University of Stirling

Development and External Affairs

Media

 

News Archive

August

Population Time Bomb Threatens Education

The Great Bustards Have Landed

Stirling Students Head to the Olympics

The Economics of Defence

University Marks 10th Anniversary of Director's Death

Sportscotland Serves up Ace Grant for Stirling

Landscapes of the Mines

Student Follows Safari Dream

Are Trade Unions Agents for Social Change?

It Pays Others to Give as you Earn

Stirling's New Approach to PE Teaching

New Science Academic Fellowship

Scotland’s First International Film Festival for Children and Young People

 

Population Time Bomb Threatens Education

Date released: Tuesday 3 August 2004

The future of many Scottish schools, colleges and universities will be under threat if the Scottish Executive does nothing about population decline, a leading education expert has warned.

Professor John Field, Director of the University of Stirling’s Division of Academic Innovation and Continuing Education, said:

“Scotland’s population time bomb is ticking away in the corner of the classroom. It is quite obvious that if there are fewer young Scots, then fewer will be entering schools, colleges and universities, and fewer will be coming out with the skills and qualifications that the country needs. This is an entirely predictable change because we are talking about very clear population trends that are already well established, yet if we fail to plan and act now, the results will be quite explosive.”

The number of 17-year-olds, the age at which most young Scots enter Higher or Further Education, is predicted to fall by over a tenth in the next ten years and by a quarter in the next twenty years.

“Assuming that one half of all 17-year-olds enter Higher Education, the fall over the next twenty years will be around 8,500 Scottish students or the equivalent of the undergraduate population at Paisley or Aberdeen. Universities and colleges will find themselves having to compete with employers to attract able school-leavers,” said Professor Field. “High schools and primary schools will of course also be affected by closures or mergers as the number of young people drops.”

Professor Field is urging the Scottish Executive to review its policies for Further and Higher education, in particular its commitment to 50 per cent participation.

“We must develop lifelong learning strategies to make the most of the skills and talents of our existing population and, in order to free up enough young people to meet the needs of the labour market, much more Further and Higher Education will have to be taken part-time in combination with work and family commitments,” said Professor Field. “Scotland’s universities and colleges will also have to do their bit to attract talent to Scotland, whether from overseas or from the expatriate community.”


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Professor John Field

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467946

or 07818 046827


The Great Bustards Have Landed

Date released: Tuesday 3 August 2004

Europe’s heaviest flying bird returned to Britain last night, nearly 175 years after it died out.

Conservationists hoping to re-introduce the Great Bustard to the UK flew into London Heathrow yesterday with 30 chicks, having overcome weeks of difficulties with Russian bureaucracy.

After being checked over, the chicks were taken to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire - the bird’s former stronghold - where they will be reared in confinement before being released into the wild.

The trial re-introduction project, initiated by the Great Bustard Group and the University of Stirling, aims to create a sustainable population of Great Bustards over the next ten years.

Scientific advisor to the Great Bustard Group, Dr Patrick Osborne of Stirling University said:

“Bringing this bird back is a great challenge to ornithologists. It’s a large, spectacular, beautiful bird - a real flagship species for grassland conservation. However the survival rate for Great Bustard chicks in the wild is not great - 75 percent of them may die in the first year.”

Previous conservation projects in Russia have failed because the chicks were bred in contact with humans and were not able to survive when let out into the wild.

To improve the UK project’s chances of success, Dr Osborne has helped the Group develop specialist isolation-rearing techniques for Great Bustards. The chicks have been reared in Russia without regular human contact and taught to feed as if in the wild. People who have had contact with them have been disguised by special costumes to prevent imprinting and the birds have been taught to feed using a glove puppet with an artificial bill. In Britain, the chicks will undergo predator awareness by exposing them to potential predators in controlled conditions.

In the autumn, the birds that pass health checks and behave normally will be released onto Salisbury Plain when the British public will be able to view them for the first time since 1830.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Dr Patrick Osborne

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467058
 
or > > >
address

David Waters

Great Bustard Group

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1722 710779

Stirling Students Head to the Olympics

Date released: Thursday 12 August 2004

Five students from the University of Stirling travelled to Athens this week to compete in this year’s Olympics.

  • Todd Cooper (22), a Film and Media Studies student, smashed the GB 100m butterfly record to make it into the GB swimming squad. Todd has major games experience having competed for Scotland at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and for Great Britain in 2003 at the European Championships and at the World Student Games.

Schedule
Thursday 19 August 2004 - Men's 100m Butterfly Heats
Saturday 21 August 2004 - Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Heats

 

  • David O’Brien (21), an Economics student, will compete in the GB Olympic 4 x 200m relay swimming team. He has already competed at a major event in Athens at the 2000 World Junior Short-Course Championships.

Schedule
Tuesday 17 August 2004 - Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Heats


  • Nick Neckles (24), an Economics student, will swim for Barbados. He has broken 2 Caribbean records already this year in the 100m and 200m backstroke.

Schedule
Saturday 14 August 2004 - Men's 100m Backstroke Heats
Wednesday 18 August 2004 - Men's 200m Backstroke Heats


  • Mhairi Love (23), a Psychology student, has been selected for the GB Paralympic team and will compete in a number of freestyle events. She is currently ranked Number 1 in the world for 400m and Number 2 in the world for 100m and will be in contention for medals at this year's Games.

Schedule
Monday 20 September 2004 - Women's 100m Freestyle Heats
Sunday 26 September 2004 - Women's 400m Freestyle Heats
Monday 27 September 2004 - Women's 50m Freestyle Heats


  • Graham Moodie (23), a History student, has been selected for the GB Olympic Hockey Squad. Graham has spent the past year in Australia, taking up the opportunity offered to him via a University Sports Scholarship to defer his studies, in preparation for the Athens Olympics. Graham has developed from being a Scottish junior internationalist, with European Junior Championship experience, to captaining the GB men's hockey team during a tour of Thailand in early 2004.

Schedule
Sunday 15 August 2004 - Men's Preliminaries Pool A: GB v Egypt
Tuesday 17 August 2004 - Men's Preliminaries Pool A: Korea v GB
Thursday 19 August 2004 - Men's Preliminaries Pool A: GB v Spain
Saturday 21 August 2004 - Men's Preliminaries Pool A: Germany v GB
Monday 23 August 2004 - Men's Preliminaries Pool A: Pakistan v GB

 

The University’s Sports Performance Manager, Raleigh Gowrie said:

“The University of Stirling is pleased to have helped these students fulfil their dreams of competing at the highest level in sport and wishes them the very best of luck in their respective events.”

The University of Stirling is renowned for assisting talented student athletes in combining high performance sport with higher education. To find out more about its International Sports Scholarship Programme log onto: www.sports.stir.ac.uk/NewSite/Scholarships.htm

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager

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Raleigh Gowrie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466906
telephone Tel: 07740500140

The Economics of Defence

Date released: Wednesday 18 August 2004

Before 1914 Britain led the world in naval technology and shipbuilding, but by the 1960s had become dependent on America for her nuclear deterrent. This meant that those in power had to constantly adapt to rapid changes in weapons systems in order to try to provide the best possible national defence.

Professor George Peden of the University of Stirling has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) grant of £14,013 to explore how this was achieved during a period that also saw relative economic decline.

“My study will combine the history of strategy with the history of economics,” said Professor Peden. “The Government ministers making these decisions would have had little technical expertise in military matters, so they had to base their policies on a variety of competing interests. I will explore how factors such as technology, economics and military strategy affected their decisions.”

The completed book will be one of the few to combine the fields of strategy and economics and will shed new light on some of the complexities of military history and its relation to international politics.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Professor George Peden

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467960

University Marks 10th Anniversary of Director's Death

Date released: Wednesday 18 August 2004

The University of Stirling has teamed up with the Edinburgh International Film Festival to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Lindsay Anderson.

The University will display rare and previously unseen material from its Lindsay Anderson Collection in Edinburgh during the festival.

An exhibition of photographs, which span Anderson’s long filmmaking career and show the director at work behind the camera, will be displayed in the bar of the Cameo Cinema for the duration of the film festival (18 - 29 August 2004).

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August the film festival will screen two of Anderson’s films, O Lucky Man! and The Whales of August, and present a panel discussion about his life and work in the Filmhouse. Prior to these events a selection of unique, previously unseen images will be screened in the cinema as filmgoers take their seats.

To coincide with the film festival BBC 2 Scotland will be screening a documentary on Lindsay Anderson as part of their Artworks series at 7.30 pm on Sunday 22 August. The programme uses extracts from Anderson’s diaries and photographs from the collection and also includes interviews with friends and colleagues of Anderson including Malcolm McDowell, Brian Cox, Brian Pettifer, Helen Mirren, Gavin Lambert and Martin Scorcese.

Anderson Collection Project Archivist Karl Magee said: “The Collection provides a unique insight into the life and career of one of the most distinctive voices of British Cinema. As well as personal and working papers, the University holds the diaries, photographs, memorabilia and personal library of Anderson.”
The Collection is currently being catalogued and will be made available to researchers later this year.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Karl Magee

Project Archivist
Lindsay Anderson Collection

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466619
email Email: karl.magee@stir.ac.uk

Sportscotland Serves up Ace Grant for Stirling

Date released: Wednesday 18 August 2004

The University of Stirling has been awarded £500,000 by the Sportscotland Lottery Fund towards the development of a National Training Centre for Tennis.

Based at the Gannochy Tennis Centre, the new facilities will include two indoor acrylic and two outdoor clay courts to complement the four existing indoor courts, as well as office space for performance staff.

The project represents a successful outcome to several years of hard work with partners from the University of Stirling, Tennis Scotland and the Lawn Tennis Association and will provide a focal point for performance training in Scotland by becoming the base from which top class training programmes for players as well as new performance coaches will be delivered.

Head of Sports Studies, Professor Grant Jarvie said: “It is crucial for Scotland, British Sport and Higher Education that Scottish universities are able to keep up to pace with the very best sporting provision in English universities. Higher Education has a crucial part to play in the delivery of and provision of sport in the UK. Through the International Sports Scholarship Scheme and the Gannochy National Tennis Centre Stirling University has been both a supporter of and investor in Tennis for more than 20 years.

“This announcement and funding is a fantastic outcome and all the partners are to be congratulated for staying the course. The development of the National Tennis Centre at the University of Stirling will help to consolidate Stirling’s growing reputation as the natural Loughborough of the North.”

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

Landscapes of the Mines

Date released: Thursday 19 August 2004

Forth Naturalist and Historian’s 30th annual Man and the Landscape Symposium will be held on Saturday 13 November at the University of Stirling.

The theme of this year’s conference - Landscapes of the Mines - addresses the rise and fall of coal mining and its impact on the landscapes of Central Scotland. The event is being held in collaboration with the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society.

A programme of six lectures will follow the formation of coal deposits and mining in the industrial age to the industry’s later decline and legacy in the landscapes of today. Recent developments in open-cast mining and in environmental restoration will also be discussed. In addition, the 27th volume of the Forth Naturalist and Historian Journal will be launched.

There will also be a special display featuring paintings by Morag Knight, a local artist who has recorded the impact and progress of mining on the landscape, as well as exhibits on mining disasters and open-cast mining.

Booking enquiries should be directed to Marilyn Scott, tel: 01786 467269 or e-mail: mbn1@stir.ac.uk A detailed programme will be available shortly.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


Student Follows Safari Dream

Student feeding giraffesDate released: Monday 23 August 2004

Student Sam Brownlee is on his way to fulfilling his dream of working with endangered animals thanks to the support of the University of Stirling.

The 33-year-old from Dollar near Stirling has recently completed the University’s part-time year long Access Programme, designed to prepare mature students for university study. He will begin an Honours degree programme in Conservation Science this September.

During the past year, Sam, who did not have the traditional Higher or A-level entrance qualifications for University, has completed six different units to give him the academic credit required to study for a degree.

Sam said: “I left school at 16 without any Highers and went straight into the army, I never gave my education a second thought. After six years in the army and eight years as a civil servant, I found myself without a specific trade and felt like I was frittering my life away. My dream was to work with endangered animals and that dream is now becoming a reality.”

After hearing about a friend who had gone back to school to gain the qualifications to go to University, Sam was spurred on to find out what his local University had to offer. He began the Access Programme last September.

“It has been difficult to be disciplined and turn down going out with my mates to attend classes, write essays or study for exams, but I know my efforts will pay off in the end,” said Sam.

Sam is currently working with rhinos and giraffes at Blair Drummond Safari Park to support his studies. He has no regrets at leaving University till later on in life.

“As a mature student I feel I have a lot more to offer than if I’d gone to University aged 17, it wouldn’t have been right for me then. My work and life experiences will definitely enhance the benefit of my degree.”

The University of Stirling welcomes enquiries from anybody interested in studying at University whatever their age or whether they have qualifications or not. Please contact the Division of Academic Innovation and Continuing Education (DAICE) enquiry line on 01786 467940 for further information.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

For further information:

 
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Kevin Brosnan

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466143
  or
 

Sam Brownlee

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 194711

Are Trade Unions Agents for Social Change?

Date released: Wednesday 25 August 2004

The role that trade unions play in social change will be addressed by University of Stirling industrial relations expert, Dr Gregor Gall and Colin Fox MSP at an Edinburgh Festival Fringe lecture tomorrow (Thursday).

Both speakers will argue that if unions are to thrive they need to adapt to become a wider social movement for justice, dignity and respect in the workplace and in society.

Dr Gall said: “This would mean that unions move away from their primary and direct concentration on the workplace as the focus of their organising work. Instead, by using community networks and other social movements, unions could reach into many previously unorganised workplaces in order to build up a presence there.”

Dr Gall added: “'It would also mean unions taking a more independent position from any government and building up their industrial and extra-parliamentary strength in order to be able to leverage out of any political party which is in office the policies to protect union members' interests.”

The lecture will take place on Thursday 26 August at 7.00pm in the Roxy Art House, 2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh (Venue 115) and is organised by Wordpower Books.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Dr Gregor Gall

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 131 556 5064

It Pays Others to Give as You Earn

Date released: Thursday 26 August 2004

The University of Stirling’s Give As You Earn (GAYE) charitable giving scheme has distributed £19,950 to forty-three good causes this year.

Beneficiaries include local and national charities such as the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, Bannockburn Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), Stirling Women’s Aid and Home Start Stirling.

Assistant Manager of Bannockburn RDA, Helen Kallow said: “It costs us in the region of £70,000 per year to operate, so we are very grateful for donations from individuals and groups. We offer riding and driving sessions for over 120 children and adults with special needs a week. For many of our clients this is the highlight of their week. The educational, emotional, social and physical benefits derived from contact with horses make it a very worthwhile activity.”

The scheme has also donated to Riders for Health, a charity whose aim is to bring vital healthcare to people living in impoverished communities across rural Africa.

Fundraiser for Riders, Liz Fredericks said: “In Zimbabwe support such as this means that community health workers are now reaching people living in villages normally isolated by poverty, distance and harsh conditions. As a result, deaths due to Malaria and other disease are being reduced by up to 20 per cent.”

GAYE raises money from regular, voluntary salary deductions.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Dr Mary Taylor

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467722


Stirling's New Approach to PE Teaching

Date released: Thursday 26 August 2004

The University of Stirling will launch a new Physical Education degree in September 2005 for students who aspire to be a positive influence on the lives of young people. The joint honours programme combines academic study in Sport Studies and Education with vocational training as a teacher.

The course will help the Scottish Executive combat Scotland’s poor record for health and participation in physical activity by producing graduates who are able to foster wider participation and inclusion in schools.

Lecturer in Physical Education, Dr Will Kay said: “In June 2004, the Executive’s Physical Education Review Group recommended the introduction of activity co-ordinators for every school and set a target of 400 additional physical education teachers. By completing the four-year concurrent degree at Stirling, students will be qualified to teach physical education in both primary and high schools. They will be ideally placed to meet the objectives of Scottish Executive to make a positive difference to the lives of young people in Scotland.”

The programme combines the existing successful tradition of concurrent teacher education with the excellent reputation of the Sports Studies programme at Stirling. For further information log onto: <http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/ITE/Index.htm>

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Dr Will Kay

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467634

New Science Academic Fellowship

Date released: Tuesday 31 August 2004

The University of Stirling has won £125,000 from Research Councils UK (RCUK) to fund an academic fellowship within its School of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

The grant will provide a contract post-doctoral researcher in geoarchaeology – the scientific study of soils that retain relict or fossil properties of early human activity – with a stable path into academia. The fellow will receive comprehensive research training, will engage in outreach work in schools and will be guaranteed a lectureship post at the end of the five-year fellowship.

Professor Ian Simpson said: “This prestigious award recognises the University’s international standing in the fields of geoarchaeology and environmental history. The new fellow will be an important member of a strong research group where recent research projects have offered new insights into how land was used and organised by early societies”.

A key focus of the School’s work over the past fifteen years has been the creation of new geoarchaeologies for the North Atlantic region. To complement this research it is anticipated that the fellow will pioneer a new regional geoarchaeology for Sahelian (semi-arid) Africa, which will provide a historical depth to current challenging environmental issues.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Ian Simpson

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467850


Scotland’s First International Film Festival for Children and Young People

Date released: Tuesday 31 August 2004

DISCOVERY, Scotland’s First International Film Festival for Children and Young People, will be launched at macrobert, University of Stirling on Saturday 4 September by Billy Boyd. The acclaimed Scottish actor, who appeared most recently in Lord of the Rings, is patron of the festival.

The opening launch with Billy and macrobert’s young consultants will commence at 10.30am with a celebration of films made by young people followed by the film voted by local children as their favourite movie.

The Festival, which runs from 4 – 19 September, will be based in Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee and macrobert before touring to venues around Scotland. A unique event, it will showcase the very best of national and international film for and by children and young people, and feature gala events, public and school screenings, special guest appearances, workshops and discussions.

The festival will also hold a major day-long forum for film in education at macrobert on Friday 17 September. Inspire – 21st Century Literacies – Creativity and Ambition will consider the role of moving image media education in the Scottish Curriculum. Internationally acclaimed writer and film director Anthony Minghella will deliver the keynote speech for the day.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


For further information:

 

 
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Lisa Campbell

Senior Marketing Officer

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467161
email Email: lisa.campbell@stir.ac.uk
web Web: www.discoveryfilmfestival.com