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News archive for January 2008

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News Archive

January 2008

Environment Minister to Visit World Class Aquaculture Institute

Scotland Exports its Retail Expertise

Scotland Leading the Way in Suicide Prevention and Research

Jennifer is Named Student Social Worker of the Year

Environment Minister to Visit World Class Aquaculture Institute

Date released: Tuesday 8 January 2008

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP will return to his alma mater on Tuesday 8 January to visit the world’s leading aquaculture research facility.

Mr Lochhead, who graduated from Stirling with a BA in Politics in 1994, will be given a tour of the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling.

Long established as one of the leading international centres in its field, working with people, organisations and governments all round the globe, the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture is the largest of its kind in the world. Its 110 staff and 120 postgraduate students carry out research into strategies for sustainable aquaculture, whether in modern commercial markets or in feeding poor communities in developing countries. Studies into environments, reproduction, genetics, aquatic health, nutrition and feed supplies, on production systems, on markets, and on social and economic impacts all play significant roles.

Researchers are currently engaged in a variety of projects from developing systems for growing fish that make use of existing farm buildings as an income diversification strategy for Scottish farmers, to investigating how poor farmers in countries such as Bangladesh can effectively produce and market fish harvested from rice fields.

Mr Lochhead said: “Aquaculture makes an extremely important contribution to the Scottish rural economy particularly; farmed salmon alone supports about 1500 direct jobs with a further 4700 downstream. It is vital that we make use of the latest research to ensure that the sector remains both profitable and sustainable and that we share our knowledge with developing countries. Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture clearly has a significant role to play in this work.”

Lesley Wilkinson
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

Scotland Exports its Retail Expertise

Date released: Monday 21 January 2008

A Scottish University is to export its world renowned retail expertise to Singapore under a drive by the Singaporean government to promote specialist collaborations.

The University of Stirling and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) are among the first to take part in the national initiative, entitled the Foreign Specialised Institute, which encourages polytechnics to focus on niche areas by pairing up with overseas institutions.

Under the new agreement, students with a relevant Polytechnic Diploma will be able to enter directly into year three of the University's BA (Hons) Retail Marketing - thereby serving a niche market for well-trained retail professionals (students can study in Singapore or Stirling). This will help meet the future manpower needs of the retail sector in Singapore where one in five retail managers will retire in the next five to ten years and sends out a strong signal to young people that retail is a professional career.

Director of the University's Institute for Retail Studies, Professor Paul Freathy said: "Labour statistics have shown that close to 80 percent of the retail workforce in Singapore have secondary or below education. There are currently no comprehensive and industry-oriented tertiary education programmes in retail in Singapore - so this is a significant step forward for the retail sector. This collaboration will not only help raise the profile of retail as a career choice, but will also help professionalise the sector. We expect to see the retail leaders of tomorrow passing through this programme."

The University's Institute for Retail Studies (IRS) was established in 1983 to act as a focus for the academic and applied study of the retail industry.

Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christine Hallett added: "The University of Stirling is at the forefront of research and learning that shapes the world at a local, national and international level. Working with academic, commercial, public, private and voluntary sector partners we are one of the UK's leading research universities in the fields of health and well-being, the environment, culture and society, enterprise and the economy, and sport. The University was selected for this partnership due to it status as a world leader in retail education. The Institute for Retail Studies (IRS) has a long association with Singapore dating back to 1989, including close links with the Singapore Retailers Association and The Retail Academy of Singapore. IRS is now one of Europe's largest University based retail institutes and has developed a reputation for offering a range of high quality education and training programmes to the retail sector as well as undertaking research of an international standard."

Principal & CEO of NYP, Mr Chan Lee Mun said: "We are pleased to collaborate with the University of Stirling to develop and build new capabilities for the retail industry. NYP has been providing training in retail since 1995. In 2006, NYP established the Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS) together with the Workforce Development Agency of Singapore. SIRS has since been a lead provider of manpower training for the retail industry. With its track record and reputation in retail training, NYP is well-positioned to prepare the next generation of retail professionals to support Singapore's goal to be a global retail destination."

The unique collaboration has been praised by the Scottish Government. Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop said: "This collaboration between Stirling and Singapore clearly highlights the high regard in which Scottish education is held around the world. We're committed - through our recently published Skills Strategy - to helping people in Scotland develop the skills they need to ensure our nation can look forward to a prosperous economic future. This innovative partnership will allow Singaporeans to develop their skills and expertise while showcasing Scotland's educational expertise on the international stage."

Lesley Wilkinson
Media Relations Manager
University of Stirling
(01786) 467058

For further information:


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Professor Paul Freathy

University of Stirling



Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467410 or 07719 455 586



Scotland Leading the Way in Suicide Prevention and Research

Date released: Tuesday 22 January 2008

World-leading experts in suicide prevention are to gather in Scotland this year, to share international perspectives on how suicide can be reduced.

The conference, organised jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, will bring together 400 leading researchers, clinicians and policy-planners. Its aim is to share insights that may help those at risk of engaging in suicidal behaviour.

Experts from around the world will be invited to speak on all aspects of suicide, including the psychological element of suicidal behaviour, school-based strategies for reducing adolescent suicide and the treatment of those at risk.

The 12th European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviour (ESSSB12) will be held in Glasgow from 27th-30th August of 2008, and highlights Scotland’s place at the forefront of suicide prevention efforts.

Research shows that worldwide there is one suicide every 40 seconds. In Scotland, around two people die by suicide every day. The conference organisers hope that by sharing cross-cultural knowledge and experience of suicide prevention, Scotland will meet its target of reducing suicide by 20 per cent – set by the national prevention strategy and action plan, Choose Life.

Dr Rory O’Connor heads the Suicidal Behaviour Research Group at the University of Stirling is the UK Representative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. He is also co-president of the symposium.

He said: “It is a great coup for Scotland to win the bid to host the bi-annual 12th European Symposium on suicide and suicidal behaviour. This is the most prestigious suicide prevention conference in Europe, and it aims to improve our understanding and prevention of suicide and self-harm. It highlights that Scotland is leading the way in all areas of suicide prevention and research.”

Professor Stephen Platt, Director of the Research Unit in Health, Behaviour and Change at the University of Edinburgh, is also co-president of the event.

He said: “The conference aims to bring together the leading authorities on suicide prevention from across the globe. As suicide prevention is everyone’s business, the conference will appeal to anyone with an interest in this field. It also provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the world-class work being conducted in Scotland, including Choose Life, the national suicide prevention strategy.”

The ESSSB12 is organised jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling, in partnership with the Suicide Information Research and Evidence Network (SIREN) and supported by the Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland.

For more information about the conference visit the website

More information about the Choose Life strategy can be found at

For more information contact:

Lesley Wilkinson

Media Relations Manager

University of Stirling

(01786) 467058

Jennifer is named Student Social Worker of the Year

Date released: Friday 25 January 2008

Stirling University student Jennifer Lindsay has been named "Student Social Worker of the Year" by the British Association of Social Workers in Scotland.

Jennifer, 25, is currently completing her MSc in Social Work Studies at Stirling. She received her award from Children and Early Years Minister Adam Ingram at a special ceremony held in Edinburgh.

The award was in recognition of her creative and innovative work in helping set up a group to work with young male offenders while she was on placement with a children and families team at Falkirk Council.

Working with young men aged 12 to 15, the group had a positive effect by helping participants to explore their offending behaviour and alcohol misuse. As a reward, they were given special treats including a private visit to Falkirk Football Club.

Jennifer, who is from Broughty Ferry, had previously taken a degree in French and European Studies at Edinburgh University. She became interested in social work after spending nine months working at the Dundee Drugs & AIDS Project needle exchange.

The BASW Scotland Social Work Awards are aimed at recognising the very best in front line social work practice. The winners receive a trophy to keep, a year’s free membership of BASW and a European City Weekend Break.

Adam Ingram commented: “These new BASW awards provide a great opportunity to recognise the achievements of front line staff who are dedicated to improving the lives of others. Today we rightly celebrate their hard work, their commitment, their professionalism and their expertise.”

Jennifer said: "I was delighted to receive the BASW Scotland award. I love being a social work student. The course is hard work but I've enjoyed every minute of it and had some great opportunities to do some really interesting and challenging pieces of work.

"Setting up and co-facilitating a piece of group work for young men in trouble was by far the most exciting and rewarding piece of work I have ever done. But it was really a team effort.

"I think it's fantastic that BASW Scotland is recognising exciting work and high quality teaching. Receiving the award has made me even more enthusiastic about social work and eager to continue my learning."

Ruth Stark, BASW Scotland's Professional Officer, added: "This is the first year of our awards and we've been very impressed by the quality of the social work we have seen across Scotland. We want to celebrate this expertise in a wider context and to illustrate the work that is being carried out in very innovative and exciting ways."

Lesley Wilkinson
Media Relations Manager
University of Stirling
(01786) 467058

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