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News archive for November 2008

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News Archive

November 2008

Call for action on occupational cancers

Inside the Obama election: James Naughtie reveals his stories from the campaign and takes your questions

Stirling is the best place to be - say students

University of Stirling awards honorary degrees for services to Scotland

Deputy Principal appointed to Board of sportscotland

Call for action on occupational cancers

Date released: Friday 7 November 2008

A researcher at the University of Stirling has called for urgent government action to avert the “major public health disaster” caused by occupational cancers.

Writing in the European Journal of Oncology*, Professor Andrew Watterson says that more people die in Scotland from occupational cancers than from road accidents, murders and suicides combined.

With over half a million Scottish workers still exposed to workplace carcinogens, he has called for the government to implement a range of prevention measures that have been shown to make a difference in other countries.

Professor Watterson, chair of the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, said: “The high toll taken by occupational cancers has been neglected, and UK regulators have been silent on this subject for a quarter of a century. Approximately539,172 Scottish workers are exposed to workplace carcinogens. Each year, new carcinogens emerge and more people are exposed to them.”

With 10-12% of all cancers estimated to be work-caused or work-related, this means there are up to 1800 such deaths each year in Scotland, at a cost of up to £2.4 million for each occupational cancer death. He has called for practical solutions, some well tried and tested in other countries, requiring a joined-up approach from government across health, environment and enterprise departments, with financial incentives for employers who invest in tackling carcinogens at source.

He said: “Scotland is well placed to run a national cancer prevention campaign on occupational and environmental cancers, and to introduce cost-effective toxics use reduction measures and policies.”

* Watterson A, Gorman T, O’Neill R (2008) Occupational cancer prevention in Scotland: a missing public health priority. European Journal of Oncology, vol. XIII, n. 3, 2008: pp161-170

Inside the Obama election: James Naughtie reveals his stories from the campaign and takes your questions

Date released: Thursday 13 November 2008

The University’s new Chancellor, James Naughtie, is to give a unique insight to the recent American elections.

He will give the inside story of a phenomenal campaign that ended with Barack Obama being elected as President, returning a Democrat to the White House after eight years of leadership from George Bush.

This special event for staff and students at Stirling will take place on Thursday 20 November.

Having covered every US election for the past two decades, James Naughtie is recognised as an expert, perceptive and entertaining commentator on the American political system.

He made the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 essential listening for anyone who wanted the inside track on the progress of the election, from the impact of Sarah Palin to the funding of Barack Obama.

Hosted by the University Principal, Professor Christine Hallett, the event starts at 5pm, and will last for an hour with plenty of time for questions. The venue is Lecture Theatre A3 in the Cottrell Building. Admission is free and all are welcome, with no need to book a place – first come, first served.

Further information from External Relations, tel 01786 467055 or email


Stirling is the best place to be - say students

Date released: Friday, 21 November 2008

The University of Stirling has retained is title as the best place to be in an international survey of student opinion. The International Student Barometer, the largest annual study of international students in the world, covers a large number of higher education institutions, of which 60 are in the UK and 8 in Scotland.

Among the many questions, it asks the students to state whether their university is, quite simply, 'a good place to be'. This year's results have just been issued and Stirling is once again the top rated place to be of the 93 institutions taking part, the second year in a row we have won that accolade. Stirling also rates highly on a range of other topics, including safety, sports facilities, friendly local people, assessment and performance feedback.

University of Stirling awards honorary degrees for services to Scotland

Date released: Friday 21 November 2008

More than 700 University of Stirling students were gowned and gathered at the Albert Halls, Stirling, on Friday 21 November, to attend their graduation ceremonies.

The University’s newly installed Chancellor, Dr James Naughtie, presiding over his first graduation ceremony, capped the students during the conferral of degrees.

During the ceremonies, the University awarded three honorary degrees to Mrs Margaret Barr, Mr Dennis Canavan and Dr Kathleen Dalyell.

Margaret Barr, Director of the Scottish Police College, received the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to professional training, development and education in Scotland. 

Margaret Barr joined Strathclyde Police in 1976.  She moved swiftly through the ranks and gained wide operational experience in uniform and in specialist posts such as the CID.  In 2002, she was appointed Deputy Director of the Scottish Police College, and later became Director with the rank of Deputy Chief Constable, the first woman and first serving police officer to hold the post.  Under Mrs Barr’s leadership, Tulliallan has developed an international reputation for the training of Scottish Police.

Dennis Canavan, Scottish politician, received the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport and public affairs. 

In 1974, he was elected MP for West Stirlingshire, which included the University of Stirling. Following boundary changes in 1983, he was MP then MSP for Falkirk West. When he retired last year, he was the longest serving Parliamentarian in the Scottish Parliament, having completed a total of 33 years at Westminster then Holyrood. As Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Sports Group, he campaigned for better sports opportunities for all. He won a gold medal playing for Scotland in the 1967 British Universities Football Championships and still takes an active interest in sport.

Dr Kathleen Dalyell, Scottish heritage expert, received the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of her distinguished service to the University of Stirling and to civic Scotland. 

After an early career as a teacher of History in Glasgow then Edinburgh, Kathleen Dalyell became a member of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland.  She has made a major contribution to civic life and heritage in Scotland, having served as Chair of the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments, Director of the Heritage Education Trust and as a National Trust for Scotland administrator at The Binns.  Kathleen Dalyell served as the Chancellor’s nominee on the University Court from 2002 and was made an OBE in 2005.

There were three ceremonies on 21 November:

10am Ceremony
Honorary Graduate: Mrs Margaret Barr
Subjects: Applied Social Science; Nursing & Midwifery; Sports Studies; Aquaculture; Biological and Environmental Sciences.

12.30pm Ceremony
Honorary Graduate: Mr Dennis Canavan
Subjects: Economics; English Studies; History; Management; Philosophy; Politics; Education.

3pm Ceremony
Honorary Graduate: Dr Kathleen Dalyell
Subjects: Accounting & Finance; Computing Science & Mathematics; Film, Media & Journalism; Marketing; Psychology; Law; Languages, Cultures & Religions.


Deputy Principal appointed to Board of sportscotland

Date released: Wednesday 26 November 2008

Professor Grant Jarvie, Deputy Principal of the University of Stirling, has been appointed to the Board of sportscotland, the national agency for developing sport in Scotland.

Scotland's Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell, today announced the appointment of Professor Jarvie, a move that reinforces Stirling's position as Scotland's University for Sporting Excellence.

Professor Jarvie comes from an international sporting family, has extensive experience and understanding of sport and education both nationally and internationally and is a passionate advocate of the power of education and sport to make a difference not just in local communities but through international development work. He has held established chairs in two of Scotland’s Universities, is a registered teacher, advisor to the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame, has chaired area institutes of sport, is an Honorary Professor with the University of Warsaw and has been central to the development and recognition of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence. He has previously advised on the measurement of costs and activity in Higher and Further Education and currently sits on the Cabinet Secretary for education and lifelong learning implementation group for the Curriculum for Excellence.

The part-time appointment will be for a period of four years from December 1, 2008 to November 30, 2012, and is not remunerated.


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