09-2005 Press Releases

29/09/2005: Public sector performance management seminar at Queen's
26/09/2005: Re-Launch of \"Monster\" Campaign to Target Students
26/09/2005: Greek scholar to explore mythology and masculinity at Queen's
23/09/2005: Queen's student in duathlon championships
23/09/2005: Celebrating European Day of Languages at the University
22/09/2005: Conference highlights Queen's postgraduate work
21/09/2005: Challenging the HIV/AIDS pandemic; Queen's team to help development of novel HIV vaccine
21/09/2005: Greek artist to exhibit in Belfast
21/09/2005: Respect Your Neighbours Call By Queen's University
20/09/2005: Democracy explored at international conference at Queen's
19/09/2005: University supports 'Ireland's Biggest Hospice Coffee Morning'
14/09/2005: Latin rhythms to shake Queen's
14/09/2005: Study reports on drug use among school children
14/09/2005: IEEE president visits Queen's
13/09/2005: Centenary edition of 'Mourne Country' launched at Queen's Bookshop
13/09/2005: Death and the body: a legal paradox?
12/09/2005: Primary teachers not confident in science teaching -report claims
09/09/2005: Queen's students gain 'Insight into Management'
08/09/2005: 43rd Belfast Festival at Queen's -Programme Launch
08/09/2005: Jazz, Blues and World Music
07/09/2005: Complexity, knowledge and ethics
06/09/2005: Queen's opens its doors to the student experience
06/09/2005: Queen's Vice-Chancellor congratulates \"inspirational\" Richard
06/09/2005: Queen's takes lead in commercialising technology event
05/09/2005: Raising Grandparents
01/09/2005: Architectural Treasure Trove to be Revealed at Naughton Gallery
01/09/2005: Stella Artois Rolls \"Action!\" on new Queen's Film Theatre Partnership
01/09/2005: Fresh Delights from Queen's Open Learning programme

Public sector performance management seminar at Queen's

A series of cutting-edge management seminars offered by Queen's University Belfast as part of its Professional Development programme for local senior managers is set to continue this autumn.

With public sector accountability very much on the agenda as the review of local government takes place, it is timely that an intensive full-day seminar in the business and management series will focus on performance measurement in the public sector.

Noel Hyndman, Professor of Management Accounting within the Queen's School of Management and Economics, will lead the seminar on Friday 11 November. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Professor Hyndman was awarded a PhD for his research in accounting for not-for-profit organisations, has published widely in the area and provided consultancy support and training for a range of public sector bodies.

Outlining what will be covered on the performance measurement in the public sector seminar, Professor Hyndman said: "Performance measurement is a pervasive theme in the UK public sector and impacts on managers at all levels. Well developed and appropriate performance measurement and reporting systems can contribute to the improvement of management within the public sector as well as helping to discharge accountability.

"Drawing on official UK Government publications and the result of recent research, in what will be a highly interactive seminar, we will address what performance is, why it should be measured, the difficulties in measuring it and how this can be achieved."

Aimed at those public sector managers with responsibility for designing and operating performance management systems or managing and reporting on performance, the seminar will also be of interest to consultants providing support to public sector organisations in performance related issues.

Commenting on the series, James Bradley, Head of the Queen's School of Management and Economics said: "The business and management seminar series is the result of an innovative partnership between my own School and the Institute of Lifelong Learning within the School of Education, and illustrates Queen's University's aim of knowledge transfer to fuel economic growth and development."

For further information on the business and management seminar series, or other courses offered in the Queen's Professional Development programme, please contact the Institute of Lifelong Learning on 028 9097 3536 or visit the website at www.qub.ac.uk/ill

For further information, please contact: Barbara Lynagh, The Institute of Lifelong Learning, 028 9097 3536

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Re-Launch of "Monster" Campaign to Target Students
Monster Campaign Poster
Monster Campaign Poster

A campaign to improve relations between students and residents in south Belfast was re-launched today by Northern Ireland's two universities.

The initiative, which also ran in February this year, targets students living in south Belfast and is an integral part of a wider strategy to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

Asking the direct question: "Do you turn into a monster after dark?", the universities make a direct appeal to young people to respect their neighbours and help create conditions where everyone can live in peace.

Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster said today they were committed to working together with students, residents and other agencies to deal with widespread social problems in off-campus areas.

Professor Bill Clarke, the University of Ulster's Provost with special responsibility for community relations, said:

"This initiative is one strand in the University's community relations strategy. For several years we have been working actively with residents and students. We are happy to join forces with Queen's in partnership initiatives such as this.

"My message to students who choose to give in the Holyland is: please reflect on how your behaviour may affect the lives of other people living in the area. Students should be at all times be considerate and endeavour to be good neighbours."

Queen's Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry McCormac said: "Anti-social behaviour is one of the biggest challenges facing Belfast, and is undermining its citizens' quality of life. The student community should be a positive force for good. We hope that by educating people about their responsibilities, building partnerships and through the application of discipline we will be able to deal with this problem."

The campaign, which was put together with an input from students and residents, graphically illustrates the problems faced by both groups.

Professor McCormac said: "This is designed to be a high impact campaign. Over the next month, every student living in south Belfast will get the message. The universities are part of this community, and are determined to meet their responsibilities."

Link; www.studentsafterdark.com  

Editor's Note: The campaign will run for four weeks beginning 26 September 2005. Media include a 15,000 leaflet direct mail shot to selected postcode areas of south Belfast, 25,000 beer mats in student venues, posters in 20 bus shelter sites at hot spots in the area, 60 panels in pubs and clubs identified as student venues and 23 panels on Metro buses.

Media enquiries to:
Kevin Mulhern, Deputy Director of Communications, Queen's University Belfast Tel. 028 90975323 / 07813 015431
David Young, Senior Press Officer, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Tel. 028 90 366178 / 07808 911 343

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Greek scholar to explore mythology and masculinity at Queen's

Ruth Padel, well-known poet, Greek scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, will be giving a reading of her work relating to Greek mythology and masculinity on Monday 26 September at 6pm in the Institute of Byzantine Studies at Queen's University.

Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Chair of the UK's National Poetry Society, she has won the National Poetry Competition and published six collections of poetry, many shortlisted for major British prizes.

She wrote a PhD on Greek tragedy at Oxford; her book 52 Ways of Looking at A Poem was based on her poetry discussion column in the Independent on Sunday and her recent travel-memoir, Tigers in Red Weather, assessed the chances for the wild tiger in Asia today.

Ruth's reading, entitled 'I'm a man: I'm a god', will complement an exhibition of prints by the distinguished Greek painter-printmaker Alecos Fassianos on show at Gormley's Fine Art on the Lisburn Road in Belfast, which will run until 6 October.

The Fassianos prints on show are on mythological themes, showing figures from myth in modern contexts, exploring Greece's relationship with her classical past. Alongside his works on paper, the Belfast show will include a special edition of stamps the artist designed on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, as well as a series of silver jewellery he created for the Athens National Art Gallery.

The poet and writer will consider Fassianos' prints of Greek gods and read from her book I'm a Man: Sex, Gods and Rock 'n' Roll in which she argues that popular music's deification of masculinity was based on the grammar of ancient Greek myths. Padel's book turns on relations between the gods of sex and war, Eros, Aphrodite, Ares, and myths of desire in which gaze is all-important. It also explores the rape of Europa, the roots of rock in the blues, the relation of black and white, and the Fifties invention of the teenager.

Members of the public are welcome to come and listen to Ruth Padel to find out how Greek myth lies at the heart of the modern world's most effervescently anti-literary culture.

For more information, please contact: Marie George at the Institute of Byzantine Studies, 028 9097 3817 or email: byz.studies@qub.ac.uk

For further media information, contact: Kathryn Baird, Institute of Byzantine Studies, 028 9097 3817; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320.

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Queen's student in duathlon championships
Queen's student Matthew Wilson, who will be competing in the World Duathlon Championships in Australia at the weekend.
Queen's student Matthew Wilson, who will be competing in the World Duathlon Championships in Australia at the weekend.

A Queen's University student is heading 'Down Under' to take part in the world duathlon championships at the weekend.

Matthew Wilson, from Bangor, will be competing in the Australian city of Newcastle as an Irish Elite under-23 athlete.

The 22-year-old, who has taken a year out from his Chemical Engineering studies to focus on his sport, is a member of Queen's Athletics Club and Belfast's Olympia Triathlon Club.

For those unfamiliar with a duathlon it is an athletic event, that usually consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then from another running leg in a format bearing some resemblance to triathlons.

Matthew began his athletic career with Willowfield Temperance Harriers, but it wasn't until he came to Queen's that he gained selection for international races. Invited by a friend to train with Olympia, his potential was spotted by Irish Elite international Thomas Elliott, who has been coaching him for about three months.

"Under his guidance I have progressed to the international level. Tommy's insight and experience is something that I greatly appreciate and it is because of him that I have been selected to represent my country at both triathlon and duathlon," said Matthew.

The Bangor man, who trains 15 hours every week, was recently selected to represent Ireland as the U23 athlete in the Home Nations International triathlon at the London Triathlon and is keen to finish in the top 20 in Australia. Afterwards his sights will be set on the World Cup Duathlon series in 2006.

For further information, please contact: Paul Wilson, Telephone, 077 914 28450 Debbie McLorinan, Telephone (028) 9038 7660 Email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk

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Celebrating European Day of Languages at the University
Pupils from Botanic Primary School gear up for the European Day of Languages, working with the Language Centre at Queen's University, on a range of innovative activities.
Pupils from Botanic Primary School gear up for the European Day of Languages, working with the Language Centre at Queen's University, on a range of innovative activities.

Language specialists at Queen's University Belfast are preparing to lead Northern Ireland's annual celebration of the European Day of Languages on September 26, with a number of events arranged to encourage people throughout Northern Ireland to do something special to celebrate language learning.

As part of the celebrations the School of Languages, Literatures and Arts and the Language Centre at Queen's are introducing schoolchildren to the culture and language of some of our European neighbours in a fun and enjoyable way.

Nationals from each of the countries will host Spanish, French, German and Irish rooms where the schoolchildren will take part in quizzes and games and they will also explore cultural differences with samples and demonstrations of education, sports and songs. Packed lunches featuring 'tasters' of typical food from each of the countries will also be available.

The European Day of Languages, a Council of Europe initiative, is held annually in 47 countries across Europe. The local co-ordinating organisation for EDL in Northern Ireland is the Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT), which is based in the Queen's School of Education.

With the support of the modern language advisers in all five Education and Library Boards, NICILT has been promoting the day to all schools (primary and post-primary). Further Education Colleges, universities, teacher training colleges, youth organisations, language and cultural organisations and libraries have also been encouraged by NICILT to plan special activities to celebrate languages on this special day.

The special focus of EDL this year is on languages and careers. A range of resources - postermags, stickers and postcards, desktop backgrounds, EDL T shirts - all highlighting the career opportunities offered by even basic language skills - are available at the CILT website www.cilt.org.uk/edl

Wendy Phipps, NICILT Executive Officer at Queen's, commented: "The European Day of Languages has become an annual event to celebrate the linguistic diversity of the community in which we live. It is a day for encouraging people of all ages to start learning a new language, to take part in events celebrating learning and speaking other languages, and to focus on the benefits that language learning brings."

Languages Network Northern Ireland (LNNI), part of the CILT UK-wide Languages Network, works to encourage wider use of languages for business. LNNI is working closely alongside NICILT to promote the European Day of Languages to the Northern Ireland business community.

"The European Day of Languages is a good opportunity for companies and individuals to take stock of their language needs and capabilities. They can use the occasion to celebrate their success and to make plans to meet their future international communication needs" explains Arthur Bell, the LNNI Officer.

For further information, plesae contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 d.vischer@qub.ac.uk  (Wendy Phipps, NICILT Executive Officer, 028 9097 5955, email w.phipps@qub.ac.uk or Dr Eugene McKendry, NICILT Director, 028 9097 5948, email e.mckendry@qub.ac.uk )

Information and advice on the European Day of Languages 2005 is available at the NICILT website www.qub.ac.uk/edu/nicilt (click on EDL – European Day of Languages).
The CILT website: www.cilt.org.uk/edl contains further information giving a UK-wide perspective as well as links to other useful web sites.

 

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Conference highlights Queen's postgraduate work

Postgraduate students from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen's University will be hosting a research conference later this week.

Friday's conference, entitled "On Social Change", will draw together students from the Faculty's nine schools, giving them a chance to share their work, learn about the exciting research taking place in the Faculty, and get valuable training in presentation skills.

A total of 28 students will present their work, with an additional eight chairing the event, while eight staff members have volunteered to serve as discussants. Among the diverse range of topics for discussion are restorative justice in Northern Ireland; police accountability in the Republic of Ireland; environmental ethics and GM crops; children's disco dancing in Bali and gay writers representing gay sex in public spaces.

The conference has been supported by Dean Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Professor Harvey Whitehouse, and Dr Lee McGowan, with funding from the Student-Led Initiatives Fund and the School of English PGRTSS (Postgraduate Research Training Support Sub-Committee).

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences was established in August, incorporating the former faculties of Humanities and Legal, Social and Educational Sciences. T

he conference has been organised by six postgraduate students - Jennifer Regan (history); Thomas Lefebvre, Joanne McEvoy, Maire McGrattan (Politics); Noelle McCavana (French) and Bernard Mulholland (Byzantine Studies).

For further information, please contact: Jennifer Regan, Telephone, 077 5335 6241

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Challenging the HIV/AIDS pandemic Queen's team to help development of novel HIV vaccine

A research team from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University, Belfast is to help pioneer a novel approach to the development and delivery of an HIV/AIDS vaccine. The team hopes to combat the devastating AIDS pandemic raging through sub-Saharan Africa and other regions in the developing world. A new approach involving a female-controlled vaginal HIV vaccine is to be tried in order to break the infection cycle and its appalling effects.

Latest statistics show that every day more than 14,000 people become infected with HIV, with 95% of these coming from developing countries. More than 40 million people have already been infected world-wide. Critically, in sub-Saharan Africa, the worst affected region, around three quarters of young people infected are female, making the prevention of male to female transmission of the virus a priority issue. Tragically, not only women but also their unborn children are at high risk of contracting the AIDS virus.

The Queen's team, led by Professor David Woolfson, together with Dr Karl Malcolm, Dr Gavin Andrews and Professor David Jones, has been awarded US $2.3 million to support their work on the project, as part of a US $19.7 million grant to St Georges Hospital Medical School in London from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, under the 'Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative'. Dr Robin Shattock, from St. Georges, a leading authority on HIV transmission, is coordinating the international consortium working on the project, involving scientists from the UK, USA, Austria and South Africa.

Professor Woolfson and Dr Malcolm are acknowledged as world authorities on the design of controlled release drug delivery systems for vaginal application, while Professor Jones and Dr Andrews are experts on the formulation and physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical semi-solids.

"These technologically advanced systems enable a drug or other agent, such as a vaccine, to be continually delivered to vaginal tissue at a pre-determined rate over long periods of time, in some cases for up to a year," Professor Woolfson explained. "Scientists in the international research consortium will design and engineer HIV-1 vaccines to specifically target and activate immune cells resident in the tissue lining the vagina, leading to a completely new concept where the vaccine is formulated as a needle-free topical or surface product rather than as an injection. It is hoped that continuous, controlled vaginal delivery of such a specially engineered vaccine, which has never been tried before, will provide immunity where it is most needed, at the site of viral entry, and in turn induce whole body immunity," he said.

The challenges facing the Queen's researchers are significant. Professor Woolfson commented: "Any pharmaceutical product designed for use in the developing world needs to be robust, safe, convenient to use and resistant to the extremes of climate likely to be encountered. We need to design products capable of economic mass manufacture to international standards of pharmaceutical quality. In addition, we know that conventional immunisation by one or more injections of a vaccine has not so far been successful with HIV, due to the ability of the virus to mutate rapidly. Continuous vaccine delivery to induce immunity where the virus first enters the body is an exciting concept but it will take time, multi-disciplinary scientific skills and not a little good fortune to achieve".

The consortium will be working for the next five years on the project hopefully leading to successful initial clinical trials of candidate vaginal HIV/AIDS vaccine formulations.

For further information, please contact: Professor David Woolfson, 028 9097 2024; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Greek artist to exhibit in Belfast
An example of the work of Greek artist Alecos Fassianos that will be on display in Gormley's Fine Art, Belfast, presented by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and the Institute of Byzantine Studies at Queen's University.
An example of the work of Greek artist Alecos Fassianos that will be on display in Gormley's Fine Art, Belfast, presented by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and the Institute of Byzantine Studies at Queen's University.

Tomorrow evening, Thursday 22 September, marks the opening of an exhibition of work by one of Greece's foremost contemporary artists, painter-printmaker Alecos Fassianos. The exhibition will be on show at Gormley’s Fine Art, Belfast until 6 October.

Fassianos' work is presented by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, in association with the Institute of Byzantine Studies at Queen's University Belfast, as part of Greece in Britain 2005, a nationwide series of events illustrating the wealth and diversity of contemporary Greek culture.

Born in 1935, Fassianos studied painting under Yannis Moralis in the 1950s and also studied lithography in Paris in the early 1960s. He lives and works in Athens and Paris. His work is typified by ageless figures, often naked and with their hair streaming in the wind. In an instantly recognisable, highly personal style, his work has been described in French newspaper Le Figaro as "dazzling draughtsmanship which is reminiscent of Matisse".

To mark the artist's 70th birthday this year, the National Art Gallery in Athens organised a major retrospective of 300 of his works in oil, while a major book on his work was published in Paris.

The Fassianos prints on show in Belfast are on mythological themes, showing figures from myth in modern contexts, exploring Greece's relationship with her classical past. Alongside his works on paper, the exhibition will include a special edition of stamps the artist designed on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, as well as a series of silver jewellery he created for the Athens National Art Gallery.

Professor Margaret Mullett, Director of the Institute of Byzantine Studies at Queen's, who has been instrumental in the development of Byzantine Studies at the University over the last 30 years, helped to secure the Fassianos exhibition for Belfast. She commented: "I am delighted to see this exhibition in Belfast. It demonstrates the commitment to Hellenic Studies of the Institute of Byzantine Studies at Queen's and the role it plays in fostering closer relationships between Greece and Britain. In addition, we strive to create further opportunities for our students and researchers to bring together their academic findings with examples of creative achievement, and to do so on an international stage. This approach is very important to the future plans for the Institute."

Dr Victoria Solomonidis, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of Greece, London and UK Representative of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture will be among the special guests attending the exhibition opening.

Ruth Padel, well-known poet, Greek scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, will come to Belfast to give a lecture relating myth to modern culture on 26 September at Queen's University to tie in with the exhibition.

For further information, please contact: Kathryn Baird, Institute of Byzantine Studies, 028 9097 3817; Gormley's Fine Art 028 9097 3817; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320. 

 Links:
www.gormleys.ie
www.GreeceInBritain.org.uk
www.qub.ac.uk/schools/InstituteofByzantineStudies/

Notes:

  1. The exhibition opening of 'Alecos Fassianos: Works on Paper' will take place 6.30 – 8.30pm at Gormley's Fine Art, 251 Lisburn Road, Belfast. Media opportunities will be available.
  2. In recent months Queen's hosted a major international celebration of Byzantine and Greek culture at the University when the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies was held in Belfast in April for the first time. The Institute of Byzantine Studies also runs an annual Greek Summer School each year in July, hosts the regular Byzantium in Belfast Seminar Series and boasts a beautiful and unique mural in its courtyard, on the theme of 'The Feast of Wisdom', executed as part of a second-year module in Byzantine Patronage.

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Respect Your Neighbours Call By Queen's University
Gordon Douglas, new Community Relations Officer
Gordon Douglas, Community Relations Officer

Queen's University has appealed to new and returning students to show respect for their neighbours as the new academic year begins.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry McCormac said: "The start of the academic year is one of the points in the year when we get most complaints about noise and other anti-social behaviour.

"It is possible to have fun and to behave responsibly, and I am calling on all students - whether they are at Queen's, the University of Ulster or other institutions - to show respect for their fellow neighbours.

"A small minority of students are involved in anti-social behaviour, but their action tarnishes the reputation of the whole student body.

"Residents - whether long-term or other students - have the right to live in peace. The majority of students go about their lives with no problems. Indeed many make a positive contribution within their local community.

"But that work is undermined by a few. Queen's is committed to helping resolving this difficult issue and it is working actively with key partners - including UU, Students' Unions, residents, Belfast City Council, the police, the Housing Executive and landlords.

"Partnership is the key to making progress, and that is at the centre of Queen's approach. Over the past twelve months the University has invested significant time and resources to deal with anti-social behaviour.

"Many initiatives have been put in place to deliver on three fronts: education, discipline and partnership.

"Some of these measures include:

  • Supporting the Community Wardens Scheme financially
  • Setting up a neighbourhood forum
  • Establishing an inter-agency strategic group headed up by Belfast City Council
  • Creating a new disciplinary code to deal directly with students misbehaving in private accommodation
  • Launching a major student awareness campaign
  • Supporting the forthcoming Holyland Residents/Students Festival
  • Setting our responsibilities in an address by the Vice Chancellor to all first year students.

"We have also appointed a new Community Relations Officer, Gordon Douglas. He brings with him a range of skills that will contribute to the development and implementation of the University's strategy to promote good relations between Queen's students and the local communities."

Commenting on his new post Gordon said: "I have been impressed by the positive approach taken by the two universities and their student bodies in dealing with this problem.

"But it is clear that the situation on the ground remains difficult, and residents are looking for solutions.

"I hope that I will be able to build common ground between residents and students, and I am looking forward to working with everyone with responsibility for dealing with the wide range of problems in the Holylands and other areas of Belfast."

For further information, please contact: Kevin Mulhern, Communications Office, telephone 9097 5323

 

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Democracy explored at international conference at Queen's

A conference this week at Queen's University Belfast is set to bring together a group of international experts to discuss standards and practices of democratic governance around the world. It is being hosted by the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and takes place on Thursday and Friday (22-23 September).

Visiting delegates from the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, the UK and The Netherlands will address new challenges to governance, exploring issues of democratic accountability, economic policy, human rights politics and democratic procedures. There will be an emphasis on the impact of cultural conditions for democratic practice.

Antje Wiener, Professor of International Relations, at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy is one of the conference organisers. She commented: "As core constitutional norms of liberal governance - democracy, the rule of law, citizenship and human and fundamental rights remain challenges when transferred beyond state boundaries. We have been able to bring together an impressive line-up of key international figures under the European Union's Sixth Framework programme with the Network of Excellence, titled 'Connecting Excellence on European Governance' (CONNEX).

"Over two days, participants will discuss theoretical approaches and methodological tools in research on governance beyond the state with a particular interest in experiences derived from the European Union. They will seek to identify procedures and principles of democracy and accountability in national and European arenas, respectively; and compare meanings of these procedures and principles in different arenas. The goal is to assess diversity and commonality in the meaning(s) of democratic norms."

Special guests at the conference will be Professor Jane Jenson from the University of Montreal who comes to Queen's this autumn as a British Academy Visiting Professor, and Professor George Ross of Brandeis University who is a Visiting Professor to the Queen's School of Economics and Management as well as the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at Queen's.

Notes:

The 'Contested Meanings: Democratic Practice and Principles across Cultural Boundaries' conference will take place in the Canada Room at Queen's University Belfast on Thursday and Friday, 22-23 September. Media interviews may be facilitated there at 3.30pm on Thursday or 9.30am on Friday (advance appointments are welcome).

For further information, please contact: Professor Antje Wiener or Catherine Madden, 028 9097 3449; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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University supports 'Ireland's Biggest Hospice Coffee Morning'
Enjoying a cup of coffee at the Queen's University Coffee Morning for NI Hospice Care were (l-r): Kate Setterfield, fundraiser from NI Hospice Care, Hugh Gilmartin of Bewley’s Coffee (event sponsors) and organiser Selina Maginn, Catering Manager,  Queen's University Hospitality Services
Enjoying a cup of coffee at the Queen's University Coffee Morning for NI Hospice Care were (l-r): Kate Setterfield, fundraiser from NI Hospice Care, Hugh Gilmartin of Bewley's Coffee (event sponsers) and organiser Selina Maginn, Catering Manager, Queen's University Hospitality Services.

Queen's University staff generously supported a Coffee Morning event on Thursday 15 September in The Great Hall, raising £1,100 for NI Hospice Care.

The Coffee Morning was one of around 200 events to take place around Northern Ireland as part of the Hospice fund-raiser - 'Ireland's Biggest Hospice Coffee Morning'.

Selina Maginn, Catering Manager within Hospitality Services at the University, organised the event and was delighted with the level of support. She said: "There was tremendous generosity from colleagues around the University, with an impressive £1,100 raised from donations made for coffee on the morning and through the sale of raffle tickets for a range of donated prizes."

A student string quartet from the Music Society lent its support, playing as those attending enjoyed their coffee, scones and shortbread, and greatly adding to the atmosphere.

For further information, please contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Latin rhythms to shake Queen's

Top Latin band, Almeida Girl and Descarga, are set to bring Latin rhythms with a jazz and soul twist to the Whitla Hall at Queen's on Saturday night (17 September).

Highlight of the unique toe-tapping, high-stepping musical concert will be the performance by the nine-piece band that appeared over the summer at the Glastonbury Festival and are bringing their exciting blend of Latin rhythms to Belfast for the first time.

The Whitla Hall gig, organised by the University, the Belfast City Council Active Lifestyles initiative and local dance instructors from Salsabelfast.com and Isis-events.com, is the closing event of Belfast's Week of Dance and the finale of Queen's Welcome and Orientation programme for new students.

Aimed at the general public as well as Queen's staff and students, the event will give those in the audience a chance to dance to the band's infectious rhythms. Tickets have been distributed free to the first 250 Queen's freshers to book for the event and 100 free tickets were also made available to local residents' associations.

The evening's line-up will also include demonstrations by Queen's Sport and Recreation dance instructors of a number of lively dances including Salsa, Merengue, Mambo, Bellydancing and Hip Hop.

'Just For Laughs' comedian Neil McFarlane, last seen on stage in Belfast at the Empire, will compère the evening in his own inimitable comedic style.

Dr Robert Gamble from Sport and Recreation Services at Queen's said: "Dance is important in its own right as a popular cultural and social activity but it is also a great way for people to take that first step towards a more active and healthier lifestyle. The dance demonstrations in the programme will not only enable students and the public to learn to dance but will also introduce them to a very enjoyable form of exercise."

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £10 and £5 (Queen's students and staff.) and are available from Salsa Belfast.com (07834518831), or Queen's Physical Education Centre, Botanic Park, telephone 9068 1126.

For further information, please contact: Dr Robert Gamble, Tel 028 9038 7661 Dolores Vischer, Tel 028 9097 5320

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Study reports on drug use among school children

Over 150 delegates from schools and youth agencies across Northern Ireland will attend a conference in Belfast on Thursday 15 September to hear the findings from a major five-year study of teenage drug use undertaken by the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen's University Belfast.

The Youth Development Study research team at the Institute of Child Care Research has been tracking over 3,500 young people in Northern Ireland from their first year of secondary school (aged 11) through to fifth form (aged 16). The researchers have collected information on key aspects of adolescent life including smoking, alcohol and drug use, their friendship networks, relationships with their parents and friends, personality, leisure activities, behaviour problems, attitudes to education and behaviour in school, and the neighbourhood in which they live.

The research team has identified a number of important findings which will be presented at the conference. These include:

  • While drug use is very limited among young people in their first year of secondary school (aged 11/12), by the time they are aged 15 almost half have used an illicit drug and over one in ten have made the transition to more regular drug use.
  • Risk factors identified for regular drug use at age 15 included: having a risk-taking personality profile, getting into trouble at school, and being involved in delinquent behaviours.
  • At age 11 a clear gender divide existed in smoking, alcohol and drug use, with more boys than girls using. However, as young people grow older this gap narrows.
  • By age 15 more girls smoke than boys (50% versus 42%), and girls are as likely as boys to get drunk or use illicit substances.
  • It is possible to identify subgroups of young people who are at high risk of developing drug related problems. One such group is young people who are excluded from school.
  • There is also evidence of a potentially ‘hidden’ group of young people within schools who report regular and frequent drug use.

Delegates will also hear a number of international experts speak on the development of problem behaviour in young people and on the services provided to meet the needs of these young people. Key conference speakers include: Professor Sir Michael Rutter (Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London); Dr Eilish Gilvarry (Clinical Director, Northern Regional Drug and Alcohol Service); and Mr Rob Phipps (Northern Ireland Regional Alcohol and Drugs Coordinator, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety).

Commenting on the conference taking place at W5 @ The Odyssey Professor Dorota Iwaniec, Director of the Institute of Child Care Research at Queen's University said: "Drug use is a major social problem for Northern Ireland. This conference brings together key people who can make a difference in this area. It gives them the opportunity to hear the latest research evidence on adolescent drug use, and to discuss and debate best practice guidance on addressing the community, social and individual harm caused by drugs."

For further information, please contact: Andrew Percy, Dr. Patrick McCrystal or Kathy Higgins at the Institute of Child Care, 028 9097 5401. YDS web site: http://www.qub.ac.uk/ss/cccr/projects/youth.html  

Notes

The Youth Development Study is an ongoing longitudinal research project on adolescent development based at the Institute of Child Care Research, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast.
Over 3,500 school children, across 43 post primary schools, have participated in the Youth Development study since 2000. The young people were all year 8 pupils (first form) in 2000, and were interviewed annually until 2005 (year 12, fifth form).
The study will attempt to continue to track respondents until early adulthood.
The Youth Development Study is funded by the Research and Development Office, Department of Heath Social Services and Public Safety.

ENDS.

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IEEE president visits Queen's

The president of the world's largest professional technical organisation will be visiting Queen's University later this week to find out more about its work in the development of electrical engineering and computer science.

W Cleon Anderson is President and CEO of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest scientific, educational and professional society with over 365,000 members in more than 150 countries. Through its members, the IEEE is a leading authority in areas ranging from aerospace, computers and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power and consumer electronics.

Mr Anderson's visit to the University on Friday 16 September has been arranged by Queen's academic Dr Gordon Dodds, chair of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (UKRI) section of the IEEE.

According to Dr Dodds this is the first time that an IEEE president has visited Belfast in the organisation's 150-year history.

"It is fantastic that the IEEE worldwide president is able to visit Belfast as part of his overall trip to Scotland and the Republic of Ireland where he will be able to meet many members and bring the IEEE to the widest possible audience.

"There are many things that the IEEE has produced, from standards that allow computers to communicate wirelessly to safety in power stations. The president's visit demonstrates the IEEE is more than the four letters written on so many products," he said.

During his visit to the University Mr Anderson will meet IEEE members, academics from the Virtual Engineering Centre, ECIT (Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology) and SARC (Sonic Arts Research Centre) to discuss their ground-breaking work.

Notes:

ECIT: The £40 million Institute for Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) brings together world-renowned experts in electronics and computer science in a purpose-built flagship centre at the 25-acre Science Park in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

SARC: The Sonic Arts Research Centre is a centre of excellence, dedicated to the research of music technology, uniting internationally recognised experts in the areas of musical composition, signal processing, internet technology and digital hardware.

The Virtual Engineering Centre: The £5 million world-class Virtual Engineering Centre, based in the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, enables researchers to study complex technological systems not just with their eyes and ears, but through an array of senses, including touch and smell. The Centre excels in technologies in diverse applications from endoscopic surgery to more reliable vehicle engines.

Biography of W Cleon Anderson

W. Cleon Anderson, who is also a member of the technical staff at L-3 Communications in Salt Lake City, Utah, received his BSEE (Magna Cum Laude) and MBA (Dean's Scholar) from the University of Utah where he subsequently taught undergraduate and graduate courses in solid-state circuits and control systems. He was elected to four scholastic honor societies and named a Distinguished Alumnus of electrical and computer engineering.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer. He has over 40 years experience in the electronics industry. As a design engineer, program manager and engineering department head he directed the development of sophisticated data link communication systems. He has received three patents.

Anderson served IEEE in leadership positions locally, regionally, and worldwide for over 25 years and he also served a five-year Governor's appointment to the Utah State Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Board, the last three years as Board Chairman. He has chaired the Utah Engineers Council for two years, been secretary of the Utah Society of Professional Engineers, and served for five years on the Professionalism and Ethics Committee of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

For further information, please contact: Dr Gordon Dodds, g.dodds@qub.ac.uk or Professor George Irwin, Telephone 028 9097 4058

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Centenary edition of 'Mourne Country' launched at Queen's Bookshop

Publication of a book with unique and strong links with Queen's University Belfast will be marked at a launch reception at The Bookshop at Queen's on Thursday 15 September at 5.30pm.

First published in 1951, 'Mourne Country', by Estyn Evans, remains one of the definitive texts on one of Northern Ireland's most scenic areas. Out of print for several years until now, 'Mourne Country' has been republished to mark the centenary of the author's birth. This Centenary Edition is published by the same publishing house, Dundalgan Press, in association with The Bookshop at Queen's.

The late Estyn Evans, born in 1905, came to Queen's University in 1928 and retired in 1968. He founded the Department of Geography, becoming a Professor in l945. During his years at Queen's he also helped establish the Departments of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, and the Institute of Irish Studies of which he was the first Director.

Further maintaining the book's close links with Queen's University, former Head of the School of Geography, Professor Ronald Buchanan, who has written a Foreword to the new edition, will speak at the launch event. A second special guest speaker on Thursday evening will be Professor Alun Evans, son of the author, and Head of the Queen's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

"Mourne Country, along with Irish Heritage and Irish Folk Ways, is one of three outstanding books on Ireland written by Estyn Evans when he was Professor of Geography at Queen's University Belfast and Director of the University's Institute of Irish Studies," Ronald Buchanan wrote in his Foreword.

Professor Buchanan added: "Estyn Evans, the Welshman who made his home in Ulster, showed us in this book the very special place we have inherited in Mourne, the little Kingdom by the sea. He indicated ways in which the landscape he described and its ways of life might be conserved for the future. 2005 marks the anniversary of his birth: can we respond to the challenge he gave us, for the benefit of the generations yet to come?"

Tim Smyth, Manager of The Bookshop at Queen's, explains how the Centenary Edition came about: "Tremendous interest in the life and work of the late Professor Evans was expressed last spring when a new Estyn Evans portrait by Raymond Piper, commissioned by a group of the eminent academic's friends, was unveiled in Queen's University's Great Hall. In The Bookshop we frequently received requests for 'Mourne Country' and so I decided to contact the publishers and discuss the idea for a reissue to commemorate the centenary of the author's birth. I am delighted that the collaboration reached fruition so quickly and to see the book available once again."

Estyn Evans' achievement in several fields was recognised in his Presidency of the Institute of British Geographers, and of both the Geography and Anthropology sections of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He was accorded the membership of the Royal Irish Academy and was awarded honorary degrees by universities in Britain, Ireland and America. He died in 1989.

Professor Evans' contribution to public life was both wide-ranging and important. He was committed to encouraging understanding of Northern Ireland's cultural heritage and served as a Trustee of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the Ulster Museum for many years. He also became well-known to the general public through his many radio broadcasts and television appearances.

For further information, please contact: Tim Smyth, The Bookshop at Queen's, 028 9066 6302 or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Death and the body: a legal paradox?

A Queen's academic will discuss the rights of -or rather lack of -a body after death at a major international conference to take place in Bath this week.

Dr Heather Conway, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, will attend the international conference at the University of Bath between 15-18 September exploring all aspects of death, dying and disposal, and will speak on the legal status of the body in death.

The multi-disciplinary annual conference brings together professionals from a wide range of fields that include anthropologists, artists, bereavement counsellors, medical and heath practitioners, philosophers, social policy analysts and many more as well as those in the legal professions.

Dr Conway teaches property law at Queen's University, but is also interested in and researches the law relating to dead bodies, especially in the context of property rights in dead bodies, burial disputes, and conflicts involving the use and treatment of human remains.

"Death transforms the human body from a person to an object and through this process of objectification, the notion of ownership often becomes synonymous with control of the remains," Dr Conway commented.

"As an organising concept, death provides a familiar template around which to organise competing claims. It denotes important notions such as status, possession, control and the exercise of legitimate authority to the exclusion of all others," she added.

In her presentation Dr Conway explains that she considers how essentially the concept of ownership relates exclusively to the rights which others have in the deceased’s remains.

"A person has no legal right to dictate what should happen to his or her remains after death. Directions as to the manner and place of burial and the desired form of commemoration are not legally binding, while requests by the deceased that his or her body should be used for transplant or research purposes are no more than that and may be disregarded. Yet decisions about the deceased's possessions bind after death (so long as directives meet the relevant legal requirements). The fact that a person, when alive, an autonomous rights-bearing individual, cannot dictate the fate of their body once they die is something of a legal paradox."

Dr Conway argues that what happens to the body on death is often part of a person's identity, and that the freedom to dictate the fate of one's remains should be upheld as a natural progression from the rights of an individual while alive.

The social issues connected with death, dying and disposal of assets is a field of contemporary interest to a growing number of scholars internationally. The conference taking place in Bath this week has been held annually in the UK since 1993, providing an important forum to bring international scholars together to meet and share ideas.

Notes: Further information on the 7th International Conference on 'The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal' may be found on its web pages at http://www.bath.ac.uk/soc-pol/ddd7/  

For further information, please contact: Dr Heather Conway, 028 9097 3868.

ENDS.

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Primary teachers not confident in science teaching -report claims

Half of all primary school teachers do not have sufficient confidence in their understanding of science to teach the subject effectively, according to the largest UK study ever conducted into primary school teachers' perceptions of their own abilities to teach science. The 'Primary Horizons' report of the study findings is published today, Monday 12 September.

Commissioned by the Wellcome Trust and written by Dr Colette Murphy, Head of Learning and Teaching (Pre-Service) at the School of Education at Queen's University Belfast and Dr Jim Beggs, Head of Science at St Mary's University College Belfast, the 'Primary Horizons' report, gives an unprecedented insight into teachers' assessment of their own performance in the classroom. The results raise some serious questions about the training and support teachers are given and the consequences for pupils' scientific skills and understanding as well as their interest and enthusiasm for the subject.

Over 300 primary school teachers from across the UK participated in the study exploring their attitudes and experiences in teaching science. It was also found that professional development had a clear impact on confidence levels, with teachers who had taken part in professional development programmes in science more confident in almost every aspect of teaching the subject.

Up to 60% of teachers over the age of 30, pointed towards the lack of career development and subject specific training as a major problem. One teacher admitted: "There are certain things (that we teach) that (teachers) might not have done since primary school or secondary school themselves."

Another, speaking about training courses, said: "There is still a vast majority of teachers who are not confident and it is never going to be addressed just through the odd in-service and the odd-session or hour talk."

The report highlights some regional differences across the UK. More teachers in Northern Ireland than in other regions felt that better use of ICT in primary science would help pupils to become more active and informed citizens. The teachers from Northern Ireland in this study were more critical of their schools' resources for science than teachers in other regions.

Both of the report authors have directed several projects in Northern Ireland funded by the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust aimed at supporting teachers and learners of primary science. Dr Murphy said:

"The findings from this study highlight the need to ensure that primary science enables young children in Northern Ireland to develop the sorts of skills that will help them to become active and informed citizens. Queen's University Belfast and St Mary's University College have been very active in the promotion of primary science in Northern Ireland through projects such as Primary ConneXions, Medics in Primary Schools and DNA Fingerprinting in Primary Schools."

Professor Tony Gallagher, Head of the School of Education at Queen's added: "This report provides a valuable contribution to the current debates about primary education in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK."

Mr Peter Finn, Acting Principal of St Mary's University College Belfast, commented: "At a time of unprecedented change in school education, it is noteworthy that this report informs us of the attitudes and experiences of classroom teachers who deal with the realities of curriculum development on a daily basis. It is a voice that should be listened to more actively by education policy-makers."

The report also found that teachers felt under pressure from the breadth of the science curriculum against the time available to teach it. Some admitted that this can lead to them 'teaching to the test' rather than using creative approaches such as investigations and stories to relate science to pupils' lives, which can help to develop skills, understanding and enthusiasm for the subject.

The report was prompted by statistics that show pupils are losing interest in science – in 1995, 80% of 10 years olds said they enjoyed science lessons, that figured had dropped to 68% in 2003 *.

Such findings are leading to fears about the impact on the number of pupils who will continue to enjoy studying science both in pre 16 and higher education.

Notes: The full report, Primary Horizons: Starting out in science, is available at www.wellcome.ac.uk/primaryhorizons

* According to the 2003 Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS).

For further information, please contact: Dr Colette Murphy, 028 90975953; Dr Jim Beggs, 028 9026 8290; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

ENDS.

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Queen's students gain 'Insight into Management'

Queen's University students will have the chance to run their own companies, deal with business threats and opportunities, and cope with boardroom crises when they gain a unique insight into the world of management next week.

Organised by the University's Careers Service, the four-day interactive 'Insight into Management' programme will give around 60 students a valuable insight into the world of work through participating in business simulations, case studies and skills sessions.

The programme, which takes place from 12 to 15 September, brings together talent from major United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland companies, including BP, LogicaCMG, IBM, HM Revenue and Customs, Masterfoods and PricewaterhouseCoopers. One of the team members, representing Lloyds TSB, is travelling from the United Arab Emirates to take part.

The course, delivered by a tutor team who are experienced managers from all spheres of employment, will give students the chance to learn for themselves by taking part in business simulations and 'real life' scenarios.

Head of Queen's Careers Service Jean Stirrup said: "The programme offers a unique bridge between the world of education and the world of work. Participants are able to stretch their abilities through the range of case studies, business simulations and exercises delivered during the programme.

"The course aims to help students develop a range of transferable skills, including problem-solving, teamwork, decision-making and time management, and to enhance their personal effectiveness by boosting their self-confidence, creativity and initiative, qualities which are very attractive to potential employers.

"It will also help the students to learn about the range of career options available to them and to learn about the needs and differences in different organisations."

For further information, please contact: Queen's Careers Service, Tel 028 9097 4211

ENDS.

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43rd Belfast Festival at Queen's -Programme Launch

The organisers of the 43rd Belfast Festival at Queen's have secured a total of almost 20 Ireland, UK, European and World Premieres for this year's festival programme, it was revealed today.

From Friday 21 October to Sunday 6 November, artists and events from countries including Spain, Lithuania, Australia, United States, Norway, Japan, England, Ireland, Scotland, India and Poland will flock to Belfast to entertain audiences in venues right across the city.

Amongst the many attractions in a programme featuring the very best in new local, national and international artistic talent are a parade of huge, colourful insects, the world's shortest theatre show and a classical pianist's reinterpretation of the work of Radiohead.

Speaking at the launch, Stella Hall, Festival Director, said:

"Over the years the Belfast Festival at Queen's has grown from a small campus-based event in the early 60s to what it is today, the biggest international arts festival in Ireland. Each year the festival has endeavoured to bring a rich and diverse selection of artists and events to Northern Ireland to create a vibrant festival programme that appeals to everyone and this year's festival theme of 'Families and Communities' has enabled us to continue that fine tradition."

Opening Events

The festival will open on Friday 21 October with Insectes by Sarruga, a spectacular free street procession whose performers come all the way from Spain. Beautiful and gigantic ants, bees, spiders, butterflies and even a praying mantis will parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square, accompanied by drummers from the Beat Initiative and local young people and community groups, in a colourful and musical celebration of nature's harmony. The event is supported by Laganside Corporation, Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Fund and Belfast City Council.

The procession will be followed by The Ulster Bank Opening Concert - 'Symphony by the River' at the Waterfront Hall, which features Marianne Faithfull and band in concert with the Ulster Orchestra and the Renaissance Singers. Marianne will perform classics such as 'As Tears Go By' and 'Broken English' as well as songs from her recent album, 'Beyond the Poison', on which she collaborated with artists such as P.J. Harvey and Damon Albarn. Originally commissioned for chamber orchestra by the Salisbury International Arts Festival, music for this event has now been arranged for full orchestra by Howard Moody for its premiere Belfast performance.

World Theatre and Dance

Featuring a stellar line-up of classics and new work, the world theatre and dance programme is sure to move both body and soul. The festival returns to Stranmillis College with an award-winning production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by the Lithuanian director Oskaras Korsunovas. Set in La Dolce Vita Italy of the 1950's, the production sets two warring pizza-making families against each other in a classic stand-off. English surtitles will be available at all performances of this show, which runs from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 October.

Presented as part of the 'Australian Undergrowth Season', supported by the Australian Council, Skate is a turbo charged and moving account of the mates, mothers, tricks and traumas of a group of young skaters campaigning for a skate park in regional Australia and features live skateboarding as an integral part of the production.

Also part of the Australian season is Lucy Guerin’s Love Me, the UK Premiere of a trilogy of work which features simultaneous dance on screen and on stage, visually describes a rise in temperature from freezing to boiling, and emphasises the partial blindness with which we enter relationships.

The Drama Studio at the Centre for Drama and Film Studies at Queen's hosts a huge range of productions including Dona Musica's Butterflies, a one-woman show about identity presented by Odin Teatret, one of Europe's leading independent theatre companies, lead by world-renowned theatre director Eugenio Barba, on his first visit to Northern Ireland.

The acclaimed writer and actor Richard Dormer returns to the stage in the World Premiere of Ransom Productions' The Half, in which he explores the lonely backstage world of an actor about to perform in a one-man show about Hamlet. From Tinderbox Productions comes the World Premiere of Daragh Carville's new work, Family Plot, a darkly comic play about three generations of the same family who fight both in life and in death. Local favourites Bruiser Theatre Company present the Ireland Premiere of Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, and Kabosh Theatre and Ransom Productions collaborate to produce A Minute of Your Time, four of the shortest plays in the world, presented in new and unusual spaces across Belfast.

For younger audiences, Oogly Boogly (sponsored by Northern Bank) invites 12-18 month old children and their parents/carers into a neutral, inflatable space for an improvised show where performers follow and reflect the child's every sound, move and mood.

The festival's partnership with the Old Museum arts centre produces another diverse programme of innovative theatre, including the Irish premiere of Private Peaceful, exploring the horrors of war and the joyfulness of life as a young First World War soldier awaits the firing squad and Something Dark, a one-man show by Lemn Sissay about his time in care and his search for his family.

New and Classical Music

In his 60th birthday year, the life and work of America's greatest living composer Steve Reich will be celebrated with a number of high-profile events, including the festival's Closing Concert, which will host the first professional performance in Ireland of Reich's monumental piece, 'The Desert Music'. The piece will be performed by the National Chamber Choir and the festival's orchestra in residence, the Ulster Orchestra, augmented by 22 additional musicians.

At the same event, guitarists Andy Summers (formerly of The Police) and Benjamin Verdery, will perform the European Premiere of Ingram Marshall's 'Dark Florescence', a double concerto for electric and classical guitars, which they premiered in New York's Carnegie Hall earlier this year. This performance is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Fund.

Performed by the Ulster Orchestra and the Belfast Philharmonic Choir, the work of the American composer Alan Hovhaness will be heard, sponsored by PropertyNews.com, in the spiritual surroundings of Clonard Monastery, on Friday 28 October.

Cinema fans will have the chance to hear composer Michael Nyman perform music from films such as 'The Piano' and 'The End of the Affair', as well as new soundtracks with live screenings of two 1920s silent film classics, at the Whitla Hall on Saturday 22 October.

The Hallowe'en Family Concert, Thrills and Chills, features the Ulster Orchestra and irrepressible entertainer Alasdair Molloy playing a gruesome mix of haunting Hallowe'en music, including the shivery sounds of 'Danse Macabre', the mysterious 'Phantom Fairground' and highlights from 'Ghostbusters' and 'Thriller', at the Whitla Hall on Saturday 29 October.

The world renowned European Union Chamber Orchestra comprises musicians from different EU member states and has developed a growing role as an ambassador for the European Union. The orchestra will perform works by Holst, Haydn and local composer Elaine Agnew at the festival.

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Jazz, Blues and World Music

The Spring and Airbrake is the new home for jazz lovers at this year's festival. Winners of the BBC Jazz Awards Best Band 2005, Acoustic Ladyland bring their high energy punk jazz hybrid to the Spring and Airbrake on 29 October, while eclectic three piece Melt promise to stimulate the senses with sublime jazz sounds at the same venue on 23 October.

The Mercury Music Prize-nominated Polar Bear will be mixing jazz with an electronic soundscape at the Spring and Airbrake on 30 October and there's a chance to see some of the most exciting contemporary jazz players in the world, as legendary alto saxophonist Dave Binney and his band perform Welcome to Life at the same venue on Saturday 5 November.

There's a strong jazz presence at the Elmwood Hall too, with The Geri Allen Trio, featuring celebrated jazz pianist Geri Allen and legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb on Thursday 3 November while Europe's most consistently inventive jazz trumpeter leads the Tomasz Stanko Quartet at the same venue on Friday 21 October.

Grammy Award winner, slide guitar virtuoso and creator of the mohan veena, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is set to mesmerise Belfast with his endless repertoire of melodies at the Harty Room at Queen's on Saturday 22nd October.

Folk and Roots

Described as "the Jimi Hendrix of the bagpipe", Galician piper Carlos Nunez plays a fiery fusion of Celtic and flamenco music, which has met with worldwide acclaim. He will perform with his band, supported by current European Pipe Band Champions The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, at the Whitla Hall on Friday 28 October.

Irish fiddle virtuoso Martin Hayes and American guitarist Dennis Cahill possess a rare musical kinship, taking traditional music to the very edge of the genre, while An Damsha Mor (The Big Dance) returns for a second year with Tulla Céilí Band, supported by the Ulster Youth Ensemble.

With inspiring melodies and charming lyrics of life and love, Dervish will perform at the festival's first ever Traditional Music concert for schools and will also perform an evening show, in events supported by Allianz.

Blue Murder offers an unmissable opportunity to see the cream of English folk music talent - including Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy – sharing the same stage at the Elmwood Hall on Firday 4November. Using only a tea chest, washboard and guitar, The Doghouse Skiffle Group from Hull will perform a fantastic catalogue of sing-along skiffle favourites in a family concert at the Great Hall on Sunday 23 October.

Exhibitions

Blood and Honey, by photojournalist Ron Haviv, shows how the atrocities of war infiltrate every aspect of everyday lives, while photographer and film maker Simon James explores the influence of borders and human rights in Mapping Frontiers.

Architectural themes pervade the rest of the exhibitions programme, with Project Belfast, a fabulous outdoor sound and light show looking at the city's architectural heritage, Building, which tells the evolving story of the former Northern Ireland Electricity headquarters and Alter California Suite: Hydrographic Variations, a unique and challenging video and sound installation by Jones Sánchez at the Lagan Weir which will explore the interaction of architecture, machinery and the natural environment.

BT Talks

The ever-popular BT Talks programme returns with a host of big names from the worlds of literature, politics, broadcasting and the legal profession. The impressive list includes controversial figures such as George Galloway M.P. and Michael Mansfield Q.C., broadcasters Ned Sherrin, Louis Theroux, Fergal Keane O.B.E. and Kate Adie, as well as best-selling authors, Joanne Harris, Sue Townsend and Jeanette Winterson.

We are delighted to welcome some of the most compelling voices in Irish literature, including Michael Longley, poet and author Nick Laird and authors Dermot Bolger and Sebastian Barry, while historian Peter Hart will explore the life and times of one of the most revolutionary figures in Irish history, Michael Collins, in extracts from his new biography.

Film – Queen's Film Theatre

Music documentaries, new prints of Hollywood classics, fun at the drive-in, Oscar winning foreign films, a pop culture musical and gory horror movies are just some of the attractions of this year's film programme, which reflects both the festival theme of 'Families and Communities' and selected events throughout the festival.

QFT is proud to welcome RESFEST, the funkiest film festival in the world, which showcases the most innovative short films, animation, design films and music videos. RESFEST will also include workshops and masterclasses for aspiring filmmakers and anyone else interested in the cutting edge of the moving image.

The Evacuees is a documentary premiere revealing the remarkable untold stories of the Belfast children separated from their families during WW2, while QFT will also be hosting Black World, a major national initiative from the British Film Institute to coincide with Black History Month, which celebrates black creativity in film, television and the moving image.

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme is a documentary film which follows some of the best MCs ever to grace the mic. Director and DJ Kevin Fitzgerald will introduce the film and answer questions from the audience after the screening.

There's a season of Hallowe'en Horror Classics too, with the Japanese classics Onibaba and Vengeance is Mine and we are also proud to present newly restored prints of classics such as Black Narcissus and West Side Story.

Also screening during the festival will be The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix trilogies as well as two special drive-in screenings of Grease and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in association with the Belfast Film Festival.

Comedy

With two Perrier Award winners, character comedy, cabaret and a Music Hall and Vaudeville extravaganza, this year's jam-packed comedy programme is shaping up to be the best yet.

Highlights include Harry Hill making his first visit to Belfast, the infamous trolley-dolly Pam Ann, grouchy, deadpan genius Rich Hall and, making a return to stand-up following the controversy of 'Jerry Springer – The Opera', Stewart Lee.

The Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players make strange and beautiful pop songs out of vintage slide collections, Jackson's Way is a satire on the worlds of self-help and corporate jargon, and the Amnesty International Comedy Benefit Stand Up for Justice returns to the festival for a third year.

Sounds

Probably the only songwriter to have had his songs recorded by both Frank Sinatra and R.E.M., the legendary Jimmy Webb will give a rare solo performance of his classics, including 'Wichita Lineman' and 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix', at the Elmwood Hall on Friday 28 October.

Former Aztec Camera vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, Roddy Frame, will perform at the Empire Music Hall on Sunday 6t November, while Duke Special brings his own brand of soulful, intelligent pop and surprise guests to the same venue on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 October.

Prior to the release of their third album, 'Flock', Bell X1 land their biggest Northern headliner to date at the Mandela Hall on Friday 21 October, while cult songwriting genius and former frontman of The Auteurs, Luke Haines returns to the stage at the Spring and Airbrake on Monday 24 October.

Classical pianist Christopher O'Riley takes a radical new look at the music of Radiohead, while folk-oriented singer-songwriter Mark Geary, who has shared New York stages with Jeff Buckley, Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer, performs at the Empire Music Hall on Sunday 30 October.

One of hip-hop's founding fathers, Grandmaster Flash plays the Mandela Hall on Wednesday 26 October and dance music genius Mylo returns to Belfast on Monday 31 October, having taken the dance world by storm with his recent album 'Destroy Rock and Roll'.

One of Belfast's most notable troubadours, Andy White, marks the 20th anniversary of the release of 'Religious Persuasion' with a special concert, while Damien Dempsey makes a welcome return to Belfast on Thursday 3 November.

Education and Outreach

A huge range of workshops, post-show discussions, events and activities for schools, youth groups and community groups have been organised to tie in with festival shows including 'Insectes', Skate' and the 'Beyond Borders' exhibition.
For further information and registration, please contact: Paula McHugh, Outreach Officer on telephone 028 90971356 or email p.mchugh@qub.ac.uk .

Translink will continue its support for community and school groups attending festival events for the first time by providing FREE bus transportation for schools and community groups coming from Greater Belfast.
Contact Kresanna Aigner, Audience Development Officer on telephone 028 90971358 or email k.aigner@qub.ac.uk for details.

Disability Access Initiatives

The impressive range of disability access initiatives available at festival events continues to grow, with the festival brochure being made available in large print, audio cassette and Braille; audio description of two performances of 'Skate'; Electronic Note Taking for selected BT Talks; and British Sign Language at events including 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾' and the talk by Kate Adie.
For further information on venue access and facilities for disabled patrons, please contact: Kresanna Aigner on telephone 028 901358 or email k.aigner@qub.ac.uk or visit www.belfastfestival.com  

www.belfastfestival.com – Design By Front

The Belfast Festival at Queen's is delighted to welcome a brand new website sponsor – Belfast's Design By Front, who were recently voted one of the 90 most prominent interactive studios worldwide. The 2005 festival website offers online booking, as well as full programme, travel, accommodation and hospitality information, the latest festival news, competitions, ticket promotions and much more!

Festival Thanks

Belfast Festival at Queen's would like to acknowledge the continued support of Queen's University and the support of its other major funders - Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau, the National Lottery, DCAL, NITB, Northern Ireland Events Company and Arts and Business.

We're grateful for the continued support of our Media Partner the Belfast Telegraph and Offical Broadcast Partner BBC Northern Ireland. Continuing their sponsorship of festival are BT, Ulster Bank, Laganside, Northern Bank, Allianz, PropertyNews.com, National Car Rental, Translink, Darragh Neely, Design By Front and the Anderson Spratt Group.

Booking Information

The programme for the 43rd Belfast Festival at Queen's is available free with today's copy of the festival's media partner, the 'Belfast Telegraph'. The brochure will also be available soon from outlets throughout Northern Ireland and full details of all events are also online at www.belfastfestival.com  Tickets for Belfast Festival at Queen's events are on sale from today from the following outlets:

  • Telephone the Festival Box office on 028 90971197 – open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm.
  • Call in to the new festival box office at QFT, 20 University Square – open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 1pm.
  • Book online at www.belfastfestival.com 
  • Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place – open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm.
  • Text Phone 028 90971324 and Group Booking 028 90971339 (for schools and community groups only.)

For further information and interview requests for all festival events, please contact:

ENDS.

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Complexity, knowledge and ethics

Members of the public are invited to take part in a discussion at Queen's University on Friday 9 September on just how we understand complex issues.

The discussion will take place following a special lecture given by renowned international academic, Professor Paul Cillers from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

With a degree in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in philosophy, Professor Cilliers worked as a research engineer for over a decade, specialising in computer modeling and pattern recognition using neural networks. Now working in the Philosophy Department of the University of Stellenbosch he teaches mainly cultural philosophy and deconstruction, as well as courses on the philosophy and ethics of science. He is the author of Complexity and Postmodernism in which he explores the idea of complexity in the light of contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science. His current research is focused on the implications of complexity theory for our understanding of ethics, law and justice.

In his lecture, entitled 'complexity, knowledge and ethics', Professor Cilliers will look at the issue of complexity, why it is so difficult to understand or have knowledge of complex systems, and what the ethical implications for social systems are. During an informal discussion afterwards participants will be invited to explore their reactions to his observations and to introduce their own views on the topics and themes explored in the lecture.

The special lecture and discussion are hosted jointly by the Queen's University, Belfast Institutes of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research; Cognition and Culture; and Irish Studies. The lecture will begin at 4pm on Friday at the Institute of Governance, 63 University Road.

Dr John Barry, Director of the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, said: "I am delighted to welcome Professor Cilliers to Queen's and to Belfast. I believe he will offer those attending this exciting lecture and discussion a unique approach to understanding complexity and computational theory by integrating post-modern perspectives into his discussion."

For further information, please contact: Stephen McGrath, Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, 028 9097 2547, or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

Additional information may be found on Professor Cilliers at: http://academic.sun.ac.za/philosophy/fpc//

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Queen's opens its doors to the student experience

Queen's University's commitment to the student experience will come alive for more than 13,000 potential undergraduates during its annual Open Days on Thursday and Friday, 8 and 9 September.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said that the Open Days offered a unique opportunity for prospective students to learn about the range of options which the University has to offer and to sample the "Queen's Experience" for themselves.

He said: "Queen's is open all year round and we welcome visitors with open arms. But the annual Open Days are a special occasion for prospective students to see what is available. They regularly attract thousands of potential students who are about to make one of the most important decisions of their lives.

"In deciding to come to Queen's they will be joining a forward-looking university with a long and distinguished record of education and research. But they will also be coming to a university which is committed to providing a fully-rounded student experience. We look forward to helping them make the right choice."

The Open Day Information Centre is based in the Whitla Hall where academic staff will be on hand to offer advice about courses on offer in September 2006. Information on the many services which ensure a happy and fulfilling student life, such as Sport and Recreation, Student Accommodation, the Careers Service, the University Health Service and the Students' Union will also be available.

The programme includes a series of talks, exhibitions and demonstrations on subject areas and career opportunities, and visits to a range of facilities such as the University’s Libraries and the Physical Education Centre.

Future students also have the chance to gain hands-on experience in a number of subjects, including the opportunity for potential dentists to practise their drilling and filling skills on a virtual patient.

Although most of the visitors are final-year students at schools and colleges in Northern Ireland, mature students undertaking foundation courses and other qualifications at further education colleges are also attending. The Open Days have also attracted considerable numbers of students from the Republic of Ireland and a contingent from Great Britain.

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

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Queen's Vice-Chancellor congratulates "inspirational" Richard

Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson has described recent graduate Richard Archibald, who helped the Irish men's lightweight fours win a silver medal at the World Rowing Championships in Japan on Sunday, as "an inspiration and an example" to others.

Congratulating the Coleraine man, the Vice-Chancellor said: "We are very proud of Richard's success and send him our heartiest congratulations. His dedication to his chosen sport and his commitment to the pursuit of excellence make him an example and an inspiration to our students and to us all."

Archibald, with team members Paul Griffin, Eugene Coakley and Timmy Harnedy finished 1.35 seconds behind winners France, and 0.04 seconds ahead of Italy.

The quartet gained sixth place in last year's Olympics and also finished sixth in the last World Championships.

Archibald, a Queen's graduate in Architecture, and the Lightweight crew have made significant gains since the Athens Olympics last year. With the appointment of Harold Jahrling, the crew have improved technically and tactically which has made them one of the favourites in their class. These improvements were seen in the first race of the World Cup series in Munich where the crew came third in a strong field, later followed by a first in Lucerne.

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

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Queen's takes lead in commercialising technology event

A Queen's University academic has been central in organising a major event in London later this month, aimed at addressing key areas of emerging and evolving technologies that will drive business growth.

Professor Roger Woods of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's has played a pivotal role in the event which will see world authorities in key technology areas speak about their experiences in commercialising technology.

The 1st International Conference on Commercialising Technology and Innovation is being run by the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the professional body for electrical and electronic engineers, at Savoy Place in London on 14-15 September.

Presentations will be given by some of the world's leading businessmen, technology experts and entrepreneurs in a two day strategy forum.

Speakers include Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the MIT Centre for Bits and Atoms; Dr Ralph Kling, who heads up the wireless sensor technology project at Intel; Antti Vasara, VP of Corporate Strategy at Nokia; David Fyfe, Chief Executive of Cambridge Display Technologies; Tod Sizer, Director of Bell Labs Wireless Research Lab and Tsugio Makimoto, Corporate Advisor, Sony. There are also tracks on secure mobile; IT security, medical electronics and leadership.

According to Professor Woods innovation is a key aspect of any country's prosperity and the ability to innovate and commercialise technology is an issue that has been raised by successive governments, as vital to continuing the success of the UK economy.

"The key focus of the event is not just technology and innovation, but on how these can be harnessed in such a way to either advance business or make an economic contribution. The direct involvement of research company, Library House,ensures that commercialisation is high on the agenda. Library House are best known for their connection with the BBC2 programme Dragon's Den where budding entrepreneurs try to persuade five investor "dragons" to back their projects," he said.

Library House was set up by one of the venture capitalists on the show, Doug Richard, with the aim of discovering innovative companies and monitoring their progress from initial investment to preparation for IPO or trade sale. The commercial aspect to the conference will be strengthened by a panel discussion with venture capitalists and two practical workshops on "Successfully raising VC funding" and "IP law and patents".

Roger Woods said "What really excites me about this event is not that we have just brought together world experts in exciting, potential commercial areas, but that this has been twinned with venture capitalists ensuring that the commercialisation process is central.

"Many events have focussed on either technical or commercial aspects but the deliberate fusion of the two will hopefully show attendees the commercialisation processes in a very direct way."

The detailed programme for the event can be viewed at http://conferences.iee.org/cti2005/strategy_forum.html and is open registration.

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For further information contact: Professor Roger Woods, Telephone (028) 9097 4081 or r.woods@qub.ac.uk

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Raising Grandparents

Over recent years there has been a shift away from the idea of grandparents as being state-dependent pensioners towards an acknowledgement of the role that they play in family life. Many grandparents provide care and offer financial help and advice to their own children and to their grandchildren. Yet to date, very little research has been carried out in Northern Ireland into the contribution grandparents make to the lives of their extended families.

Today sees the launch of a new report at Queen's University Belfast focusing on grandparents and family life. "Raising Grandparents", by Eileen Evason, Katrina Lloyd and Lizanne Dowds, examines the ways in which grandparents support their families, the services they provide, the money they save the state and their own feelings about their role.

There is a general sense among respondents to the survey that families today need grandparents' help but that the support grandparents give is undervalued.

Based on data from the 2004 Northern Ireland Life and Times survey, key findings of the report include:

  • The vast majority (97%) of grandparents said their grandchildren are a very rewarding part of their lives although 40% said they want a life that is free from too many family duties.
  • Nevertheless, one fifth of grandparents care for someone who is sick, elderly or disabled while 40% of grandmothers with a grandchild under the age of 12 help with childcare at least once a week, with a quarter helping with babysitting in the evening.
  • While grandmothers tend to be the main providers of care for their grandchildren, more grandfathers (50%) than grandmothers (35%) said they had provided monetary support to their child.
  • At the other end of the age spectrum, 85% of grandchildren said their grandparents play an important role in their life, although two thirds said they don't see as much of their grandparents as they would like.

Report author, Eileen Evason, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research at Queen's and Emeritus Professor in Social Administration, commented:

"On the one hand the results of the 2004 Life and Times Survey encourage a 'feel-good' factor with regard to the benefits of the extended family and the role that grandparents play in those kinship networks. However, on the other hand, the hard but hidden reality lies in the extent to which grandparents are 'giving' to the state and the economy whilst 'giving' to their families. From a policy perspective, grandparents have a role to play in many areas of social policy but are the direct objects of none."

For further information, please contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320 email d.vischer@qub.ac.uk  

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Architectural Treasure Trove to be Revealed at Naughton Gallery

A new exhibition of architectural plans and drawings from Queen's University - most on public display for the first time - will take place at the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, from Friday 9 September to Wednesday 26 October 2005.

Curated by Dawson Stelfox, one of Ireland's leading conservation architects, "Builders, Bricks and Mortarboards: the architecture of Queen’s University 1845-2005" features original drawings from architects including Charles Lanyon, W.H. Lynn and Hugh Casson.

The exhibition, which will be officially opened by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson at the Naughton Gallery on Thursday 8th September, explores the idea of architecture as art, whereby architectural drawings must aim to represent both the beauty of the creation while still giving enough information for it to be constructed. It also looks at how the University sees itself through the commission and creation of its buildings and examines architectural style as an expression of power, politics and personalities.

Dawson Stelfox said: "With over 100 listed buildings, Queen's University is quite simply an architectural treasure trove. The aim of this exhibition is to encourage people to take a fresh look at the buildings which surround them and to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship which goes into their creation."

Included in the exhibition are Charles Lanyon's exquisite drawings of his iconic tower and beautiful detailed cross-sections of WH Lynn's library. The drawings chart the changing public face of the University through the history of architectural drawing over the last 160 years - from pencil and wash to blueprints and computer-design, including a scale-model of the proposed new library. There will also be a related series of panels explaining the history of architecture at Queen's University on display at the Queen's Visitor Centre.

The 45 architectural drawings included in the Naughton Gallery exhibition have been assembled from the University's archive and art collection as well as the Estates Department, where many of the drawings are still in use as an invaluable reference tool.

Gary Jebb, Director of Estates at Queen's University said:  "Queen's estate has been built up over a century and a half and the buildings represent several architectural styles, from the dramatic Gothic of the Lanyon Building to the international style 1960s Ashby building.

"Queen's, however, is not a museum, but a vibrant modern 21st century university and we are currently engaged in a major capital development programme, the aim of which is to create a campus that will be the envy of our peers nationally and internationally. This exhibition focuses on our commitment to preserving the past and our confidence in the future."

To coincide with the exhibition and European Heritage Open Days 2005, a new publication entitled the Queen's University Architectural Heritage Trail will also be launched on Saturday 10th September. Free guided tours of University buildings - including Sonic Arts Research Centre, David Keir Building and the Ashby Building - will leave from the Queen's Visitor's Centre from 11.30am on that day and will take approximately 1 hour.

Featuring a wealth of historical and architectural information, the Queen's University Architectural Heritage Trail offers an annotated guide to a 30 minute tour around the original Queen's campus at the Lanyon Building and three further short tours extending out from the campus into Stranmillis Road and Elmwood Avenue.

Copies of the booklet are available priced £2 from the Queen's Bookshop, Queen's Visitor Centre, Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau and other tourism outlets throughout Northern Ireland.

The Naughton Gallery at Queen's University is open from 11am-4pm, Monday to Saturday. For further information on "Builders, Bricks and Mortarboards: the architecture of Queen's University 1845-2005" and other Naughton Gallery events, telephone 028 90973580.

ENDS.

For further information contact: Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Culture and Arts Division, Queen's University, 028 9097 1398 or email festival.press@qub.ac.uk

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Stella Artois Rolls "Action!" on new Queen's Film Theatre Partnership

Stella Artois and QFT have joined forces to launch a creative three year association, designed to generate increased audiences for quality film and enhance film literacy.

The partnership, which was announced at the QFT yesterday to an audience of film industry and media guests, will give significant support to the ambitious plans for the refurbished and expanded QFT. It will also reinforce the celebrated association which Stella Artois has enjoyed with quality film, adding an enterprising new element to its already substantial programme of cinema-themed events in Northern Ireland.

The partnership was launched with the re-naming of Screen 1 at QFT – which will now be known as the Stella Artois Screen - where film buffs will be entertained over the coming months with a series of late night screenings, celebrating all that's best – and some of what's worst! – in cult classics. Future Stella Artois Seasons and additional activities at the QFT will be revealed across the year.

Welcoming the new association, Graeme Farrow, Programmer of QFT said: "This partnership is an exciting new chapter for QFT. Stella Artois' commitment to film is well known and with this new association we will be able to look forward with confidence. Considerable investment has already been made into QFT allowing us to further our commitment to bring quality films to Belfast. QFT's programme will be unique and adventurous and its facilities will provide an unrivalled cinema-going experience. We are extremely pleased to have found such an appropriate and active commercial partner for the QFT."

Nicola Trainor, Stella Artois Brand Manager at InBev Ireland Limited, said; "Stella Artois has made itself almost synonymous with quality film, not least through our iconic and critically acclaimed advertising. Our long-standing commitment to quality film is further evidenced across a wide range of events and activities, but this association with QFT is something both new and exciting for Stella Artois. QFT's track record speaks for itself, but we have been most inspired by its plans for the future. We are delighted to work with people who share our passion for film and we're delighted to be at the forefront of a creative crusade to awaken new interest in and appreciation of quality cinema.

"We're on the brink of something very special at QFT and we're looking forward to great times - and great cinematic experiences - ahead."

Reinforcing its film credentials to the launch audience, Stella Artois presented an exclusive preview of 'Bench', the latest in its award-winning series of Stella Artois film commercials, currently showing in arthouse cinemas in GB, before breaking on selected Satellite channels later this year. The audience was also treated to a special screening of Andrea Arnold's Oscar-winning live action short film Wasp, winner of the Highly Recommended accolade in the Stella Artois Best International Short at the Seagate Foyle Film Festival last year, one of 36 major awards the film has received to date, (including Awards at the prestigious Cracow, Oberhausen and Sundance Film Festivals).

Further information on Stella Artois' support for film can be found at www.stellascreen.co.uk

For details of current and future screenings and events at the Queen's Film Theatre, visit www.queensfilmtheatre.com  or contact the QFT box office on telephone 028 90971097.

For further information please contact: Brian Houston at InBev Ireland Limited, 028 9030 1301  Rosemary Hamilton or Karen Wallace at Future Image, 028 9042 3314

01/09/2005: Stella Artois Rolls \"Action!\" on new Queen's Film Theartre Partnership

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Fresh Delights from Queen's Open Learning programme

There's sure to be something to whet the appetite in the exciting and very varied programme of courses carefully brought together in the new autumn Open Learning brochure now available from the Queen's University Institute of Lifelong Learning, School of Education.

The brochure gives details on over 175 tantalising courses within a broad range of new subject categories:
- Culture and Society
- Environment
- Equality, Citizenship and Governance
- Health and Lifestyle
- Languages
- Science and Technology.

Dr Tess Maginess, new Senior Teaching Fellow within the Institute of Lifelong Learning, has been appointed to develop and co-ordinate the Open Learning programme. She commented:

"We want to ensure that we offer to the community a vibrant and creative programme that is relevant to contemporary society. We also wish to increase participation in the programme and have entered new partnership arrangements that will increase access to our programme. I believe our Autumn Open Learning brochure offers an exciting and comprehensive set of courses."

Among the many new courses on offer for the new academic year, alongside the ever popular languages, computer skills, visual arts and other programmes, are courses on cutting edge topics such as new media ('Film Technique and Story Board'), the potential of environmentally focused business ('Environmental Accounting'), the social inclusion and equality agenda ('Community Mental Health' and 'Disability Studies'), and the increasingly important debate over our built environment ('Design Traditions in Contemporary Architecture').

The Autumn Programme offers other intriguing new topics such as literature and the occult, the moral complexities which can result in the unappealing saint, competing and complementary views of the rural world, understanding how our animal friends really tick, and the role of women in the Home Rule crisis.

The wide-ranging programme also encompasses many practical courses geared to topical issues; for example, expert guidance on the effects of new pension legislation from well-known Radio Ulster Stockmarket analyst, Patrick Mahony; interview skills and career planning, booking holidays on the internet; and complementary therapies for carers.

In addition to the classes run on the Queen's campus, a greater number of courses are also being offered in centres throughout Northern Ireland. In particular, new partnerships have been formed to offer innovative new study programmes in Armagh and Londonderry. These include a new course for non-paid carers, 'The Educare Project', to run in Armagh in cross-border partnership with Armagh disability group Out and About, University College Dublin and Cavan Partnership.  In partnership with the Nerve Centre the new 'Verbal Image/Moving Image' course will run in Londonderry aimed at A' Level teachers.

Acknowledging that Queen's has been providing extra mural lectures for local citizens since the 1850s and is "at the forefront of the lifelong learning revolution", the University's President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "The Institute is a resource for the whole community of Northern Ireland. It offers a range of opportunities for people to help with their career development or their personal growth, or to satisfy the need for learning for its own sake."

Professor Peter Gregson added: "This range of diverse academic and other learning opportunities not only includes dozens of courses which have proved their popularity over the years, but also introduces new choices reflecting the demands of life in the 21st century."

For further information, please contact: The Institute of Lifelong Learning, Queen’s University on 028 9097 3323/4 or 028 9033 5058.

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For media enquiries, please contact: Dr Tess Maginess, 028 9097 3323; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320.

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