University of Stirling

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News Archive

March

First In-Depth Study of the Reign of David II

Professorial Inaugural Lectures

Pupils Teach Students a Lesson

Prestigious Poet to Perform her Work

The European Union and South-East Europe after 2004

Criminology Seminar Series to be Launched

Appointment of New Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Future of Languages in Higher Education

Higher Education Policy is Failing Some Students

University's Innovative Ideas of the Year

Stirling Graduation Ceremonies March 2004

Here's Looking at You Kid

 

First In-Depth Study of the Reign of David II

Date released: Tuesday 2 March

David II of Scotland - son of Scots hero Robert Bruce - has suffered a harsh historical press, condemned as a disastrous general, a womaniser and a sympathiser with Scotland's "auld enemy", England.

University of Stirling lecturer Dr Michael Penman offers a different view of the Scottish King in his new book David II, 1329-71: The Bruce Dynasty in Scotland : that of child king who survived the unfinished business of his father's reign, usurpation, English invasion, exile in France and 11 years of English captivity to emerge as a formidable ruler of Scotland.

Dr Penman's book offers the first in-depth study of the reign of David II, bringing together evidence from Scotland, England and France.

Dr Penman said: "Learning from Philip VI of France and Edward III of England in turn, David became the charismatic patron of a vibrant court focused on the arts of chivalry. Had he lived longer, Scotland's political landscape and national outlook might have been very different to that which emerged under his successors, the Stewart Kings. David's was a reign of internal tensions fuelled by his increasingly desperate efforts to determine the royal succession, overawe great magnates like his heir presumptive, Robert the Steward, and persuade his subjects of the need for closer relations with England after 60 years of war."

David II, 1329-71: The Bruce Dynasty in Scotland is available from Tuckwell Press, priced £30 HB.

Lesley Pollock

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Dr Michael Penman

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467575


Professorial Inaugural Lectures

Date released: Friday 5 March

The University of Stirling has announced its intention to hold a series of public lectures to provide new externally appointed professors with an opportunity to speak about their discipline in a publicly accessible way.

 

Professor Ronan O'Carroll of the Department of Psychology will deliver a lecture on 'Psychology, Medicine and Health' on Thursday 18 March at 5.30pm in Logie Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling.

The lecture will be chaired by Acting Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Christine Hallett.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served at the end.

Lesley Pollock

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Khlayre Mullin

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466675


Pupils Teach Students a Lesson

Date released: Monday 8 March

Pupils from Shawlands Academy in Glasgow are hoping to teach the teachers of the future a lesson this Friday.

The children have been invited to a student-pupil seminar being held by the Institute of Education to find out what pupils want from their teachers.

Topics under discussion will include the qualities they most value in their teachers, the kinds of educational activities they most enjoy and how they think teachers might best support pupils.

Professor Julie Allan of the Institute of Education said: “We always emphasise to student teachers that young people’s views are important, but this is the first time we have held an event for pupils to speak openly with our students. We are expecting to learn a lot.”

The event, to take the form of small discussion groups, will be held in the MacRobert Arts Centre on Friday 12 March 10 - 12 noon.

Lesley Pollock
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Professor Julie Allan

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467622


Prestigious Poet to Perform her Work


Date released: Monday 8 March

Winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2003, U A Fanthorpe will give a public poetry recital at the University of Stirling on Tuesday 16 March.

The event, organised by the Stirling Centre of Poetry (SCoP), will offer readers of Fanthorpe a unique opportunity to talk to the poet about her work.

English Professor Rory Watson said: “U A Fanthorpe, also reading at the StAnza festival at St Andrews, is one of the most entertaining and distinguished poets writing today and we at SCoP are delighted to welcome her to Stirling. In 2001 she was made CBE for services to poetry, and her wise, perceptive, playfully witty and movingly compassionate poems have been widely acclaimed. Some of her poems are for two voices and her other voice in this case will be Rosie Bailey.”

The reading will take place in room A7, Pathfoot at 7.30pm. Admission is free.

Lesley Pollock
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Professor Rory Watson

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467500


The European Union and South-East Europe after 2004


Date released: Thursday 11 March


With the accession of ten new members in May 2004, the European Union (EU) will have taken a decisive step in implementing its vision of European unity. However, South East Europe (SEE) will remain outside the EU. Bulgaria and Romania are candidate countries, expecting to become members in 2007, but the rest of the region is excluded from the joining process at present.

The University of Stirling’s Department of Politics has organised a workshop in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit on The EU and the Balkans after 2004 to examine the consequences of the enlargement for South East Europe (SEE) and the EU's relations with that region. The conference, to be held in Stirling Management Centre 19-20 March, will bring together scholars, experts and policy-makers from the UK and South East Europe. They will discuss the outlook for EU-SEE relations, both from the EU perspective and from the perspective of countries in the region.

University of Stirling Politics Lecturer, Dr Dejan Jovic said: “All SEE countries want to join the EU and the EU has said that European integration cannot be completed without the inclusion of this region. The workshop will examine whether and when that promise could become a reality".

Among the issues to be addressed in the workshop are:

  • What policy will the EU implement towards the SEE countries after 2004?
  • How will the SEE countries have to change in order to satisfy the criteria for EU membership?
  • Should the "Western Balkans" be treated as a regional unit, or should bilateral relations with Brussels prevail, with each country being treated separately on a case-by-case basis?
  • What are today's main security challenges in this, until recently, war-and strife-torn region?
  • What will be the economic consequences for SEE of being left out of the 2004 enlargement round?
    The workshop is being sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Lesley Pollock
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Dr Dejan Jovic

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467567


Criminology Seminar Series to be Launched


Date released: Monday 15 March

The University of Stirling’s Department of Applied Social Science will launch a new criminology seminar series this spring to coincide with recent teaching developments within the department.

In 2002 the University introduced the first-ever undergraduate criminology degree in Scotland and this autumn it will launch a new MSc in criminology.

These new initiatives in teaching are an extension of Stirling’s well-established research profile in criminological studies, notably in the areas of drugs, criminal justice policy and practice, youth crime and alternatives to custody.

The spring seminar series, entitled New Themes in Criminology, will bring together national and international scholars with an interest in the study of crime and crime control strategies. It aims to generate critical debate of the latest empirical, methodological and theoretical developments in criminological research.

Speakers include Professor Pat Carlen, a leading scholar in women and punishment; Dr Lucia Zedner, an expert in criminal justice; and Professor Barbara Hudson, an expert in criminology and penal theory.


The following seminars will be held in room 3S15, Colin Bell Building 4.30 - 6pm. Members of the public are most welcome.

Wednesday 24 March
From criminal justice state to security society – Dr Lucia Zedner
Lucia Zedner is Reader in Criminal Justice, Law Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and a Member of the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Oxford. Her main research interests are in criminal justice and penology, criminal law and sociology of law. Her paper is taken from the final chapter of her forthcoming book for the Clarendon Law Series, entitled Criminal Justice.

Wednesday 21 April
Judging aliens, punishing monsters: justice at the boundaries of the community – Professor Barbara Hudson
Barbara Hudson is Professor of Law at the University of Central Lancashire and is a leading scholar in criminology and penal theory. She has research interests in criminology, penology and socio-legal studies, race and criminal justice; feminist jurisprudence; desert theory; restorative justice; comparative criminology, penal ethics, the punishment of impoverished offenders; emergent theories of justice; probation; risk and criminal justice.

Wednesday 28 April
Risk and responsibility in women’s prisons – Professor Pat Carlen
Pat Carlen is Honorary Professor of Criminology at Keele University and Visiting Professor of Criminology at Westminster University, London. Pat Carlen, who authored Women in Prison (a study of Cornton Vale), is a leading scholar in the area of women and punishment. In 1997 she was awarded the Sellin-Glueck Prize by the American Society of Criminology for outstanding international contributions to Criminology.

A further three seminars will be held in the Autumn.

Lesley Pollock
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(01786) 467058


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Dr Laura Piacentini

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467982


Appointment of New Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Date released: Monday 15 March 2004

The University Court of the University of Stirling is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Christine Hallett as the University’s new Principal & Vice-Chancellor with immediate effect.

Professor Hallett was previously Stirling’s Senior Deputy Principal with lead responsibility for Research & Commercialisation, Academic Planning and Resource Allocation, and has been Acting Principal & Vice-Chancellor since the tragic death of Professor Colin Bell in April 2003. Christine Hallett has also been Professor of Social Policy at the University of Stirling since 1995.

Following a special meeting of the University’s governing body, the University Court, the Chairman of Court, Dr Doris Littlejohn said: “We are thrilled to have been able to appoint Christine Hallett as Principal and Vice-Chancellor. Not only is Professor Hallett an international expert in her academic field, but she also has highly developed management and inter-personal skills that will prove invaluable in continuing to move the University of Stirling forward. I am sure the University, the local community and the higher education sector will welcome this appointment – the first woman to hold the office of Principal in one of Scotland’s pre-1992 universities.”

Professor Hallett said: “Stirling University is a wonderful place and I hugely enjoy working here. To have been appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor is an honour, a privilege and a challenge that I relish. Working with colleagues, I look forward to maintaining and enhancing Stirling’s capacity and reputation as a leading research institution with a fine reputation for learning and teaching. We will continue to be committed to providing opportunities for higher education to all who are able to benefit from it whatever their background, providing excellent graduates able to contribute to the well-being of society at large.”

Born in 1949, Christine Hallett graduated from Cambridge in 1970 and was awarded a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Loughborough in 1994. On leaving Cambridge, she joined the Civil Service, working in the Department of Health and Social Security. Christine Hallett then held academic teaching and research posts at the Universities of Oxford, Keele and Leicester before being appointed to a Readership in Social Policy at Stirling in 1989.

Professor Hallett’s research has been principally concerned with social policy analysis and evaluation in the areas of children and young people (juvenile justice, child welfare and child protection); the personal social services; women and social policy; and participation in social welfare. She has engaged in overseas research collaborations with the Norwegian Social Research Institute in Oslo, University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Christine Hallett has also served as an academic expert on a wide range of boards and committees, and has been Member of the Board of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration.

Professor Hallett’s publications include The Personal Social Services in local government, Interagency Co-ordination in Child Protection, Child Abuse: Aspects of interprofessional co-operation (with O Stevenson), Women and Social Policy, and Hearing the Voices of Children: Social Policy for a New Century (with Alan Prout) as well as many other journal articles, monographs and other works.

Professor Hallett was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2002.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


Future of Languages in Higher Education


Date released: Tuesday 16 March


A new partnership will be launched on Thursday aimed at raising the profile of languages, linguistics and area studies in Scottish Higher Education.

The UK Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS), based at the University of Southampton, has called on the Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (Scottish CILT), based at the University of Stirling, to help it promote its work in Scotland.

Director of Scottish CILT, Professor Richard Johnstone said: "We are delighted to have been invited by the UK Subject Centre to work with it in the support of languages, linguistics and area studies in Scottish Higher Education. There are particular challenges facing modern languages in the UK at present. For example, the range of specialist degrees in modern languages is under threat."

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer, George Reid MSP will officially launch the initiative on Thursday 18 March in Stirling Management Centre. Other key speakers include:


  • Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the UK Subject Centre, who will be talking about his report A new landscape for languages which was published by the Nuffield Foundation last year as a follow-up to the Nuffield Inquiry.
  • Professor John Macklin, Principal, University of Paisley, and
  • Roger McClure, Chief Executive, Scottish Funding Councils for Further and Higher Education.

Lesley Pollock
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(01786) 467058


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Lottie Gregory, Scottish CILT

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466294
email Email: c.w.gregory@stir.ac.uk

Higher Education Policy is Failing Some Students


Date released: Thursday 18 March

The Scottish Executive’s policy on higher education, favouring progression from further education to higher education, is misguided according to Professor John Field of the University of Stirling.

In a paper published by the Journal of Access Policy and Practice, Professor Field, who is director of the University’s Division of Academic Innovation and Continuing Education, argues that this route (known as articulation) is failing some students.

Professor Field said: “The higher education system is creating opportunities for half of young people to enter, but far too many young people are going in by a revolving door and shooting right back out again with little or nothing to show for it.”

Drop out and failure rates on Higher National programmes are high. Evidence suggests that roughly one-fifth of students on HNC programmes and one-third of those on HND programmes do not even enter with SQA for the award. Of those who do enter for the award, one quarter of HNC students and one third of HND students do not gain their qualification.

Using two case studies, Professor Field shows that students who gain a Higher National award in a college are much more likely to enter those universities and courses where the competition from conventionally qualified applicants is low.

Professor Field commented: “Research has shown that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to take up higher education in a further education college than in a university. But if they then go on to study for a degree, they are often channelled into low status areas with poor career prospects. None of Scotland's judges, surgeons and top company executives have come through the articulation route. Unless there are significant policy changes, it is very unlikely that articulation will make any real difference to equality of opportunity.”

Professor Field’s paper appears in this month’s edition of the Journal of Access Policy and Practice, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Professor John Field

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: 07818 046827

University's Innovative Ideas of the Year

Date released: Thursday 18 March

Students and staff have won funding between £1,500 and £10,000 for their innovative ideas in the Stirling University Research and Enterprise (SURE) Innovation Awards, supported by Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley and Inverness & Nairn Enterprise.

The results of the annual competition, which was introduced three years ago to identify and fund projects with commercial potential, were announced at an awards ceremony in the Macrobert Arts Centre on Tuesday 16 March.

This year’s winners include:


  • Dr Peter Hancock, a senior lecturer in Psychology, who aims to create a system that will predict the looks of a child based on photos of the potential parents. If the system works, it will allow for a variety of fun applications either via the Internet or at science centres and museums.
  • Mrs Alison Finnie, a lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery, who won funding to develop an online tissue viability nursing course that aims to enhance students’ skills in dealing with wounds.
  • Dr William Kidd, Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, who aims to create an interactive web-based course offering a virtual cultural and linguistic tour of Paris.
  • Ms Sandra Quinn, a Psychology PhD student, who aims to develop a prototype of a game for learning music and trial it with local primary schools.

Several of last year’s winning ideas have proved to be successful:


  • Ms Isobel Chisholm, a lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery, has developed an online Return-to-Practice course for nurses returning to the workplace after a career break. The course was specifically designed to meet the needs of those living in remote or rural areas.
  • Dr Bernd Porr, a Psychology research assistant, has gone on to develop the world’s first USB-port based data acquisition advice for Linux, which offers real-time monitoring and control of any type of data.
  • Ms Diana Elmegaard, is one of five students who after winning last year’s student award fulfilled their dream of setting up their own audio-visual company called Bandit Productions.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Daniela Bolle

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 458139

Stirling Graduation Ceremonies March 2004

Date released: Monday 22 March

The University of Stirling will hold three academic awards ceremonies in the Albert Halls, Stirling on Friday 26 March.

The ceremonies will be presided over by Chancellor Dame Diana Rigg who will confer both first degrees and a large number of higher degrees. The Chancellor will also confer honorary degrees of Doctor of the University on:

  • Ms Sara Parkin OBE, Director of Forum for the Future, for her outstanding contribution to education and sustainability.
  • Dr Callum McCarthy, Chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), for his contribution to public affairs.
  • Colonel James Stirling of Garden, Lord Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk, for his outstanding service and commitment to the people of Scotland, especially in Stirling and Falkirk.


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

Here's Looking at You Kid

Date released: Tuesday 30 March


Teachers from Stirling to Strathyre won’t be telling their pupils to “look at me when I’m talking to you” in future, after attending a training seminar run by the University of Stirling’s Department of Psychology on Friday 26 March.

The session held at Stirling Management Centre was based on research carried out in local primary schools by psychologists Dr Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon and Dr Fiona Phelps which shows that children look away to help them concentrate and think.

Dr Doherty-Sneddon said: “Many cultures interpret looking away during a conversation as a sign of disinterest or disengagement. Certainly looking at someone while they are speaking helps us understand them better- we get lots of useful information from peoples faces and other non-verbal cues. However, we found that primary-school-aged children used gaze aversion to help them concentrate on difficult material and think of an answer. Looking away is something to be encouraged rather than discouraged when children are processing something they have been told or asked.”

The seminar also addressed whether young children use gaze and gaze aversion in a similar way to older children.

Dr Phelps said: “Gaze aversion in response to a difficult question is a skill that develops with age, rather than being an innate behavioural response. When remembering information, thinking of an answer to a question, planning what we are going to say or speaking, we often close our eyes, look up at the sky, or look away from the person we are speaking to, especially if the task in hand is difficult.”

The findings of the study are potentially important for the way children are seen to engage in learning situations.

Dr Doherty-Sneddon said: “Children’s patterns of gaze promise to yield important clues to their thinking, concentration and mental processing that will be useful to parents, teachers, psychologists and others engaged in assessing children’s knowledge and development.”

She added: "Our most recent studies have addressed whether or not children who look away answer more accurately. We plan to continue this work by examining why older children and adults use gaze aversion more readily and how teachers might use children's gaze to judge their readiness to learn".

Lesley Pollock
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Dr Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467653