University of Stirling

Development and External Affairs

Media

 

News Archive

May

The Principal's Music

Pupils Relish Opportunity to Teach Students a Lesson

Stirling is Leading the Way in Disabled IT Access

Two Sides of Trade Union Recognition Revealed

Thomson Throws up all the Aces to Win Scottish and British Students' Athletic Title

Estuarine Ecosystem: Ecology, Threats and Management

Developments in Criminology

Lord High Commissioner Visit

A Computer in Line Saves Time

Government Should Lead by Example in Funding Education

Student Ramsay Wins Scottish Open Amateur Strokeplay

 

The Principal's Music

Date released: Monday 3 May 2004

The University of Stirling has organised a series of informal musical recitals in the MacRobert Foyer under the banner of The Principal’s Music.

The next event will be held on Wednesday 12 May 1.10 – 1.50pm when Professor Leslie Smith’s Jazz Band will play mainstream jazz.

The programme will include Take the ‘A’ Train, Here’s that rainy day, All of me, Yesterdays, Autumn Leaves, Gee baby ain’t I good to you and Jersey Bounce.

The recital is open to the public and is free of charge.

Further information is available from the Communications and Development Office, Tel: 01786 467055 or E-mail: c&d@stir.ac.uk

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


Pupils Relish Opportunity to Teach Students a Lesson

Date released: Monday 3 May 2004

Pupils from Shawlands Academy in Glasgow taught student teachers at the
University of Stirling a lesson or two at a special student-pupil seminar last
month.

The workshop was organised by the University’s Institute of Education to find
out what pupils want from their teachers and how teachers could help them
learn. Pupils were asked what qualities they most valued in their teachers,
what kinds of educational activities they most enjoyed and how they think
teachers might best support pupils.

Advice from the pupils included:

  • Being aware of and more responsive to pupils’ points of view.
  • Using more interactive teaching techniques such as group work.
  • Being more consistent and cautious with regard to discipline.
  • Admitting when they are in the wrong.
  • Discussing subject choices with pupils.
  • Treating pupils with respect.
  • Listening more.


Professor Julie Allan of the Institute of Education said: “Listening to children
and young people is something which we try to encourage student teachers to
do. The seminar took this one step further and was a valuable learning
experience for all concerned. The pupils really appreciated the opportunity to
air their views and our students have vowed to keep their comments in mind
when they reach the classroom.”


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Julie Allan

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467622


Stirling is Leading the Way in Disabled IT Access

Date released: Monday 3 May 2004

The University of Stirling has won a prestigious best practice award for its supportive approach to students with special needs.

The accolade, bestowed by University and Colleges Information Systems Association, recognises the University’s commitment to widening access for students with disabilities through the provision of specialist IT facilities.

Special Needs IT advisor, Paul Amery said: “The University has developed an integrated teaching and learning environment which promotes independent studying practices for in-house or distance learning students regardless of any disability.”

All computer labs at the University contain a wide range of enabling technologies from screen readers and screen magnification for visually impaired students, to scan and read back software with enhanced interactive spelling and proofing tools for students with specific learning difficulties.

A dedicated lab with four sound-proofed cubicles has also recently been built for students who wish to use voice recognition software.

All lecture theatres are fitted with shot-gun microphones which feed amplified sound systems, listening posts and infra red broadcasting. Infra red receivers are issued to students who suffer from visual and/or hearing impairments and students with low or impaired dexterity. The infra red technology connects directly to minidisk recorders or other recording devices.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Paul Amery

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466611


Two Sides of Trade Union Recognition Revealed

Date released: Tuesday 4 May 2004

Two independent research papers published today by Dr Gregor Gall, a reader in Industrial Relations at the University of Stirling, reveal the two sides of trade union recognition in Britain.

Dr Gall shows that while trade unions have secured 2633 new union recognition agreements with employers between 1995-2003, covering 1.1m workers (far exceeding the expectations of the Trade Union Congress), unions have begun to meet increasingly widespread employer opposition to gaining recognition.

As the numbers of new agreements has fallen, the number of cases of anti-unionism has increased. Dr Gall’s research identifies 1105 cases of union suppression and union substitution between 1995-2003.

Dr Gall said:

“Unions have worked successfully to extend the ambit of union recognition. Having used up their ‘easy cases’, they now face tackling the ‘hard nuts’ to try to continue this growth.

“However, the proposed protection against employer intimidation of workers in union recognition campaigns in the Employment Relations Bill 2003 is unlikely to deter the vehemently anti-union employer.”

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


Thomson Throws up all the Aces to Win Scottish and British Students' Athletic Titles

Date released: Monday 10 May 2004

Athlete Scott Thomson Stirling University student, Scott Thomson (22), completed a unique achievement last weekend by capturing both the Scottish and British Universities' shot-putt and hammer-throw titles for the 2nd year in succession. Sports Studies and Psychology student, Thomson, achieved a personal best throw of 55.32m in the hammer event, the 3rd furthest distance ever thrown by a Scot in competition and just one metre short of the Scottish national record. The GB U/23 internationalist and member of the Central Scotland Institute of Sport, went on to win all 4 throwing events at the Scottish Universities' Championships and pocketed the Ian Cosgrove Athlete of the Competition trophy for his efforts. His wins come on the back of impressive athletic performances by Stirling students at the British Universities' Championships held last month. Andrew Lemoncello and Allan Scott added to Thomson's medal haul by winning gold in the 1500m and the 110m hurdles respectively, whilst Toni Mackintosh gained silver in the women's 3000m race.

Raleigh Gowrie, the University's Sports Performance Manager, was particularly pleased with their performances. He stated:

'It is a great achievement for Stirling students to gain success against some of the very best young athletes in Britain. They are committed to their sport and deserve the plaudits. They also act as great ambassadors for Stirling University.'

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

 

 
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Raleigh N Gowrie

Sports Performance Manager

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786-466908 (6)

Mob: 07740500140


Estuarine Ecosystem: Ecology, Threats and Management

Date released: Monday 10 May 2004

For the inhabitants of many of the world’s major towns and cities, estuaries provided their first and nearest glimpse of a natural habitat. The estuarine ecosystem, however, continues to be under threat from man.

Donald S McLusky, University of Stirling, and Michael Elliott, University of Hull, present evidence of human abuse and misuse of these habitats, particularly the effects of pollution, in their new book The Estuarine Ecosystem.

Dr McLusky said: “Although the world’s seas are vast and may appear capable of receiving unlimited quantities of human effluent, such waste is often first discharged into the confined waters of estuaries. In practice, marine pollution is often essentially estuarine pollution.”

The book considers how we can monitor, control or prevent the pollution and destruction of this fragile ecosystem through estuarine management.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


For further information:

 

 
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Dr Donald S McLusky

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467770 / + 44 (0) 1877 384309


Developments in Criminology

Date released: Tuesday 11 May 2004

The University of Stirling’s Department of Applied Social Science will launch a new MSc/Diploma in Criminology this autumn in response to the popularity of its undergraduate criminology degree.

Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Dr Reece Walters said: “The student demand for criminology continues to grow. In 2002 we introduced the first-ever undergraduate criminology degree in Scotland. Places are hotly contested, far exceeding our original enrolment expectations, and we are confident the MSc will prove equally popular.”

These new initiatives in teaching are an extension of the University’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.

Lecturer in Criminology, Dr Laura Piacentini said: “The department’s expanding team of scholars are working on a range of research projects that could be described as ‘cutting edge’. Examples include the first-ever drug and youth courts in Scotland; a critique of imprisonment in Russia; crime and genetically modified food; weapons of mass destruction and civilian risk in Scotland; and human rights abuses and asylum seekers.”

Criminologists at the University are working closely with academic scholars around the world as well as with national bodies such as the Scottish Executive, the Scottish Prison Service and Scottish Police Forces. Collaborations also exist with non-governmental groups including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Greenpeace and the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Later this year Dr Walters will travel to Zambia to examine the international trade policies of the US Government and their effects on sub-Saharan countries.

Dr Walters said: “The focus of this research is GM food and the reported concerns to human health, the risks of genetic pollution, the demise of alternative farming techniques and economic exploitation by large private corporations.”

Dr Piacentini, a fluent Russian speaker, recently spent four weeks in Russia studying penal policy. This was a follow-up to her earlier research when she lived in Russian prisons for three months. She is the first western academic to conduct empirical and theoretical research on the Russian prison system.

Dr Piacentini said: “This innovative and unique research will build new knowledge on how western models of imprisonment are influencing penal policy in states of transition.“

The new MSc/Diploma will integrate existing research within the department to form an innovative, contemporary and critical postgraduate programme. It is designed to give students a thorough grounding in methodological, theoretical and practical aspects of criminology.

Prospective students requiring further information should log onto:
http://www.dass.stir.ac.uk/SSP/study/Postgraduate.htm#apply
http://www.dass.stir.ac.uk/DASS20 PG20 Courses/Criminology.pdf

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Dr Reece Walters

Director of MSc/Diploma in Criminology

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467977


Lord High Commissioner Visit

Date released: Monday 17 May 2004

Seen here (from left to right) are: The Rev'd Ian Patterson, Chaplain to the Lord High Commissioner; Lady Steel of Aikwood; Ms Elish Angiolini QC, Solicitor-General for Scotland; Lord Steel of Aikwood DUniv; Tom Murray WS, Purse Bearer to the Lord High Commissioner; Mr Giles Dove, Director of Communications & Development at the University of Stirling; Ms Kirsty MacGregor, Lady-in-Waiting; and Lieutenant Sam Billington, ADC.

The Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland paid a special visit to the University of Stirling on Tuesday 18 May.

Lord Steel of Aikwood is an Honorary Graduate of the University (1991) and was Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 1999-2003.

Lord Steel was accompanied by Lady Steel, Tom Murray WS - Purse Bearer to the Lord High Commissioner, Reverend Ian Patterson - Chaplain to the Lord High Commissioner and Elish Angiolini QC - Solicitor-General for Scotland.

Colonel James Stirling of Garden - Lord Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk and Honorary Graduate of the University (2004) - welcomed the Lord High Commissioner’s party to the campus.

During his stay Lord Steel met academic staff in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery and toured the Iris Murdoch Building, which is an example of dementia-friendly design.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Tania Ellis

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466678


A Computer in Line Saves Time

Date released: Tuesday 18 May 2004

Clever computers could soon be saving aquaculturists valuable research time by vaccinating fish for them.

The University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture is working with technology transfer company INCITE, based in the Department of Psychology, to develop a machine which can safely deliver an injection to fish. At present the task is done manually.

INCITE director, Kevin Swingler said: “Vaccinating the fish is a miserable job which takes hours. Our aim is to teach the computer to see the fish through a camera and deliver the vaccine accurately. We also hope to teach the computer to grade the fish at the same time, another time consuming job.”

INCITE is also working on a number other projects to get computers to perform the kinds of tasks that are usually thought of as requiring human abilities or expertise.

Mr Swingler said: “Unlike computers, we humans are not good at storing vast amounts of information or making millions of calculations in our heads. So far, these are the kind of things we have used computers to help us with. However, humans are very good at many things that computers cannot do. We are very good at using our senses: vision and hearing in particular. We are attempting to give computers these abilities.”

INCITE is currently developing computers that can see, computers that can understand what they hear and computers that can learn.

Mr Swingler said: “These skills all have one thing in common: the ability to make sense of huge quantities of data in a short period of time. This has practical applications such as the analysis of marketing data, machine monitoring and auditory data in hearing aids.”


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Kevin Swingler

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786  467676


Government Should Lead by Example in Funding Education

Date released: Tuesday 18 May 2004

The University of Stirling has been singled out for its successful track record in fundraising from philanthropic sources in a Government Report.

“Increasing voluntary giving to higher education” is published this month by a Department for Education and Skills Task Force chaired by Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

The Report notes that “Stirling University, established in the 1960s, set up its Development Office four years ago. With less than two full-time equivalent staff devoted to fundraising, and a cost of around £70,000 per year, it has focused on targeting charitable foundations for funds. This has been a very effective strategy with over £10 million raised in the three years to 2003.”

Commenting on the announcement, the University of Stirling’s Director of Communications & Development Giles Dove said: “We are changing the culture of philanthropy in the UK as citizens recognise that universities make the world a better place. Individuals, companies and charitable trusts have all been willing to share Stirling’s objectives for strategic development and have been most generous in their support.” Giles Dove added “There is a clear message for Government – lead by example. If the Government demonstrates its commitment to higher education, others will follow and show a willingness to support our ongoing success.”

Stirling’s Director of Finance John Gordon said: “Stirling is a well-managed institution and we have raised significant sums to support key strategic projects that improve the quality of teaching, learning, research and the campus environment. In this day and age we need to diversify our income streams, and philanthropic fundraising is one ingredient in our recipe for success.”


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


For further information:

 
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Giles Dove
Director of Communications & Development

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786  466678


Student Ramsay Wins Scottish Open Amateur Strokeplay


Date released: Monday 24 May 2004

University of Stirling golf scholarship student, Richard Ramsay, achieved a lifetime ambition in winning the Scottish Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship at Lundin Links at the weekend with a championship record score.

Rounds of 67, 68, 68 and 66 gave Ramsay a 15-under par total of 269 and a slender one shot victory over former Finnish Strokeplay champion Roope Kakko.

Ramsay's low scoring shaved two shots off the previous record low of 271 set by former Walker Cup player, Barclay Howard, in 1997.

A Sports Studies and Marketing student, Ramsay (20) partnered Walker Cup veteran, Gary Wolstenholme, during the final day's play. It was something the student was not phased by. On the contrary, it helped Ramsay focus more on his own game. Ramsay admitted:

“Gary Wolstenholme is a great player and I was trying to match him shot for shot. When you are playing with someone like him, it does give something extra to your game. Winning a national title has always been one of my ambitions and to win this one is amazing. There are some great names on the trophy and it will probably take a while for this to sink in.”

Ramsay's victory earned him a national title double, after he had picked up the Scottish Universities' Championship at Lossiemouth last month.

Fellow Stirling student, Dawn Dewar, also had cause for celebration over the weekend as she pocketed the Scottish Ladies Golfing Association Clark Rosebowl Trophy with a 3 & 2 victory over Donna Pocock at Old Prestwick.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


For further information:

 
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Raleigh Gowrie
Sports Performance Manager

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786  466908

Mob: 07740500140


Scotland in Crisis: Population Decline

Date released: Wednesday 26 May 2004

Scotland faces the fastest falling population in Europe. By 2009 it is expected that the country’s population will be less than five million.

The problem has grave implications for the Scottish economy and public services, leading to a significant reduction in standard of living of Scottish people.

The issue of Scotland’s declining and ageing population will be tackled at a conference organised by the Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS) on Thursday 27 May.

One of the event’s key speakers will be Professor Robert Wright of the University of Stirling’s Department of Economics. Professor Wright will argue that Scotland should be given control over immigration.

Professor Wright said: “The Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative is a step in the right direction, but the number of individuals this policy is likely to attract falls short of what is required to decelerate population ageing. Scottish people find themselves in a somewhat odd situation, their government warns them that population decline is their ‘number one’ problem and, yet at the same time their elected representatives are virtually powerless to do anything about it. The responsibility for immigration must be devolved.”

Other speakers will include Alex Neil MSP of the SNP and Professor Bob Rowthorn of the University of Cambridge.


Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Professor Robert Wright

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786  467481