An innovative project aimed at creating e-learning and training opportunities for workers in the property and housing sector will be launched at the University of Stirling on Wednesday 5 November.
The project is being led by Property, Housing, Cleaning and Facilities Management Skills (PHCFMS), a developing sector skills council, who are working in partnership with the University’s Housing Policy & Practice Unit (HPPU) among other partners. Significant funding from the European Social Funding has been secured to take the e-learning network forward.
As part of the project, the HPPU is developing a new housing studies on-line course. Project leader, Dr Mary Taylor (lecturer) said: “This exciting development has the potential to transform future professional training in the housing and property sectors, especially for those working remotely. The availability of an e-learning network will be invaluable to employees and employers across a wide range of occupations. Employees will now be able to use more time for studying instead of travelling to study and this will help them fit study around their busy working and personal lives.”
The University of Stirling has long been at the forefront of housing education delivery. The HPPU launched the first full time diploma in Housing Studies in the UK back in 1980. Since 1999 the Unit has been working towards on-line availability of its Diploma modules for the benefit of housing practitioners throughout Scotland.
A recent pilot project carried out by the PCFMS for the Scottish Executive showed that housing sector employers acknowledge the need for additional training – particularly in the areas of management skills, IT, legislation and professional expertise.
PCFMS Manager Steven Proudfoot said: “ Since devolution provided for legislation specifically to meet needs in Scotland, the housing sector has had to deal with many changes taking place at one time such as transferring housing stock from local authorities to housing associations. As a result budgets are in some cases under severe pressure. This can result in cutbacks affecting the ability of organisations to undertake training; but this challenge presents an opportunity to use the benefits of modern technology to rethink the ways that learning is delivered.”
The project will be launched at the Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling at 1pm. Attendees will be able to sample some innovative e-learning materials such as ‘virtual’ property surveys and a ‘Glasgow tour’ designed for housing associations. The event will also feature details of products under development such as a ‘real time’ discussion forum designed for interaction between students and tutors.
Lesley Pollock Media Relations Manager (01786) 467058
Fostering a Sense of Community
"The Principal's Music" is a series of informal lunchtime musical recitals to be held in the MacRobert Foyer. The first event of the series will be held on Friday 5 December when Professor Dougie Brownlie of the Department of Marketing and friends will play a programme of breezy jazz.
This event is free so please come along. If you have any further queries please contact the External Relations at the address below.
1603 - Music of the Golden Age
Date released: 19 November 2003
The University of Stirling’s organist, Matthew Beetschen FRCO will give a public lecture in Airthrey Castle, University of Stirling on Tuesday 2 December 2003 at 7.15pm.
The theme will be “1603 – Music of the Golden Age”. Mr Beetschen will illustrate his talk with music from the time of the Union of the Crowns.
Mr Beetschen said: “Dunblane Choir will be demonstrating some of the music from the period, so it should be enjoyable evening for music lovers.”
Tickets are free and are available from the University’s Communications and Development Office in advance, as numbers are limited. All welcome.
Telephone: 01786 467055 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naming of Niall Bromage Freshwater Research Facility
Date released: 20 November 2003
The Institute of Aquaculture’s Niall Bromage Freshwater Research Facility at Buckieburn will be formally opened on the 26 November 2003 at 11am.
This new facility, near Carron Bridge, which houses research laboratories, office, mess facilities and a changing area, is dedicated to the memory of University of Stirling Professor Niall Bromage who died in May 2003 following a short illness. Niall’s wife Anne will unveil a plaque naming the facility after her late husband.
The Institute’s Director of External Facilities Derek Robertson said:
“Professor Bromage was largely responsible for proposing the need for this facility, as a means of providing modern staff and student facilities for the extensive Freshwater Salmonid Research programmes being carried out at Buckieburn by Niall and his team, in the Reproduction and Genetics section of the Institute of Aquaculture.
“Niall’s work in the area of Fish Endocrinology and Reproduction is world renowned and we hope it will live on through his successor, who is expected to be appointed to the Institute of Aquaculture in early 2004.”
The new facilities have been funded by University central funds, through the sale of shares in Stirling Aquatic Technology, the Institute’s offshore salmon farming operation at Oban and through Howietoun Fishery, the Institute’s commercial salmon smolt and brown trout farm at Sauchieburn.
Lesley Pollock Media Relations Manager (01786) 467058
Inverness Graduation Ceremonies 2003
Date released: 24 November 2003
The University of Stirling is holding two academic awards ceremonies in St Andrew's Cathedral Inverness on Friday 28 November 2003.
The awards to be conferred include Nursing and Midwifery degrees, diplomas and certificates as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
The University will also confer honorary degrees of Master of Arts on world class golfer Catriona Matthew, for her contribution to the community and the University, and Doctor of the University on children's author Mairi Hedderwick, for her outstanding contribution to writing and illustration in Scotland.
Sportswoman Catriona Matthew was born in 1969 and grew up in North Berwick. From an early age it was obvious she had enormous sporting ability. Her parents introduced her to golf and recruited the services of golf professional Jimmy Hume. As a teenager, Catriona won the complete range of match play and stroke play championships available to young Scottish female amateur golfers.
Catriona embarked on an undergraduate course in Financial Studies at the University of Stirling in 1986. During the following five years, with the help of coach John Chillas, she developed into the finest female golfer of her generation. As a Stirling University student she won the Scottish and British Universities' Championships and represented British Universities at the World Students' golf championships. The culmination of her amateur career came in 1993 when she won the British Ladies' title.
Catriona turned professional in 1994 and qualified for the Ladies' Professional Golf Association Tour in 1995. In 2001 she won her first Tournament on the US tour in Hawaii.
Author and illustrator, Mairi Hedderwick was born in Gourock, Renfrewshire in 1939 and at the age of 17 took a job on the Isle of Coll in the Hebrides. There began her life-long love affair with islands. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, Mairi married and had two children. In 1962, she decided to escape the rat race and return to Coll. Her incredibly popular 'Katie Morag' series of children's books is loosely based on her life on Coll.
Mairi started writing professionally in 1980. Until 1984, when 'Katie Morag Delivers the Mail' was published, she illustrated other people's stories. All her books are notable for the detailed observations in her artwork and give a fascinating insight into Hebridean life. That same detail has gone into Mairi's travel books for adults and her illustration skills are much sought after by authors wishing to convey an authentic Scottish setting.
It seems appropriate that the University of Stirling should confer an honorary degree on Mairi, given that it is home to the MacRobert - an arts centre that prides itself on its work with children and families.
Media Relations Manager
War on Terror and the Suppression of Dissent
Date released: 24 November 2003
Government coercion and the suppression of freedom of speech come under close scrutiny in a new book by University of Stirling criminologist Reece Walters.
'Deviant Knowledge - Criminology, Politics and Policy' examines the ways in which governments and regulatory authorities govern the research agenda, manipulate the processes and production of knowledge about crime and silence or suppress critical voices through various techniques of neutralisation.
In his chapter, 'Silencing the critics: the 'War on Terror' and the suppression of dissent', Reece analyses how global political events in recent years have shaped criminological research.
Reece Walters said: "The months following the tragic events of September 11 2001 witnessed widespread intolerance for dissenting views of George Bush's 'war against terror' and his decision to invade Afghanistan. The post-11 September period represented a fashioning of a single outlook, a time when free speech and criticism were referred to as treason."
In the book, Reece examines the patriotic propaganda used by President Bush in his many speeches after September 11. For example, how Bush refers to his government's position as the 'defender of freedom' that must fight 'evil'.
Reece Walters said: "Bush's position was unequivocal: 'either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists'. By implication, anyone who criticised or opposed the War on Terror was not a defender of freedom, but rather someone siding with 'evil', someone on the terrorists side'. The leader of the 'free world' has proved to be intolerant of domestic free speech in his overtly stated quest to secure freedom for others."
The book argues for 'knowledges of resistance', a position that promotes critique and adheres to intellectual autonomy and independence. Drawing upon a wide range of interviews with academics and administrators from government and business, the book provides rare insights into the ways that knowledge about crime and criminal justice is produced and consumed. It also reveals why certain topics of criminological enquiry are rarely funded and why others receive ongoing political and governmental support. There is also evidence of dismissals of academics for their political and ideological views.
Reece Walters said: "Academic institutions are premised on well-founded principles of free speech so that their scholars might act as 'critics and conscience of society'. However, during the post-11 September period academic freedom was curtailed and redefined. There are numerous American examples of critical voices within academic institutions bringing about swift and heavy-handed reactions from politicians, employers and governing bodies."
Reece Walters points out that while government intolerance of free speech serves to neutralise some would-be critics, it is also capable of causing underground and visible resistance such as seen in the recent anti-war demonstrations during President Bush's visit to the UK.
Media Relations Manager
For further information contact Reece Walters on 01786 467977
Is Football Still The People's Game?
Date released: 25 November 2003
Following a decade of commercial and financial upheaval, the football business is still in a period of transition. As media income throughout Europe declines, many clubs burdened with high wage costs are facing severe financial problems. Clubs are becoming more and more polarized financially and pressure is growing for unprecedented structural change within the industry. Yet this remains football: an activity that has a social and community significance that sets it apart from conventional business activity.
The rapidly changing economics of European club football are scrutinised in a new book - 'The People's Game? Football, Finance and Society' - by Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at the University of Stirling, Stephen Morrow. To mark the launch of the book, the University of Stirling is hosting a public lecture entitled 'An insight into the ownership and governance of European football clubs'. Drawing on case studies of clubs in Britain, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands, the lecture will consider the nature and purpose of contemporary football clubs and the implications for football's stakeholders.
In a week when one of Scotland's Premier Division clubs has been placed into administration, Stephen Morrow argues that clubs here can learn some lessons from Europe: "Most observers understand only too well that running a successful football club business is uniquely challenging. What emerged from the case studies was an explicit recognition that football success can only be sustained within an appropriate business structure. Just as important though is the need to involve supporters and the wider community in that structure and to focus on improved stakeholder communication; a key factor in keeping expectations realistic."
The lecture will be held on Thursday 27 November in Stirling Management Centre, University of Stirling at 5.30pm.
Media Relations Manager
Local Employers Sought for Summer Internships
Date released: 26 November 2003
The University of Stirling's Careers advisory service is currently seeking local employers to take part in its summer 2004 student internship programme.
The scheme involves students undertaking and completing an intensive eight-week project of an undergraduate level for an employer, which is related to their degree subject. These are high quality work experience placements, which are rewarding for both students and employers.
Careers Adviser Pam Crawford said: “The employer benefits from a skilled undergraduate employee who will undertake a relevant project for their company or organisation, while students gain valuable work experience as well as accreditation for their degree in the form of a half unit.”
Local employers who have already offered placements include Stirling Council, SEPA, Scottish Woodland Trust and the Stirling Labour Party office of Anne McGuire MP and Sylvia Jackson MSP.
Duncan Sinclair, Sports and Leisure Operations Manager for Stirling Council offered final year student Ben O’Connell a placement in summer 2003. Ben's role involved helping to organise Stirling's biggest ever sporting event, the World Medical and Health Games which took place in June.
Mr Sinclair said: “Ben hit the ground running. His initial role changed from being a mixture of administrative and organisational support, to being a lead officer and key member of the team. From the Council's point of view, this worked very well mainly due to Ben's flexibility, organisational and communication skills, the ability to smile when mayhem rained all around and of course, hard work.
“This is the third year Stirling Council's Sport & Leisure department have worked with the University on the summer internship programme. It provides an excellent opportunity for the student, University and the employer and it has always proved to be a positive experience for all concerned.”
Undergraduate, Ben O'Connell relished the opportunity to put his knowledge gained during his combined Business and Sports Studies into practice.
Ben said: “The summer internship was an amazing experience and one that I will not forget. Prior to the week of the Games I was involved with, organising appropriate facilities and equipment, carrying out risk assessments and liaising with the event organisers, to name just a few of my tasks. During the tournament, I was entrusted as football co-ordinator and was in charge of ensuring that the largest event of the Games ran smoothly. I was also involved in writing a report on the games, which has recently been published as a council paper.
“The internship ultimately gave me the opportunity to combine both aspects of my degree and put some of my knowledge into practice. The amount of responsibility I was given throughout the internship was incredible and the experience I gained from it was invaluable. I learnt and improved on a plethora of skills and abilities, especially by being put into some quite demanding situations that I had never had to deal with before.”
Placements normally commence between mid June and mid August. Employers who would like further information, should contact Careers Adviser Pam Crawford using the details below.