Party, and is honorary President of the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association. He has written many books and articles on human rights and constitutional law, and serves on Parliamentary Committees on human rights and on European Union Law. He was made a Life Peer in 1993.

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


University Tees up with Council to Mark Golf Quincentenary

Date released: Monday 20 March 2006

The University of Stirling, renowned for its sports research and golfing scholarships, has teamed up with Stirling Council to help the City celebrate 500 years of golf – the second recorded game of golf ever played in Scotland took place in Stirling in 1506 between King James IV and the Earl of Bothwell in Kings Park hunting grounds.

Head of the Department of Sports Studies, Professor Grant Jarvie, said: “The University actively works with and supports the local community through sport in a variety of ways, not least by our five star sporting facilities. We are therefore delighted to offer our sporting and research expertise to help the City celebrate this historic occasion.”

Sports historian Professor Wray Vamplew will examine the history of game in a public lecture on Thursday 30 March at 12 noon at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, entitled Not so straight down the middle: some neglected aspects of golf history. Professor Vamplew is currently researching the history of the golf club as a British social institution thanks to a £70,000 Leverhulme Trust grant – with the aim of producing a collective history of one of the fastest growing recreational activities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Professor Vamplew said: “In the three decades before the First World War, a structure developed that was to set the pattern for the organisation of golf in Britain until the advent of more commercial interests sixty years later. Most of the 3,000 or so clubs in existence on the eve of the First World War were run by honorary committees, thus placing the control of land and other assets worth millions of pounds in the hands of a small number of volunteer club officials.”

So far Professor Vamplew’s findings suggest that ideas might have to be revised on the role of women, the artisan golf club (in which local workers were given playing rights in exchange for undertaking labour on the course), the advent of Sunday play and the welfare of child caddies.

Thursday 30 March will also see the University’s student golf scholars take on the University of St Andrews in a challenge match at Stirling Golf Club at 11am. This should be an exciting event, with two of the most successful institutions in British University golf going head to head.

The University began offering golf scholarships back in 1981 – famous golf scholars include Colin Dalgleish who has been appointed as the captain of the GB team for the 2007 Walker Cup; Catriona Matthew who won the 1993 British Amateur title and represented GB and Ireland in three Curtis Cups before turning professional; and Gordon Sherry who went on to win the 1995 British Amateur title and play in the 1995 Walker Cup side where he defeated Tiger Woods twice to help GB and Ireland lift the trophy.

The University boasts its own golf facilities including a nine hole golf course, a practice centre consisting of a specialist short game area, a mid-game driving range and an indoor video analysis teaching room range where students, staff and members of the public can hone their skills.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Professor Grant Jarvie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466490


2006 Funding Announcement


Date released: Thursday 23 March 2006

The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (SFC) has announced its main grants for teaching and research for 2006/7. The overall increase for the University of Stirling is 6 percent whilst the average for Scottish institutions is 7.2 percent.

A significant proportion of the additional resources made available are “ring-fenced” for particular purposes. The overall percentage increases across the sector reflects the allocation of £25 million by SFC for human resource management modernisation, including the Framework Agreement. This accounts for approximately 3.1 percent of the uplift in grants across the sector, leaving Stirling with a percentage increase in grants in real terms of 2.9 percent.

The grant allocated to the University falls short of what the University expected on the basis of the Scottish Executive’s previously advised public expenditure plans. This underlines the need to exercise close control of expenditure, whilst significantly increasing income in order to meet a challenging financial environment.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Lesley Pollock

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467058


Fancy Learning Something New?

Date released: Monday 27 March 2006

The University of Stirling has a wide variety of short courses and summer schools on offer this year for those with a hunger to learn something new. Week and weekend programmes are available in Scottish history, culture, creative arts, music and dance in spring, summer and autumn – covering everything from creative writing to Gaelic language.

New courses this year include Scots song, music and poetry; Scottish canals and waterways; the historic and natural heritage of Scotland and how Scottish mountains got their shape. Meanwhile some Scottish History courses will focus on the life story of Robert the Bruce, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the crowning of the Scots hero.

For further details please contact Margery Stirling, Summer School Co-ordinator on (01786) 467951.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Margery Stirling

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467951


Stirling Graduate Scoops Business Award

Date released: Monday 27 March 2006

Fivez Ltd, headed by University of Stirling graduate Stuart Mitchell, has lifted the Business in the Community Award at the Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley Business Awards sponsored by Forth Ports PLC.

The business runs community 5-a-side and 6-a-side football leagues across Scotland in disadvantaged areas to help tackle health and anti-social behaviour issues.

Fivez lifted the award after only 12 months trading by impressing the judging panel with the social benefits that Fivez brings to local communities, as well as improving football skills at a grassroots level. The leagues help to improve the health of young adults that take part and reduce anti-social behaviour. Most importantly, the leagues also bring together individuals from different communities and backgrounds.

Stuart Mitchell said: “We are delighted to win this award and are looking forward to competing in the Scottish Enterprise National Finals. We set Fivez up to allow those who would not normally take part in weekly football matches, due to cost, self esteem or geographic exclusion, the opportunity to participate and we are pleased that our contribution to the community has been recognised. Our leagues encourage local people into weekly exercise, something that is massively important given Scotland’s alarmingly high rates of obesity. Many of the young people who play in Fivez leagues would not normally do any other exercise. Sport is very good at helping to bring together individuals from different communities, who would not normally interact.”


Meanwhile, the University of Stirling handed over the Award for most innovative company to Inovas on Friday. The category, jointly sponsored by the University of Stirling and Forth Valley College recognises the local company that has exhibited most innovation and creativity in developing their business.

Inovas have developed technology to measure the performance of bus drivers. This improves the training of bus drivers and can help to reduce costs, prevent accidents, minimize risk and improve the operational performance of transport companies.

John Rogers, the University’s Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer said: “The University has a central role to play in supporting innovation and growth in the local economy. We work with a range of companies and other organisations to help them stay at the cutting edge of their field. We want to ensure that businesses of all sizes can easily approach the University to get access to the expertise that our staff have."


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Kate Wooding

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0) 7776 188608


Stirling's Sterling Performance at Games

Date released: Thursday 30 March 2006

Four University of Stirling student athletes returned to the campus this week with medals, proud in the knowledge that they had contributed to Scotland’s greatest ever medal haul at a major sporting event. Scotland gained a remarkable 29 medals at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games – 11 gold, seven silver and 11 bronze to finish in sixth place overall in the medals table.

Stirling students Andrew Hunter, Todd Cooper and Craig Houston were part of Scotland’s highly successful swimming team. Hunter, a second year Accountancy student, gained a silver medal in the men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay; meanwhile Cooper, a Film & Media Studies postgraduate, and Houston, a first year law student, picked up bronze medals when they helped Scotland to a third place finish in the 4 x 100m medley relay event.

The University also triumphed in Badminton. Fourth year Psychology & Sports Studies student, Susan Hughes – who missed out on her graduation ceremony to go to Melbourne – achieved a bronze medal in the women’s singles. This was her second Games medal, having finished third in the mixed team event in Manchester four years ago.

The 2006 Games saw the University’s greatest ever representation of athletes at a major sporting event, with 13 current or former student athletes competing across nine sports. Eight male and four female athletes competed for Scotland, with one male swimmer, Nick Neckles, representing Barbados.

Sports performance manager, Raleigh Gowrie said: “We are delighted with the performances of all our athletes at the Games. Stirling’s highly acclaimed International Sports Scholarships Programme has played a key role in their success. The scheme allows high-performance athletes to combine their sport with academic study. Since 1981, the Department of Sports Studies has awarded more than 200 awards to talented student-athletes.”

The University’s Commonwealth Games success sits alongside a number of other sporting achievements this year. Fourth year Sports Studies student, Richard Ramsay has been included in the European team for golf’s Bonallack Trophy and fourth year Accountancy student, Colin Fleming has risen up the ATP tennis world rankings and is on course to qualify for this summer’s Wimbledon Championship.

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) 1786 466906