08-2004 Press Releases

UK social workers gather at Queen's

Postgraduate social work researchers from around the UK have gathered at Queen's University this week to take part in a major workshop to consider how to advance social care research.

Hosted by the School of Social Work, in association with the Institute of Child Care Research, the conference is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday (31 August and 1 September).

Dr Colette McAuley Head of Research at the School of Social Work explains: "Social workers are in the front line of society's efforts to cope with many community and personal problems. This workshop provides an opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills base of UK postgraduate researchers in order to develop their capacity to carry out high-calibre research in social work and social care.

"The programme for the workshop has been developed by drawing on feedback from participants at the previous annual gathering. Academics from several leading British Universities, including Queen's, will address a range of key research issues in national and international contexts, and a series of workshops will enable participants to explore and share their own research projects."

Dr McAuley added, "Northern Ireland, like many parts of the UK, is currently experiencing a shortage of social workers. Next month sees the first intake at Queen's of students on a new Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) honours degree course. Competition for the 130 new course places available was particularly stiff, indicating that with an accessible undergraduate course in place people can be attracted to the profession. Queen's University is set to become Northern Ireland's leading provider of social workers."

Professor Roy Crawford Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development, who welcomed delegates to Belfast, said: "The School of Social Work at Queen's is one of the leading departments in the United Kingdom. A strong centre of research excellence, 13 students have recently successfully completed their doctorates from the School and the Institute of Child Care Research. We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious annual gathering in Northern Ireland for the first time."


Notes: This is the first annual UK Postgraduate Research Workshop to take place in Northern Ireland. The Workshop title is: Enhancing Research Capacity and Advancing Methods in Post Graduate Social Work and Social Care Research – Where do we go from here? The conference is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The new Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) honours degree is a mixture of study at Queen's and practice placements. Over one third of the course will be spent learning in social services agencies on a full-time basis. The BSW is the result of a radical reform of social work education and training in Northern Ireland announced by government in October 2001 and implemented by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council who will accredit the new qualification. The degree is based on a partnership between the University and social services agencies and will include regular contributions from users of social services to the students’ learning.

For further information, contact: Dr Colette McAuley, School of Social Work, 028 9097 4586, email c.McAuley@qub.ac.uk; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Northern Ireland students engineer their future!
Dr Mike Healy of Chemical Engineering at Queen's and Susan Duffy Sentinus Programme Manager, speak to two Sacred Heart Grammar pupils, Jennifer Carlisle and Emma Cull,  by their project displayed for the Nuffield Bursary Scheme in the Whitla Hall
Dr Mike Healy of Chemical Engineering at Queen's and Susan Duffy Sentinus Programme Manager, speak to two Sacred Heart Grammar pupils, Jennifer Carlisle and Emma Cull, by their project displayed for the Nuffield Bursary Scheme in the Whitla Hall

The Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme has once again run very successfully in Northern Ireland. It culminated in a celebration day on Thursday 26th August 2004 in the Whitla Hall, Queen's University, Belfast.

47 students, who took part in the Bursary, attended the event to display projects that they had been working on over the summer. They impressed an invited audience of parents, friends, project providers and representatives from Northern Ireland industry with accounts of their experiences within a variety of placements.

The Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, helps students to take part in science-based projects, lasting 4-6 weeks, in universities, industries and research institutions during the summer holidays. Unlike work experience schemes, students carry out well-defined projects, which will make a real and valuable contribution to the work of the host organisation.

Brian Campbell, Chief Executive, Sentinus said: "The Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme is a unique opportunity for students to gain work experience in an area they are interested in. They get involved with the work of a department and make a real contribution. Not only does it make them aware of what it is like to work in their chosen career, it makes them more marketable in today's competitive environment."

 The students involved in the bursary were Year 13 candidates who want to pursue a career in science/engineering or technology. They spent the summer in placements including hospitals, engineering companies, universities and other research institutions.

Professor Ken Bell, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Students and Learning at Queen's University Belfast, attended the event and presented the students with their certificates. He said: "I am amazed by the standard of work that young people in Northern Ireland can produce. Within this scheme, each year the quality of work continues to improve.

"I congratulate all the pupils who took part. Not only are you great ambassadors for your schools, but for Northern Ireland as a whole. It is very encouraging to meet the professionals of the future. Queen’s University is delighted to be involved again with the Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme."

The Nuffield Science Bursary Scheme is delivered in Northern Ireland by Sentinus and is supported by the Northern Ireland Business Education Partnership.

Pictured are Dr Mike Healy of Chemical Engineering with Sacred Heart Grammar School pupils Jennifer Carlisle and Emma Cull, and Susan Duffy from Sentinus.

For further information please contact: Susan Duffy, Project Manager, Sentinus, Tel 028 90 366682.

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Networking a medieval tradition

A conference taking place at Queen's University this week shows that the benefits of networking were appreciated as long ago as in medieval times!

Students of medieval friendship and friendship networks are gathering at Queen's for a four-day international conference on medieval friendship, hosted by the Institute of Byzantine Studies.

The conference is being run by the AHRB Centre for Byzantine Cultural History at Queen's. It is the second in a series of Medieval Friendship conferences inaugurated at King's College London in 1996, and is taking place from 24-27 August.

The Belfast meeting is also serving to launch five years of collaboration on a British Academy project on medieval friendship networks. This collaborative project will bring together young scholars from all the Scandinavian countries, the USA, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Cyprus. It will compare the workings of friendship in medieval Scandinavia, western medieval Europe and Byzantium, and will concentrate on methodological issues.

Conference organiser Professor Margaret Mullett Director of the Institute of Byzantine Studies is delighted to bring this prestigious event to Northern Ireland. She said: "This week's conference will examine networks in action, friendship in art and literature, and cultural manifestations of friendship, and will bring together young medievalists at Queen's with their counterparts across Europe and beyond, from Washington DC to St Petersburg.

"Medieval Studies is a great strength of the Queen's Faculty of Humanities, typifying the world-class research that takes place within the Faculty. Contributions from eminent medieval research teams at Queen's (for example, the Henry II Project, and the Traditions of the Book research group) will sit beside medievalists working on letters, charters and saints' lives both in the Byzantine world and western Europe, for an unprecedented sharing of case studies and theories.

"The AHRB Centre for Byzantine Studies is moving into a new phase of comparative cultural history, reaching out to compare experiences in the classical, Islamic, medieval, and post-medieval worlds, and the conference is a clear indicator of this future work."

Professor Mullett added, "Networking is not new, and friendship made the medieval world go round!"


 Editor's Notes: The conference is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), the British Academy and Queen's University Belfast. It is taking place Tuesday – Friday 24-27 August, at the Institute of Byzantine Studies, run by the AHRB Centre for Byzantine Cultural History.

The conference theme is 'Friends and Networks in Medieval Europe, East and West' and it is the second in an international series of Medieval Friendship conferences.

For further information, please contact: Professor Margaret Mullett, Institute of Byzantine Studies, tel: 44 028 9097 3817; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Queen's advises students on results

The Admissions Office at Queen's University Belfast has issued advice to students who received their 'A' level results today (Thursday).

Decisions will be posted on the University website from Thursday 19 August at www.qub.ac.uk. They are updated twice daily. Clearing vacancies are also available on this site.

For students who do not have access to the web, telephone enquiry lines are available. Admissions staff cannot give advice but only up-to-date decisions. These are open from 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 6pm from Thursday 19 August to Saturday 21 August on 028 9097 5001.

The Admissions Office can be contacted on 028 9097 5081 and it will be open from Thursday 19 August 2pm - 5pm;Friday 20 August 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm; Tuesday 24 August 2pm - 5pm; Thursday 26 August 2pm - 5pm; Friday 27 August 2pm - 4pm.

The Office is closed on Wednesday 25 August to meet the UCAS decision deadline.

There will be an advice session only for candidates who wish to seek advice about admission to courses at Queen's. This will be held on Monday 23 August from 2pm to 5pm in the Sir William Whitla Hall.

For Medical and Dental applicants, an update will be provided in the Larmour Lecture theatre, adjacent to the Sir William Whitla Hall, at 2.30pm sharp.


For further information contact: Communications Office, (028) 9097 3087/3091

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Olympic fever at Queen's Summer Activity Scheme

Queen's University's Summer Scheme will be having its own Olympics on Friday 20 August.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday morning and the children will then take part in a range of activities and competitions during the day, including swimming, athletics, basketball, tri golf and uni hoc.

The Olympic Torch, created by the youngsters during Arts & Crafts, will be carried by three children who have taken part in the entire summer activity scheme programme.

Cathy Gallagher, Development Officer at Queen’s Sport & Recreation Services explains: "Children are given the opportunity to relate to events which they currently see or hear on radio and television. They will enjoy the novel activities and competitions as part of the Olympics, experience the camaraderie as part of a team whilst striving for a podium finish or simply supporting the rest of their group!"

The day will finish off in typical Olympic style when medals and certificates will be presented to winners in each of the various age categories in the Closing Ceremony. Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning and Resources, Professor Ken Brown will pay a visit to the morning activities to experience for himself the excitement and activity of the summer scheme.

Notes for editors: The Summer Activity Scheme takes place at the Physical Education Centre, Botanic Park, Belfast, during July and August each year.

Media interviews and photographs are available from 11.30am to 12.15pm when Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ken Brown will take the opportunity to meet and chat with the children.

For further information contact: Debbie McLorinan, Development Manager - Marketing & Customer Services, Sport & Recreation Services, (028) 9068 1953; email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk Cathy Gallagher, Development Officer - Business Planning & Sports Projects, Sport & Recreation Services, (028) 9068 1126, email: c.gallagher@qub.ac.uk

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Queen's Summer Scheme scores first with rugby and GAA week
Some of the children in action during the Gaelic/Rugby event in the Physical Education Centre as part of the annual Summer Scheme
Some of the children in action during the Gaelic/Rugby event in the Physical Education Centre as part of the annual Summer Scheme

Queen's University's Summer Scheme will complete its GAA and Rugby themed week on Friday 6 August.

During the event, in the University's Physical Education Centre, 130 children will get the opportunity to try both sports, learn from each other and enjoy the novelty of scoring a goal in rugby or a try in Gaelic!

This is the 9th year of Queen's Summer Activity Scheme - a seven-week programme of sporting and non-sporting activity for university staff children between the ages of six and 14 years.

The 2004 Summer Scheme is working closely with Coaching NI to deliver activities based on the concept of 'FUNdamentals' as explained by Cathy Gallagher, Development Officer at Queen's Sport & Recreation Services.

"FUNdamentals is about the development of fundamental motor skills like running, jumping and throwing, with a focus on fitness and fun. Children on the scheme participate in a variety of sports, concentrating each week on a particular sporting or non-sporting activity, which then culminates in a finale e.g. Euro 2004, Olympic Games or drama performance," she said.

On Friday Queen's Senior Football Captain and Fermanagh Senior player Martin McGrath will join Tyrone GAA stars Mark Harte and Joe McMahon in presenting certificates and medals to the children. The Sam Maguire Cup will also be in attendance. There will also be representatives from Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to take coaching sessions and make presentations to the children.

Notes for editors: The Summer Activity Scheme takes place at the Physical Education Centre, Botanic Park, Belfast, during July and August each year.

Media interviews and photographs will be at 10.30am on Friday 6 August. The event will begin at 10am with a coaching session for the children, followed by a joint rugby and GAA match at 10.45am. Presentation of certificates will take place at 11am.

For further information contact: Debbie McLorinan, Development Manager - Marketing & Customer Services, Sport & Recreation Services, (028) 9068 1126; email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk or

Liz McLaughlin, Development Manger – Operations and Processes, Sport & Recreation Services, (028) 9066 7881, email: l.mclaughlin@qub.ac.uk

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Humanities research to be showcased at Queen's

Postgraduate research students at Queen's University are to host the first showcase of their research projects within the Faculty of Humanities on 4 and 5 August at the University.

A student-led initiative, the Humanities Postgraduate Research Conference will present students' projects from a wide range of schools that have a connection to the conference's 'Irish' theme.

Rachel Holstead, a PhD student in the School of Music, explained the idea developed in response to a desire among Humanities postgraduate students for more opportunities to present their work within the university.

"The conference will provide a sounding board for students preparing for international conferences and give us an opportunity to gain valuable presentation skills and experience. In addition, it creates a multidisciplinary forum for the Humanities postgraduate community.

"We are very excited about this event and hope that it will become a regular fixture on the university calendar in years to come," she said.

Rachel, together with Jennifer Regan (MA History) and Penny Pollard (PhD Celtic Studies), have arranged an impressive programme of presentations that demonstrates the breadth of postgraduate research across the faculty. The papers have been grouped into six multi-disciplinary sessions, each of which will be chaired by postgraduate students. They cover Irish language, culture, heritage, history, establishment and music. The diverse topics that the young people will outline their research on include:

· An imaginative geography of Belfast - 'Somewhere in the Briny Say' (Neal Alexander, PhD English)

· Art, Life and the aesthetics of Ciaran Carson (Thomas L Muinzer, MA English)

· An enthnographer's search for facts in the Irish harp world. (Sara Walsmley-Pledl, PhD Ethnomusicology)

· God and the Tongue: Proselytism in Irish (Ian Malcolm, PhD Celtic Studies)

· Irish Proto-Bluestockings? Mary Delaney and her circle in Ireland c.1730 -1768 (Lisa Townsend, PhD Women's History)

· The spirit of Castle Ward (Bethany Bateup, PhD Medieval Studies)

The conference will be opened on the Wednesday evening by keynote speaker Dr Andrew Finlay A dynamic speaker who will set a high standard for the student presenters, Dr Finlay has a wide range of research interests and now lectures in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin, where he is currently conducting ethnographic work on cultural differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The conference will be attended by postgraduate students, by the international students attending the Institute of Irish Studies Summer School, and interested members of the public.

Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, is very supportive of the conference and other recent initiatives undertaken by the postgraduate students which reflect the Faculty's commitment to postgraduate student training and development across the breadth of its disciplines.

"I welcome the development of this impressive showcase and admire the initiative that has been shown by our students in setting it up. This conference serves to show the interrelationships of the varied projects being carried out around the Faculty by postgraduate students. It is a good way for these researchers to develop connections with other students who may be tackling a similar subject from a different angle in another School, and also to develop their range of research and presentation skills.

"The developing synergy across the postgraduate community in the Faculty coincides with exciting plans to open a new postgraduate centre in the near future," she added.

To register for the conference, simply come along to the opening session at 7pm on Wednesday 4 August in the School of Music, or at 9am on Thursday 5 August in the Peter Frogatt Centre.


Note to Editors: Media opportunities will be available between 7pm and 8pm on Wednesday 4 August in the School of Music.

Dr Finlay's keynote address, entitled "Nationalism and Multiculturalism: Irish Identity, Citizenship and the Peace Process?", will be delivered at 8pm on Wednesday 4 August in the McMordie Hall, School of Music.

For further information contact: Ms Wilma Fee, Faculty of Humanities, (028) 9097 3730 Rachel Holstead, School of Music, 0779 1371970 or Communications, (028) 9097 5384

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