01-2009 Press Releases
28/01/2009: Queen's engineering boost to Northern Ireland and Malaysia
27/01/2009: Belfast students help unite last 'divided city'
23/01/2009: Queen's student wins top Architecture award
22/01/2009: Queen's work to save Strangford horse mussels
22/01/2009: New musical instrument drums up YouTube hit
20/01/2009: From Capitol Hill to the capital of Northern Ireland
15/01/2009: Queen's Open Learning Programme offers insights on Middle East Crisis
12/01/2009: Queen’s graduate’s film on silver screen at Sundance
08/01/2009: Queen's student's Belgian experience earns him top prize
07/01/2009: Skin cancer puts people at a higher risk of new cancer
06/01/2009: Queen's helps Indian business leaders boost their economy
Laura Hawthorne and Ciarnan Helferty from Queen's Students' Union help Michael Deane promote the Taste of Queen's competition
Queen’s University students are being challenged to create a culinary masterpiece for under a fiver to feed their hungry housemates.
In conjunction with Sainsbury’s, Michelin-starred chef Michael Deane has launched the competition where four lucky students will go through to the final stage of ‘The Taste of Queen’s’ competition on Wednesday, 18 February.
The students will prepare their cheap and cheerful dishes during a cook-off at The Space in Queen’s Students’ Union.
Based on nutrition and the imaginative use of ingredients, Michael Deane and a select panel of judges will sample each dish and decide the winner of the competition.
The victorious student will win the opportunity to see their gourmet dish on the menu at Deanes at Queen’s on Friday February 27, enjoy a meal at the restaurant for four people and receive a bottle of Champagne and £50 of Sainsbury’s vouchers.
The competition was devised by Students’ Union Advice Centre staff and is being held in association with Sainsbury’s ‘Feed your family for a fiver’ campaign.
Connie Craig, Student Finance Officer at the Advice Centre, said: “The competition is designed to help raise awareness among students of the need to economise when buying food, and because participants will be judged on the nutritional content of their recipe, they are also watching what they eat.”
Michael Deane said: “The Taste of Queen’s competition gives students the chance to show off their cooking skills and even get their food on our restaurant menu for a night. I hope the competition will inspire them and illustrate how eating well can be fun and inexpensive.”
Arlene Thompson from Sainsbury’s said: “The competition will not only encourage students at Queen’s to produce a healthy and exciting meal on a budget, but it will also give them an opportunity to have fun testing their cooking skills and compete for a great prize.”
Students wishing to enter the competition have until 11 February to enter. They can pick up entry details in the Students’ Union or visit http://www.qubsu.org/ for further information and to download an entry form.
For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 2576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen's Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor James McElnay and UniKL President Professor Dato' Hakin Juri
Malaysian students will have greater opportunities to study and live in Northern Ireland, thanks to a new agreement between Queen’s University and the University of Kuala Lumpur.
The President of the University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Professor Dato’ Hakin Juri and Deputy President Professor Mohd Azemi bin Nor are at Queen’s today (Wednesday 28 January) to sign an agreement allowing Engineering Technology students from the UniKL to transfer to Queen’s MEng undergraduate degree courses in Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, or Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.
The agreement comes as Queen’s prepares to send a delegation to Malaysia next month (February) to further develop relationships with a number of leading educational establishments.
Signing the agreement, Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor James McElnay, said:
“Queen’s has a longstanding relationship with Malaysia. Malaysian students have been coming to Queen’s for over 50 years and indeed more than 1,200 Malaysian students have studied here to date.
“Today’s agreement with UniKL will allow us to build on these strong links. It gives Malaysia’s brightest young engineers an opportunity to take advantage of the excellent teaching and research facilities at Queen’s, which was ranked among the top 10 UK universities for a range of engineering disciplines in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
“Both Northern Ireland and Malaysia are striving to develop their full potential and infrastructure and Queen’s is proud to help the engineering sector, both at home and globally, by supplying top quality graduates.
“In 2007 Queen’s established a Malaysia Working Group to develop a strategy for the University to expand its academic links and research partnerships with Malaysia. Today’s agreement is an important part of that strategy and we look forward to welcoming the first students from the University of Kuala Lumpur later this year."
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320, email@example.com , 07814 415 451.
Nicosia Buffer Zone
Postgraduate students from Queen’s University Belfast are using design to help unite the last ‘divided city’ in Europe.
Twelve sixth year students from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering are designing ‘gluing schemes’ to bring together the two communities in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia.
Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish-Cypriot northern region and a Greek-Cypriot southern region since 1974. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is responsible for the area that separates the two sides, or the Buffer Zone.
The Queen’s students are among only a handful of people, mostly diplomats, who have had access to the Buffer Zone since it was first sealed in 1963.
Large areas are untouched by human activity. Remnants of old villages, shops and other reminders of life in old Nicosia are scattered throughout the Zone. The Buffer Zone has now turned into a haven for flora and fauna, thriving on the near absence of hunters and most other human interference.
Responding to the guidelines of the Nicosia Masterplan, this is the first attempt to rehabilitate the Zone through projects aimed at bringing the two communities, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, together. These regeneration proposals are attempting to revitalise the Buffer zone in the heart of the walled city.
Dr Karim Hadjri, studio co-ordinator in the School, said: “Nicosia was selected by us given its ongoing physical division and similarities with Belfast”.
“It is referred to as the last divided city in Europe. We felt that our students, due to their background and experience of division in Northern Ireland, would relate to the local issues and could offer bi-communal and integrated solutions through architecture.”
This week Dr Christos Hadjichristos (a Greek Cypriot), who is a lecturer in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Cyprus in Nicosia and Dr Fevzi Ozersay (a Turkish Cypriot), who is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta will visit Belfast for an update on the students’ proposals.
The design schemes by the students, who have visited Nicosia twice, involve cultural, educational and healthcare proposals, among them a theatre of memory, national library and Cypriot academy of fine arts.
Dr Hadjri added: “Both communities, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, are very excited about the involvement of our students. They are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their efforts in May, when they will be displayed in an exhibition in Cyprus and in forthcoming publications.”
Further information on the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s is available at www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPlanningArchitectureandCivilEngineering/
Sixth year Architecture student Cormac Maguire (right) with his award
A Queen’s University student has won a prestigious Irish National Architecture award.
Cormac Maguire, 26, from Balmoral in Belfast has been awarded the 2008 Travelling Scholarship of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.
The sixth-year student won a medal, a bursary of €2,500 and the opportunity to travel to a destination of his choice for architectural study.
Every year the Institute holds a formal architecture competition for students at all Irish schools of Architecture. The scholarship aims to promote the study of contemporary architecture.
Cormac said: "I entered the competition with a project called ‘The museum of the walled city’. It was a three week project based in Cyprus which I undertook when Queen’s took us there for a study tour.
“The trip was useful because it gave me the opportunity to travel abroad to work on my thesis."
The ceremony took place at the opening of an exhibition of winning and commended entries held at the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in Dublin.
Conall Ó Catháin, Senior Lecturer in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s University said: "The RIAI Travelling Scholarship is an occasion for our students to go up against the top students in Ireland, and this win shows that we are the best."
For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5310,
Dr David Roberts
Queen’s University is working on a three-year study to conserve and restore endangered horse mussel reefs in Strangford Lough.
Marine biologists based at the University’s marine research and outreach centre in Portaferry, part of the School of Biological Sciences, will provide scientific and technological research to map and monitor the species and undertake trials to restore it.
Horse mussel reefs are important to the marine environment because they are ‘biological engineers’ which improve water quality through filtering it when they feed and also because many other species depend on them for survival.
Funded by the Department of Agriculture and the Rural Development and the Department of the Environment, the project follows a multi-agency report in 2004 which said that the beds were in serious decline.
DARD, supported by DOE, imposed a temporary ban on fishing in the Lough with mobile gear, from December 2003, which still remains in place.
As horse mussels were one of the features used in the conservation designation of Strangford Lough the UK government is obliged to protect them under European directives.
Although the horse mussel reef communities in Strangford Lough were once very rich they have declined at an alarming rate in some areas.
They are usually found in the central and northern part of the Lough, with their hard shells part buried in the soft mud sediment.
Horse mussels are important because they provide a hard surface for other species to grow on, in otherwise soft muddy areas. Other organisms also hide and shelter in the crevices and niches of clumps of horse mussels. They create a habitat for around 100 other species.
Dr David Roberts, from Queen’s, who is Principal Investigator on the study entitled Modiolus Restoration Research, said it was the first of its kind for the species.
He said: “Queen’s has expertise in the restoration of the European native oyster, freshwater pearl mussels and a long history of marine research. The University is therefore ideally positioned to undertake research to develop techniques and recommendations for the restoration of horse mussel reefs in Strangford Lough.
“One year into the study we have found that horse mussel reefs as not as widely distributed as they were in the 1970s and that some beds have extremely poor mussel density - less than 25% of what we would consider a good density.
“In terms of intervention we have started to culture the animals in the lab at Portaferry.
“Mussels are very important to the marine environment as they act as biological 'engineers’ in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. When they feed they filter vast quantities of water thereby improving water quality. A frequently cited example is that of a population of blue mussels which were capable of filtering the entire contents of the Albert Dock in Liverpool in two days.
“Horse mussels work in the same way; they also provide habitat for over a hundred other species, serving as a nursery ground for species of commercial importance.”
An event to mark the first year of the project is taking place at Exploris in Portaferry today.
For media enquiries please contact Andrea Clements, press officer on 028 9097 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD student Peter Bennett pictured with his BeatBearing instrument
A video of a new musical instrument created by a Queen’s University Belfast student has attracted over one million hits on the internet.
PhD student Peter Bennett (26) from Stevenage, England, made the video to demonstrate the BeatBearing - his electronic musical instrument that uses ball bearings to create different drum patterns.
The initial demonstration of the prototype has now been viewed more than one million times on internet video site YouTube.
The BeatBearing has been created as part of research into the use of ‘tangible interfaces’ for new musical instruments. The research is being led by Sile O’Modhrain within the renowned Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen’s.
The BeatBearing is an example of minimalist modern design created from chrome, transparent Perspex and computer graphics.
It acts as a rhythm sequencer - a red line sweeps across the grid, playing a sound whenever a ball bearing is encountered, “like an updated version of the old piano-roll”, according to Bennett.
Peter is currently studying for a PhD in the SARC at Queen’s and the BeatBearing is just one of many interesting projects in the department.
He said: “The BeatBearing project is being developed as part of my PhD. It started out as a weekend project when one of my colleagues left ball bearings lying around the lab and I wondered how you could make music with them.”
Although Peter has been bombarded with people interested in purchasing the new instrument, he hasn’t considering selling it just yet.
Instead, he has written a ‘make your own BeatBearing’ step-by-step guide to be published soon in the American magazine “MAKE” (http://makezine.com/).
Peter said: “The popularity of the BeatBearing has been useful for my PhD as I can get feedback about how other people have interpreted my design.
“It will be even more useful when people start building their own and making adjustments to the original design.”
His invention is also the focus of a short film being produced by Queen’s MA film student Gus Sutherland.
Gus said: “I guess I was interested in the story mainly because I met Pete and we had similar ideas of music technology. I saw the video on YouTube and that he had developed an innovative new approach.
“I’ve had a bit of a go at it and I’ve seen footage of other people using it and I think it’s a good design. I’ve seen other designs that may not be quite as engaging visually.”
*More information on the BeatBearing can be found on Peter’s academic homepage: http://www.sarc.qub.ac.uk/~pbennett/
The BeatBearing demonstration video can be viewed on YouTube at: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wreP8FMupyM
For media enquiries please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Senior Press Officer, +44 (0)28 9097 5384, Mob: 07814 422 572, email@example.com
American students at Queen’s University will gather today (Tuesday 20 January) to mark Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Students and staff from across the Atlantic will get together at Queen’s to watch Obama take his oath on Capitol Hill, becoming the USA’s first ever African-American President.
Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "This is an important day for all our American students and staff and we are delighted to be able to give them the opportunity to come together to watch this historic inauguration ceremony.
“I hope that years from now they will look back at Queen’s with fond memories when they recall where they were the day Barack Obama was sworn in as America’s President.
“Obama’s inauguration is one of the most eagerly awaited in recent history. It marks the culmination of the US’s most exciting and closely followed election campaign, which brought a record number of people into the political process - many for the first time.
“This is a day of historical significance for us all, not just the United States. Although he cannot be here today, I am sure that our University’s Chancellor Senator George Mitchell, who spent many years at the forefront of US politics, would be pleased to see the American community at Queen’s come together to mark this historic occasion."
Speaking about the University’s close links with America, Professor Gregson said: "Queen’s has many close ties with the United States. Our US students play a vital role in our learning community and enjoy Belfast’s unique culture. Queen’s and Northern Ireland also benefit from having a truly cosmopolitan array of students and staff.
“As America enters a new chapter in its history, we hope to continue to develop these relationships, and our students will play a crucial role in building and maintaining our links across the Atlantic."
Jordan Junge, a first year Politics student at Queen's, is from Denver, Colorado. She has been at Queen's since September 2008. Jordan said: "While I love being in Belfast and thoroughly enjoy the Queen’s experience, on a day like today part of me would like to be back home in the US to join in inauguration day. Being so far away from home, it is great to be able to gather with fellow students from the States and around the world to share in the day’s events."
As the conflict in Gaza continues, Queen’s University is offering the opportunity to learn about the origins of the conflict.
The Battle for Palestine is one of over 100 short courses on offer through the University’s Open Learning Programme. Course tutor, Richard Irvine said: "Beginning with the pogroms of Russia, this ten week course outlines the tragic history of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, helping students understand why this region is almost permanently in a state of crisis."
The ongoing crisis in the middle-east is just one of the issues facing Barack Obama as he takes his place at the White House. Another of those issues - the ‘war on terror’ - is the subject of America at War. This course aims to explain the current ‘war on terror’ and the conflict in Iraq in the context of America’s history of war. Going right back to the War of Independence, the course explored how and why America fought the wars she did.
Dr Tess Maginess from Queen’s School of Education said: "Queen’s Open Learning Programme has something to suit everyone, regardless of their interests or abilities. Our courses usually take place one day or evening every week and are ideal for anyone who wants to pursue a new hobby, learn more about a topic in which they have a particular interest, or advance their personal development.
“There are dozens of courses in languages, philosophy, religion, history, law, leisure and counselling, to name a few.
“The programme offers a range of courses to help chase away the winter blues. Look forward to spring and get some great ideas for your garden with The Story of Gardening. If you prefer to explore nature from your armchair, try Literary Nature Writing.
“If you want to get away from it all, and beat the credit crunch, Travel on the Internet provides useful tips on finding cheap flights and bargain hotels online. The money-saving theme continues with Inheritance Tax: A Guide to Preserving Family Wealth.
“Music enthusiasts can discuss and play their favourite music while exploring Defining Moments in Fifty Years of Rock, Pop and Soul, while anyone who’s ever been lied to should check out Allen Baird’s one-day course on How to Become a Human Lie Detector. There are also lots of practical courses in areas like painting, creating film scripts and digital photography."
Queen’s Open Learning classes begin week commencing 26 January 2009. For more information call 028 9097 3323/3539 or book online at www.qub.ac.uk/edu
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320,
firstname.lastname@example.org , 07814 415 451.
Niall Wright plays the title role in 'James'
A short film by a Queen’s University graduate is to be the first ever from Northern Ireland shown at the Sundance Film Festival.
Connor Clements from Scarva, Co. Down, wrote and directed 'James' as part of his Master’s degree course. The film follows a teenage boy as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality.
Sundance is the largest independent cinema festival in the USA, fostering the development of original storytelling in cinema. It was founded by film star Robert Redford in 1981.
'James' is one of just 22 shorts selected for the International Dramatic Competition, from an overall Festival entry of 6,000 films. It has also been selected for the Sundance 10/10 - an exclusive selection of ten short films available to download from iTunes during the Festival (15-25 January).
Connor, who will be in Utah to present his film at the Festival, said: "Sundance is one of the world’s largest, most influential and prestigious independent film festivals, and I am thrilled that my debut film, made while studying my Master’s at Queen’s, has been chosen for the International Dramatic Competition.
“Being shown at Sundance is one of the highest accolades available for a short film and it’s a real honour for any aspiring filmmaker to be part of this high-profile event. I hope it won’t be the last time one of my films is shown on such a prominent stage."
This is the latest in a string of awards and accolades for 'James'. It was chosen for the famous Short Film Corner at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and won a series of awards in 2008, including Best Northern Irish Short at the Belfast Film Festival, The Iris Prize for Best UK Short, and Best International Short at the St Louis International Film Festival.
'James' will also feature at film festivals around the world in the coming months, with screenings planned in San Francisco, San Jose, Honolulu, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Sydney and Miami in the coming months. Connor said: "'James' has been popular with festival programmers, and I hope it continues to captivate audiences for a long time."
Professor David Johnston, Head of the School of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts at Queen’s said: "We are all very proud of Connor’s achievements and congratulate him on his Sundance debut. His success is a tribute to the quality of the work produced by Film Studies at Queen’s. This degree aims to give our students a flying start in the film, television and media industries, and it is wonderful to see Connor flying so high."
'James' will be shown at the Sundance Film Festival from 15-25 January. For more information on the project and to follow Connor's Sundance Blog, visit www.connorclements.tv For more information on Film Studies at Queen’s visit www.qub.ac.uk/film
Patrick receives his award from Sarah Lambert, Head of Representation at the European Commission
A Queen’s University student has won a national award from the British Council after spending a year living and studying in Belgium.
Patrick Cassidy, from south Belfast, was named the overall UK Erasmus student essay prize winner for 2008 at an award ceremony in London, after submitting a piece on his time abroad.
Patrick, an undergraduate Law student at Queen’s, studied in Louvain-la-Neuve, during the 2007-08 academic year.
Having initially been named Regional Winner for Northern Ireland for his essay entry, Patrick scooped the national award and top prize of £500 by delivering a presentation at the award ceremony on his experience of living and studying in Belgium.
He said: "Accepting the challenge of life as an Erasmus student means separating yourself from your home institution and embracing the culture into which you are plunged.
"The study was tough at times, but the satisfaction gained by passing arduous exams, both oral and written in a foreign tongue, was more than considerable.
"What Erasmus teaches us is that above all, there is more in this world of ours that we share than which divides us.
"I emerged much more open, tolerant, patient and ultimately wiser for the experience, as well as having had the pleasure and privilege of making friendships that I am sure will last.
"Erasmus is a journey - a personal one, but also one shared with the students, teachers and others that I met along the way. It’s a journey which I would have no hesitation at all in recommending to my peers."
Each year up to 80 Queen’s students take part in the Erasmus scheme, studying at universities all over Europe.
Queen’s Environmental Planning students Laura Michael, from Portadown, and Julie Crawford, from Ballygowan, who had submitted entries for the photography section of the competition were named Regional Winner and Regional Runner-up for Northern Ireland respectively. They both did their Erasmus placement in Stockholm in Sweden.
This year was the seventh annual UK Erasmus Student Prize competition. David Hibler, Contract Manager for the Erasmus programme at the British Council, said:
“Erasmus is an excellent opportunity for UK students and the competition gives us all the chance to have a glimpse of the life-changing experiences that our ‘Erasmus Stars’ enjoy.
“Their essays and photographs provide an insight into the benefits of the programme and its impact on the lives of those who take part.
“As well as becoming more confident, self-reliant and better-prepared for their future careers, Erasmus students gain an international perspective that the classroom alone cannot offer. We hope their stories and images will encourage future students to experience Erasmus for themselves.”
To find out more about Erasmus opportunities for Queen’s students, contact Queen’s International at email@example.com
For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, press officer, 028 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Liam Murray
People who have been treated for skin cancer have an increased risk of developing a new primary cancer according to a Queen’s University study published in the British Journal of Cancer, today (Wednesday).
Researchers analysed information held by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) at Queen’s between 1993 and 2002. They studied almost 21,000 people who had been treated with non-melanoma skin cancer and just over 1,800 people who had had melanoma, to observe how many of them went on to develop a second primary cancer. They compared this data with the incidence of cancer in people with no history of skin cancer.
The research found that compared with the general population, the chance of people developing a new primary cancer after they had developed non-melanoma skin cancer was increased by up to 57 per cent.
The subsequent risk of developing a new primary cancer after melanoma was more than double.
People who had been diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer were almost two times more likely to go on to develop melanoma and had an increased risk of smoking-related cancers.
Queen’s Professor Liam Murray, one of the authors of the report, said: “This study confirms that people with a diagnosis of skin cancer have an increased future risk of developing another type of cancer, especially one of the other types of skin cancer or a smoking related cancer - and for those with melanoma the risk may be more than double that of the rest of the population.
“There are several possible explanations for this link. Sun exposure is an important risk factor for all types of skin cancers so patients who have had one type of skin cancer may be more likely to develop other types as well. Alternatively a new skin cancer may be more likely to be detected in patients who are monitored following their first diagnosis of skin cancer.
“The increase in smoking-related cancers may be because smoking predisposes to skin cancer as well as other cancers or because people who smoke may be more likely to have generally unhealthy lifestyles including excessive sun exposure.”
Malignant melanoma, also known as melanoma, is the most serious type of skin cancer with more than 9,500 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year and almost 2,000 deaths.
There are more than 76,500 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer registered in the UK each year, around 2,300 of them in Northern Ireland. Around 40 people in Northern Ireland die each year from the condition.
It is estimated that the actual UK figure could be at least 100,000 because this type of cancer can go unreported.
Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information, said: “We know that lifestyle factors such as excessive UV exposure, smoking, being overweight and drinking too much alcohol can increase the risk of cancer.
“These important findings could help doctors target health information more accurately to people who have been treated for skin cancer to help them reduce their risk of developing a second cancer.
“It’s important to remember that around two-thirds of melanomas and 90 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by UV exposure and using a sunbed once a month or more, can increase risk of skin cancer by more than half. Using sunbeds before the age of 35 increases risk of developing melanoma skin cancer by up to 75 per cent.
“Avoiding excessive exposure to UV can dramatically reduce a person’s risk of developing skin cancer in the first place. Winter sun seekers in search of a fast tan boost should remember to cover up, to use factor 15 plus sun cream and avoid the midday sun to prevent burning, as well as reduce the risk of developing a second cancer.”
- For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org
- For more information on how to stay healthy in the sun visit the Cancer Research UK web site: www.cancerresearchuk.org/healthyliving/sunsmart/
For media enquiries please contact Emma Rigby at Cancer Research UK on 020 7061 8318 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059 or Andrea Clements at Queen’s University on 028 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, email@example.com
David Gibson from Queen's University Management School
A leading enterprise expert from Queen’s will travel to India this week to advise business leaders, politicians and academics in Kolkata how to create a more entrepreneurial society with the support of higher education.
Drawing on research carried out at Queen’s, David Gibson, a Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship in the University’s Management School, will speak at a conference about how a university can support local economic development.
David, the only recipient of a National Teaching Fellowship Award for enterprise education by the Higher Education Academy in the UK, is the author of a leading book on enterprise competencies called The EFactor, which is now used in over 100 universities, including Cambridge, where it is a core text.
In his presentation he will highlight how the West Bengal region can use the potential of students and universities to boost its economy. He will also cover topics including what skills students need to develop their own or their employers’ businesses and how entrepreneurship can be incorporated into the wider curriculum.
Speaking about his work, David said: “All students can develop an entrepreneurial mindset and Queen’s is one of the few universities in the world to teach entrepreneurship to students of all disciplines.
“They need an opportunity to develop the skills of creativity and the capacity to turn an idea into reality to help their region and their local communities.
“For example, nursing students are taught to be more enterprising to solve problems within the National Health Service and contribute to community health care, while those studying history are shown how to create publication and media proposals based on their research.
“Students in over 65 disciplinary areas are taught in this way, including teacher training students who will be teaching at secondary level where enterprise and employability is a key part of the curriculum.
“With the help of the Students’ Union enterprise officer, students are given further opportunities to apply their studies outside the curriculum.
“Over 4,000 certificates in entrepreneurship studies will be awarded to graduates in summer 2009 from a wide range of disciplines within Queen’s.
“We feel that other universities and economies around the world, including West Bengal, can benefit from our experience.”
West Bengal has not seen the increase in entrepreneurial activities seen in some other Indian states and the conference is being held in Kolkata to try to change the apprehensive mindset towards wealth creation through entrepreneurial activity.
The event, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, has been organised by the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a global not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting entrepreneurship.
The organisation aims to foster inspiration, skills ideas and networks and the conference will cover topics ranging from finding new business concepts to building the right team to raise capital and making contacts with foreign companies.
For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, press officer, 028 9097 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, firstname.lastname@example.org