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News archive for March 2008

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News Archive

March 2008

Health Secretary's Praise for University in Inverness

Wayne Hemingway opens Design and Technology Suite

European Premiere for Norman McLaren tribute


Health Secretary's Praise for University in Inverness

Date released: Tuesday 11 March 2008

Scotland’s Health Secretary has praised the University of Stirling in her keynote speech on health education at the Highland Campus.

Last night, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, and Deputy First Minister, delivered the University of Stirling 40th Anniversary Lecture, entitled ‘Education for Better Health, Better Care’, when she visited the Centre for Health Science in Inverness. The event started with a welcome by the Principal of the University, Professor Christine Hallett, and was followed by a lively question and answer session on a wide range of health-related topics.

Ms Sturgeon was given a tour of the Highland Campus where she met staff and students, and said: "You have a tremendous facility here, and you should be very proud of it."

She also praised the significant contribution the University of Stirling has made since its inception 40 years ago, and said: "Over the next 40 years the University of Stirling will continue to lead the way." And she commented: "You have without a shadow of a doubt one of the finest campuses in the UK, if not in the whole of Europe."

Health plays a vital part in the teaching and research work at the University of Stirling, which runs programmes in nursing at its Stirling, Highland and Western Isles campuses, and midwifery at the Stirling and Highland campuses.

The Department of Nursing and Midwifery moved into the Centre for Health Science, in the grounds of Raigmore Hospital, in 2006 and now has 400 students enjoying the state-of-the-art teaching facilities there. Most students take undergraduate courses leading to registration as nurses or midwives, while some are postgraduates studying for Master’s or Doctoral degrees. They are mainly drawn from the local area but there are also students attracted to the region from England and Ireland.

University of Stirling nursing experts in Inverness have led national projects in family health nursing, nurse prescribing and pain management. The University of Stirling-based Cancer Care Research Centre is working with Highland Hospice on a project to evaluate its future needs, based on the experiences of patients and carers.

The University also held an open forum on research and education at the Centre for Health Science during the afternoon. This included a presentation by Professor Ian Simpson, Deputy Principal for Research, who explained the University of Stirling’s commitment to pursue research and scholarship at an international level of excellence, and its research and knowledge transfer strategy. He focused particularly on the work being undertaken in the Highlands and Islands in the fields of health and wellbeing (including patient-centred dementia services and cancer care), the environment and sport.

Wayne Hemingway opens Design and Technology Suite

Date released: Wednesday 12 March 2008

Designer Wayne Hemingway said he ‘felt like the Queen’ as he cut the ribbon to officially open the Design and Technology Suite at the Dementia Services Development Centre in the University of Stirling’s Iris Murdoch Building.

The DSDC is a specialised facility which raises standards of care for people with dementia by identifying and communicating best practice. Over the past year, the centre has worked in partnership with a number of companies to create the suite, which features  a series of rooms demonstrating the potential of technology to help older people and people with dementia continue to live safely in their own homes.

Welcoming guests to the opening, Professor June Andrews, director of the DSDC said: “In 2007, Scotland spent a total of £1.7bn on dementia – more than the total amount spent on cancer, heart disease and strokes, and this figure is echoed UK-wide.”

She emphasised the importance of  the DSDC’s work in supporting dignity and quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. “We are influencing real-life care, and real-life work,” she said.

The associate director of health and social care, Colm Cunningham, gave a presentation entitled ‘Design and technology as a critical factor in care’ before Wayne Hemingway joined Professor Andrews to open the suite, saying: “It is time Britain thought about places for the elderly to live. Traditionally, it hasn’t been ‘cool’ for designers to be involved with such projects, but it is a very good job that things like this are happening.”

Co-founder, with his wife Gerardine, of the globally-acclaimed fashion label Red or Dead, Hemingway now runs HemingwayDesign, which specialises in affordable and social design. He has just been awarded the MBE.

Following the opening, guests enjoyed tours of the design and technology suite using hand-held audio guides which allow visitors to explore at their own pace, try equipment, and learn more about each aspect of the design.

For further information, visit


European Premiere for Norman McLaren tribute

Date released: Friday 28 March 2008

After wowing the critics in Canada last year, a spectacular stage show celebrating the Stirling-born Oscar winner, Norman McLaren, will have its European premiere at the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling.

NORMAN is an awe-inspiring fusion of live theatre and cinema, and it promises to be one of the highlights of the University of Stirling's 40th Anniversary calendar.

Nineteen technicians (rather than the usual three or four) are required in the theatre to create this one-man show, employing cutting edge virtual projection that is so advanced – and so visually exciting - that the crew are sworn to secrecy.

Produced by 4d art in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, it is much more than simply a "homage" to Norman McLaren. Using interviews, visuals and music, NORMAN reveals the power, modernity and humanism of a creative genius.

There are just three performances at the MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling, as the show begins its European tour:

Thursday 17 April at 8pm, the gala premiere.

Friday 18 April at 8pm.
Saturday 19 April at 8pm.
All tickets £10 (£6 concessions)

To book your tickets for the European Premiere of this extra-ordinary show and to join in the celebrations of McLaren, call the macrobert tickets and information team on 01786 466 666. 

Gala Premiere

At the European premiere of Norman on 17 April, the MacRobert will host a ‘red carpet’ event. Professor Seona Reid, Director of Glasgow School of Art, will introduce the show and the University of Stirling will welcome an audience of VIP guests including members of Norman McLaren’s family and major figures in the arts and Scottish life. This performance is also open to the public.

Norman McLaren, animator and film director.

Born on 11 April 1914 in Stirling, McLaren attended Stirling High School and went on to study design at Glasgow School of Art, where he became interested in cinematic techniques. He travelled to Spain as cameraman for a documentary on the Spanish Civil War, created to raise money for international aid, and joined the British General Post Office Film Unit when he left the school in 1937. He went to New York in 1939, settling two years later in Canada to work for the National Film Board.  McLaren developed groundbreaking techniques in animation, experimenting with combinations of images and music, and carried on making films until his death in Montreal on 27 January 1987. 

McLaren won an Oscar at the Academy awards, for his short film Neighbours (1952), conceived after a visit to China with UNESCO.  The eight minute film uses a technique known as pixilation, an animation technique using live actors, and gave a strong pacifist message against violence and war, ending with an exhortation to ‘love your neighbour’.  It can be viewed online at the National Film Board website.

Undiscovered archive - free exhibition

The University of Stirling has uncovered an archive on Norman McLaren’s life, never seen in public before. Two of his nephews, still living in Scotland, have preserved a substantial collection of material, including paintings, drawings, family photos, letters, and many personal effects. There is the programme from the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood where he won his award, and a 78 rpm record he made in 1942 to send a message home to Scotland. There are letters he sent home from Russia, Spain and China which give an insight into conditions in those countries at turbulent times. The more important elements of this archive are on show at the MacRobert Arts Centre to coincide with the performances of Norman.


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