01-2010 Press Releases
19/01/2010: Major solo exhibition from promising young artist at Naughton Gallery
18/01/2010: Leaders of integrated education in Northern Ireland and Israel to meet
14/01/2010: Queen’s medical breakthrough credited by Time magazine
14/01/2010: Tribute to Sir Allen McClay
13/01/2010: Vice-Chancellor congratulates Queen's staff in New Year list
13/01/2010: £1m on offer to entrepreneurs in international competition
12/01/10: Higher education equality pioneer to speak at Queen’s
08/01/10: Social Work career to be made more accessible at Queen’s
07/01/10: Record number apply to study at Queen’s University Management School
07/01/10: New Year, new start for graduates
07/01/2010: A new year, a new you with Open Learning at Queen's
A scene from Nation, to be shown at the QFT on 30 January
Northern Ireland audiences will have the opportunity to see a top theatre production live and direct from London thanks to the National Theatre and QFT.
NT Live will host a live broadcast of Terry Pratchett’s Nation from the National Theatre to QFT in Belfast on Saturday 30 January at 1.45pm. Adapted by Mark Ravenhill, Nation is an exhilarating adventure story of survival and self-discovery featuring live music, dance and extraordinary puppets, suitable for ages 10 and above.
“The NT Live events are designed to bring what we do on the stages of the National to a far greater number of people than we would ever be able to reach otherwise,” says NT Director Nicholas Hytner.
“We’ve been thrilled by the response of cinemas and audiences around the world to this new experiment. It means we can reach tens of thousands of people in addition to our work in London and on tour.”
Plays in the NT Live season are filmed in high definition using innovative digital technologies and broadcast via satellite to cinema venues throughout the world. Featuring Dublin actress Emily Taaffe in the lead role of Daphne, Nation follows the hugely successful broadcasts of Phèdre and All’s Well That Ends Well.
Susan Picken, head of QFT said: “We are tremendously excited about the forthcoming live broadcast of Terry Pratchett’s Nation. The combination of one of the UK’s best-selling authors, one of the world’s most celebrated theatre companies and a homegrown actress in the lead role makes for an unmissable show for all the family!”
Nation is set in a parallel world in 1860. Two teenagers, Mau and Daphne, are thrown together by a tsunami that has destroyed Mau’s village and left Daphne shipwrecked on his South Pacific island, thousands of miles from home. Mau wears next to nothing, Daphne a long white dress; neither speaks the other’s language; somehow they must learn to survive.
As starving refugees gather, Daphne delivers a baby, milks a pig, brews beer and does battle with a mutineer. Mau fights cannibal Raiders, discovers the world is round and questions the reality of his tribe’s fiercely patriarchal gods. Together they come of age, overseen by a foul-mouthed parrot, as they discard old doctrine to forge a new Nation.
Tickets for Nation are £10, and the production is suitable for ages 10 and over. For further information and online booking, please visit www.queensfilmtheatre.com
For media enquiries please contact: Sarah Hughes, Press and Marketing Officer, tel. 028 90971398, email email@example.com
An example of Majella Clancy’s work, at the Naughton Gallery.
A major solo exhibition by one of Northern Ireland’s most promising young artists is currently on view at the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s.
Altered Reality by Belfast based artist Majella Clancy will run until 21 February, thanks to funds raised by the Wish you were here: Postcard from an Unknown Artist sale at the gallery in October 2008.
Clancy’s work combines digital imagery with various painting techniques. Photographs of her native County Leitrim and of a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka are manipulated, first through digital processes and then by applying paint. Our perceptions of the original image change as the boundaries between painted and non-painted areas are blurred and Clancy challenges notions of fact and fiction, time and space, and the real and the imagined.
Shan McAnena, Director of the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s, said: “Altered Reality is a direct result of the Wish you were here: Postcard from an Unknown Artist sale, which took place in the Naughton Gallery in October 2008.
“Over 80 professional artists from all over Europe donated artworks, which were displayed anonymously and sold for a fixed price of £50. The participating artists were also asked to nominate an emerging or overlooked artist for a solo exhibition at the Gallery.
“Majella Clancy was selected from over 50 nominations, and all proceeds from the sale have gone towards funding this exhibition. We are delighted to host this show of her ethereal and enigmatic work. Following the success of this project, we intend to run a Wish you were here sale every other year to help fund further exhibitions for emerging artist.”
Altered Reality will run until 21 February (Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm). For more information on Altered Reality or Wish you were here visit www.naughtongallery.org
Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Watson on 028 9097 5320 or
Dr Claire McGlynn
The principals of integrated schools in Israel and Northern Ireland will meet in a unique visit organised by the Integrated Education Fund in co-operation with Queen’s University.
Ala Khatib and Dalia Peretz, the Jewish and Arab co-principals of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem, will be in Northern Ireland from 19-22 January to share their experiences with education leaders here, including Dr Claire McGlynn, an integrated education expert from Queen’s.
Dr McGlynn, from Queen’s School of Education, has been researching integrated education for more than ten years, and this visit will play an important part in her ongoing research. She has completed extensive research on multicultural and intercultural education, education for social cohesion in conflict and post-conflict societies and teacher education for diversity.
Dr McGlynn said: “Northern Ireland and Israel have both experienced serious conflict. Both societies have highly segregated education systems and face similar challenges in building peace and reconciliation.
“By bringing together the principals of the Hand in Hand School and Millennium Integrated Primary School, we can gain a comparative insight into the leadership and practice of integrated education in Northern Ireland and Israel, as well as the challenges it faces.
“This visit gives us a unique opportunity to look at the ways in which school principals in Northern Ireland and Israel conceptualise and practice integrated education. It will be important in further developing our understanding of integrated education in divided societies.
“It will also feed into my research, which will help inform education practitioners and policy makers here, in Israel and in the field of peace education regarding the future development of integrated education.”
During their visit, Ala Khatib and Dalia Peretz will also meet with the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and the US Consul General.
Dr McGlynn works closely with Dr Zvi Bekerman of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, who has undertaken study of the integrated schools in Israel.
Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Watson on 00 44 (0)28 9097 5320 or
Research into Alzheimer’s disease, contributed to by scientists at Queen’s, has been hailed as one of the world’s top ten medical breakthroughs of 2009 by the internationally-acclaimed Time magazine.
Time magazine rated the discovery of two genes which may contribute to the memory-losing disorder at number nine in their annual list of medical breakthroughs.
Contributing to this research, academics from the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s were involved with the Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) as part of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust Genetic Consortium in the largest-ever study of its kind into the illness.
The international study, which received major funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC), is a significant step forward in understanding how Alzheimer’s develops and opens up new areas for further research into potential treatment and genetic screening.
Results from the research, which involved analysing the DNA from over 16,000 people over two years, show the genes CLU and PICALM can play a direct role in the risk of developing Sporadic Late Onset Alzheimer’s disease. Until now only one gene, APOE4, had been clearly identified as a potential risk factor.
Queen's Professor Peter Passmore and his colleagues Dr David Craig, Dr Bernadette McGuinness and Dr Stephen Todd, were involved in the study and were all co-authors on a Nature Genetics paper revealing the findings. Professor Passmore was a co-applicant on the initial grant from the Wellcome Trust.
He said: “Over the past 15 years the team at Queen’s has been involved in a significant amount of groundbreaking research into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“This has led to the assembly of a significant database of genetic material which is much sought after for national and international collaborative efforts to study the genetic aspects of Alzheimer’s disease in particular. Queen’s plays a very significant role in this consortium and is intrinsically involved in proposed follow up studies.
“The results of this study will now help focus the future directions of research into Alzheimer’s disease.
“We are delighted that work we have contributed to has been featured in a global news magazine.”
The Medical Research Council invested £1.74 million in the programme of research, alongside funding of £1.3m from the Wellcome Trust. There was also financial support from the Welsh Assembly Government and the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, among others.
The research also involved scientists from universities in London, Cambridge, Nottingham, Southampton, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol and Wales, who collaborated with German, Belgian, Greek and American institutions.
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Sir Allen McClay
Speaking today, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson, said: “The Queen’s family is deeply saddened by the news of Sir Allen McClay’s death. As the first Chairman of the Queen’s Foundation, he inspired the University and his fellow Board members by his outstanding leadership, wisdom, generosity and commitment. The University and the Foundation are both greatly indebted to him. He will be greatly missed.”
Sir Allen was also one of the largest benefactors to Queen’s in the University’s history, personally donating more than £20 million. The McClay Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy, which bears his name, was funded by The McClay Trust, a charitable body which he established. He also made substantial donations to support research and education in Chemistry and Pharmacy at Queen’s, and to a range of other projects, including The Library at Queen’s and the restoration of the University’s Great Hall.
The University extends its sincere sympathy to Sir Allen’s wife, Heather, the family circle, and all his colleagues at Almac.
Professor Sean Gorman
Professor Jim Swindall
Congratulating Professor Sean Gorman, Professor Jim Swindall, Professor Maurice Savage and Mrs Fionnuala Newton on their honours, the Vice-Chancellor said that they personify the qualities at the heart of Queen's ethos.
Professor Gorman and Professor Swindall were both awarded CBEs. Professor Gorman, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences and Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, is being honoured for services to healthcare.
Founder of the University's environmental research initiative, the QUESTOR Centre, Professor Swindall is now Consulting Director of Queen's world-leading ionic liquids laboratories, QUILL. Previously awarded an OBE, he receives his further honour for service to environmental science.
Professor Savage, Professor of Paediatrics at Queen's and Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, receives an OBE for services to medicine. Mrs Newton, who has worked directly for four Vice-Chancellors during 30 years service to the University, receives an MBE for services to higher education.
Professor Gregson said: "I wholeheartedly congratulate all four recipients on these well-deserved honours. These accolades acknowledge their personal commitment to excellence and their outstanding service to Queen's and to the wider community. The areas in which they have made their contribution, from pharmacy and medicine to green chemistry and administration, underline the range and quality of the University's work and the people who carry it out."
A competition with a prize fund of £1m is being rolled out by Queen’s to students and local companies to encourage new business ventures between China and the UK.
The University is part of a consortium running the China UK Entrepreneurship Competition, which is also led by local government organisations in Chongging and Tianjin.
The competition aims to encourage new business ventures between China and the United Kingdom and replicates the process of entrepreneurs securing start-up funds from early stage investors and venture capital firms.
The overall winner will be announced at the national finals at University College London in June and events are also taking place at other participating universities. The competition was launched at the University of York and semi-finals will be hosted in April by Lancaster University and Queen’s University, which is involved in the competition for the first time this year.
The competition, now in its third year, is divided into two strands – Innovative Business track for existing businesses in the UK or China, and Tomorrow’s Leaders track - for students at any UK or Chinese University. Both strands promote business ideas that use international resources or markets.
Thirty-two teams will be selected to take part in the competition in order to win up to £10,000 in prizes, with an investment opportunity of £250,000 in the finals.
Yu Xiong, a lecturer at Queen’s University Management School, is Director of the organising committee of the China UK Entrepreneurship Competition.
He said: “The competition has been developed by partners in the UK and China to bring together existing business and new student-led start-ups hoping to develop commercial relationships and exploit market opportunities through business collaborations between China and the UK.
“China is becoming a more and more important country economically. It has not been affected by the recession in the same ways as others. Business opportunities there are huge and it has a rising scientific and technological base that is increasingly attracting worldwide attention.
“Doing business overseas can be daunting for many entrepreneurs but the programme aims to promote the opportunities that exist and to highlight potential stars to watch in the future. Those taking part learn a lot through the process and their ideas can translate to real business opportunities.”
Professor Richard Harrison, Director of the Queen’s University Management School, said: “We are delighted to be working with a number of other leading UK universities and Chinese authorities in this innovative programme.
“We believe that the business ideas developed through this competition have the potential to make a significant contribution to economic development and prosperity in the UK and in China. We are also delighted to be involved in a programme that will strengthen our existing important partnerships with universities and government bodies in China.”
All sectors are eligible to apply but the business idea proposal must link China and the UK. This may be through selection of the target market for the product or service, through key supplier relationships or through joint development of the technologies or services involved.
Judges will assess each business plan on criteria including market and competitor analysis, project development plan, financial plan, risks and proposed mitigating factors, management of intellectual property and promotion of UK-China business links. Assessment will be through written elements and oral presentations at each stage of the competition.
To enter, teams need to submit an executive summary of their idea by 26 February. For more information on the competition go to www.chinaukchallenge.com
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One of the leading advocates of workplace equality in higher education in the United Kingdom is to give a public lecture at Queen’s on Friday (15 January).
Professor Paul Walton is Head of Chemistry at the University of York, the first university department in the UK to receive a gold SWAN award for its work in encouraging women in the traditional ‘male’ areas of science, engineering and technology (SET).
Awarded by the Athena SWAN Charter scheme, the awards recognise and celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in SET in higher education.
In the 2010 annual lecture organised by Queen’s award-winning Gender Initiative, Professor Walton will discuss the ongoing need to ensure full equality for women in higher education and outline the management approaches required to achieve this aim.
He said: “Although equal opportunities is now part of the legal and human resources landscape in the UK, the fact remains that women are still seriously under-represented in the academic disciplines of science, engineering and technology.
“It is crucial that we continue to generate, and to act upon, new initiatives that can make a real difference in this respect. That is why projects like the Athena SWAN programme, which not only exist to improve the role and profile of women in these subjects, but also contribute to the development of good employment practice in general, are so important.”
Professor Yvonne Galligan, Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative, said: “This event should be of interest to all those with an interest in promoting fair and equitable opportunities for both women and men in the world of work. We are delighted to have attracted a speaker of Professor Walton’s calibre to deliver this lecture, which reflects Queen’s ongoing commitment to supporting a culture of gender equality in all areas of the University.”
Professor Walton’s lecture, entitled ‘The X Factor: Equality in the Workplace’, will take place in the auditorium, The Library at Queen’s, on Friday 15 January at 5.30pm.
Queen’s Gender Initiative has attracted international attention as a role model for other universities and institutions. It has produced a stream of tangible results ranging from the establishment of a central maternity fund and enhanced childcare provision to the introduction of flexible working for clerical staff and a mentoring scheme for female staff.
For media enquiries please contact: Anne Langford, Corporate Affairs, +44 (0)28 9097 5310, Mob: 07815 871 997, firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen’s University, one of the UK’s top universities for Social Work, has launched a new course to encourage more people into the profession.
The new part-time Social Work course at Queen’s – ranked number five in the UK for the subject by the Times Good University Guide 2010 – will widen access to the profession for those who would not normally attend full-time education and training.
The Bachelor of Social Work degree is a five year course involving approximately two-and-a-half days’ university attendance per week. It is ideal for those who do not have the time or resources to pursue a full-time social work degree.
Professor Mike Tomlinson, Head of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s said: “There are around 4,000 practising social workers in Northern Ireland, but demand for their services is growing all the time. Social workers are at the front line of society’s efforts to cope with community, family and personal problems. It is crucial there are sufficient numbers of well-trained social workers to help those who, for a variety of reasons, need support with everyday living.
“The part-time degree will make professional social work training more accessible to those who are unable to commit to a full-time course. People with jobs, families or caring commitments, for example, often don’t have the time for full-time education. This course will allow them to balance existing commitments with professional social work education and training.
“It is up to us to ensure that social work education is accessible to as many people as possible, and that social workers are properly trained with the skills and knowledge required to help the most vulnerable people in our society. The part-time Social Work degree at Queen’s will do just that and will build upon the University’s long standing reputation for high quality social work education and training.
“The course content, which involves a mix of academic study and work-based learning, is exactly the same as that covered in the full-time course. Just like full-time students, graduates from the part-time course can progress to the Assessed Year in Employment, allowing them to become fully qualified social workers. Most social workers are employed within six months of graduating, earning a starting salary of around £24,000 per year.”
Entry requirements for the part-time Bachelor of Social Work degree are ABB or equivalent at A-level and three years sustained paid or voluntary work experience in social care or a related field (education, health, community or youth work) in the past five years. All candidates will be subject to a selection interview. There are 15 places available on the course, which will begin in September 2010.
For more information on the course visit the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work website at www.qub.ac.uk/soc telephone 028 9097 5117 or email email@example.com
For media inquiries contact Anne-Marie Watson at Queen’s University Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5320, 07814415451 or
Rachel McKillop from Cushendall was awarded the ICAP Prize by Professor John Turner.
Queen’s University Management School received a record number of applications in 2009 with demand for around 200 prestigious postgraduate places almost doubling to over 1,000 applications.
At the School’s recent Postgraduate prizegiving ceremony seven top students received awards for their success in finance, management and executive education from companies including Ulster Bank, the Chartered Institute of Management, and Biznet.
Director of Queen’s University Management School Professor Richard Harrison said: “The School is delighted to recognise the achievements of the 2009 graduating class of postgraduate and undergraduate students.
“Prospective students value the quality of our courses and the opportunities that provides.
“Despite the current economic situation, our graduates in management, international business, sustainability and environmental management, economics, accounting and finance continue to be successful in securing prestigious jobs with major employers in Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland and internationally.
“In 2009 we experienced a record level of applications for both our undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes from very highly qualified candidates.
“We look forward to continuing to make a significant contribution to the development of the high calibre graduate skills and knowledge required in an internationally competitive knowledge-based economy.”
Winners included east Belfast students James Waterworth who won the prize for best overall student in MSc Finance, and Kevin Shine and Matthew Ridout who were awarded the Chartered Management Institute Prize for Best overall Executive MBA students.
Paul McKeever from south Belfast won the Biznet Solutions Prize for best student (2007-8) in Operations Management in the New Economy while Jason Murray from Armagh was presented with the same prize for 2008-9. Both are MSc Management graduates.
Trevor Abbot from Dungannon was awarded the Ulster Bank Prize for Best Executive MBA Dissertation and MSc graduate Rachel McKillop from Cushendall was awarded the ICAP Prize for Best Student in Options, Futures and Other Derivative Securities Module.
For media inquiries please contact the Communications Office at Queen’s on 00 44 (0)28 9097 3087\3091 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Denise McAlister, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Ulster, Sir Reg Empey, Minister for the Department of Employment and Learning and Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast with Chair of GAP, Dr Gerard O’Hare.
Unemployed graduates in Northern Ireland are set to benefit from a unique initiative offering them a work placement alongside further study – all in the hope of securing long term employment.
The Graduate Acceleration Programme (GAP) was launched today by Business in the Community in partnership with Queen’s and the University of Ulster. Funded by the Department of Employment and Learning under its Steps to Work programme, the initiative aims to help graduates get on to the career ladder in 2010.
Government, the universities, and businesses have come together with a common goal of helping unemployed graduates affected by the recession.
GAP involves a work placement, lasting up to 26 weeks, in which graduates complete a project or piece of work, while studying for one of two specially developed qualifications: the Graduate Certificate in Organisation and Management with Queen’s, or the Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice with the University of Ulster.
“The employment prospects for graduates leaving university this year are possibly gloomier than they've ever been,” said Sir Reg Empey, Minister for the Department of Employment and Learning. “As a result of the economic downturn, Northern Ireland faces a situation whereby thousands of graduates now face considerable difficulty gaining employment.
“The Department of Employment and Learning is extremely supportive of this programme which will provide graduates with employability skills and the much needed experience that is often required to gain employment.”
Dr Gerard O’Hare, Chair of GAP, Managing Director of ParkerGreen International and HRH The Prince’s Ambassador for Corporate Responsibility in Northern Ireland, explained what has been happening so far.
“We have already had expressions of interest from over 150 organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors as well as over 250 graduate enquiries proving that GAP provides a real opportunity, with mutual benefits, for employers and graduates.
“The programme has been endorsed by the CBI, the Institute of Directors and the Chambers of Commerce; all are in agreement that we cannot afford to lose our next generation of graduates and a programme such as GAP is much needed.
“Employers can gain a lot from participating in the programme including benefiting from a graduate’s fresh enthusiasm and skills, completion of a specific piece of work adding value to an organisation and the opportunity to be known as an employer of choice,” says Dr O’Hare.
“Additionally an employer subsidy is available if an organisation is in the position to offer permanent employment to the GAP graduate – all in all it’s a win-win situation.”
Businesses in Northern Ireland are being urged to get involved: employers who participate in GAP will not pay a wage and every graduate while on GAP will receive their current rate of benefit plus an additional weekly training bonus.
To find out more about GAP, please visit www.gapni.com or contact the GAP Team on 028 9046 0606.
Media inquiries to Anne Langford on 028 9097 5310 or
If you haven’t already made your new year’s resolution, why not take up a new hobby, advance your personal development and broaden your horizons with a part-time course at Queen’s University. Queen’s Open Learning programme offers over 100 courses covering everything from family history to horror films, and entrepreneurship to inheritance tax.
Open Learning is the perfect opportunity to pursue an old interest or try something completely new. The courses are open to everyone over the age of 16, and you don’t need any ‘ologies’ or qualifications to enrol.
Dr Tess Maginess, Senior Teaching Fellow and Open Learning Co-ordinator at Queen’s School of Education, said: “From popular choices in languages, art, music and literature to more unusual options like Italian cinema or a guide to inheritance tax, we have courses to suit all interests and abilities. While many of our courses take place at Queen’s, others run in towns across Northern Ireland, including Armagh, Carrickfergus, Dromore, Holywood, Portadown, Portrush, Randalstown and Whitehead.
“Queen’s takes pride in its relationship with the city of Belfast. Alongside our degree programmes, Open Learning offers everyone – regardless of their background or qualifications - the opportunity to come to Queen’s, try something new and enjoy learning in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.”
For fans of the television series ‘Who do you think you are’, Family History for Beginners provides an introduction to genealogy to help trace your family tree. The Open Learning Programme also features lots of courses on local history as well as several ‘out and about’ tours of Belfast city.
Step back in time with Reform and Revolution: Ireland in the 1960’s, or Images of Ireland through Arts and Culture: From 1960-2010, which looks at Irish history, literature, art, music, film and popular culture over the last 50 years.
Explore the dark side with Hammer: The Birth of British Horror, or join the Gothic revival with a number of courses on Gothic literature, art and architecture.
Those who want to get to grips with technology can try Introduction to Computers or Advanced Word Processing. Budding artists may be interested in Painting in Acrylic and Watercolour or Drawing from the Imagination, while Blues Guitar offers something for the musically minded.
If you fancy your chances in Dragons’ Den, but you don’t know where to start, check out So You Want to be an Entrepreneur. From finance to legal issues, the course explores what it takes to get your business idea off the ground. And for those who have been there and done that, More Successful Retirement will help you plan for life after work.
From the women of Wisteria Lane to the wives of the MAd Men, Television and the Suburban Housewife looks at the portrayal of suburban women on TV and what this tells us about gender roles in our society, while DNA: What is it and What Does it Do? delves into the world of genetics.
Dr Maginess said: “With online registration at www.qub.ac.uk/edu/ol it has never been easier to sign up for our classes. Many courses fill up quickly, so we would encourage you to enrol early, online or by telephone at 028 9097 3323 / 3539.”
Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Watson on 028 9097 5320 or email@example.com