News at Stirling http://www.stir.ac.uk/news The University of Stirling's Communications and Media team aims to work positively and closely with the media, providing a service that will help media professionals to cover news, personalities and events at the University in an informed manner. News at Stirling http://www.stir.ac.uk/news http://www.stir.ac.uk/media/wwwstiracuk/styleassets/images/logo.png http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/07/palmer-cup-win/ A University of Stirling golf scholar and the team’s performance coach proved to be a winning combination as they helped Team Europe lift this year’s coveted Arnold Palmer Cup.

Business and Marketing student Mathias Eggenberger was one of 10 players who took part in the student equivalent of the Ryder Cup, making the selection for a second year running to reclaim the transatlantic title.

The University’s high performance golf coach Dean Robertson also joined the team as Assistant Coach, backing up Europe’s Head Coach Janice Moodie and guiding the squad to victory.

The three-day competition, named after legendary player Arnold Palmer, took place at Formby Golf Club between 24 and 26 June.

The tournament pits the best golfers at European universities against their American counterparts and is recognised as a springboard for emerging talent.

Mathias, from Switzerland, was selected following his win at the R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament at St Andrews in April.

The student, who this week graduated from Stirling, won Europe’s second match against Will Zalatoris and controlled much of the match. He took the lead with birdie at the fourth and pushed his advantage to three-up after a birdie at the seventh. Europe went on to defeat the United States, 18.5-11.5.

Mathias said: “The Arnold Palmer Cup is the pinnacle of collegiate golf and I was so proud, excited and honoured to be a part of Janice and Dean’s victorious European team this year and avenge last year’s defeat at Rich Harvest Farms in the USA.

“The University of Stirling performance golf programme has been pivotal to my ongoing development and success. Without question, the skills, habit and mind set I have learned helped me to perform so well under pressure.”

Performance golf coach Dean Robertson said: “Mathias has been an outstanding scholar-athlete and excellent ambassador for our institution. It was such a huge personal goal of his to play his way onto this year’s European Arnold Palmer Cup team that to see him play so well and contribute to Team Europe success was hugely rewarding, not just to him, but to all involved in his development at Stirling. A truly wonderful sign-off to a wonderful collegiate career.”

Stirling – Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence - was the first university in the UK to offer golf scholarships with R&A and has supported more than 180 student golfing athletes to date.

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Player and coach duo are winning combination at student ‘Ryder Cup’ Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:56:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/07/palmer-cup-win/name-129178-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/researchshowsgrowingsupportforchangestotheuseofelectronicmonitoringtagginginscotland/ Findings and recommendations released in a new report by University of Stirling criminologists, Professor Gill McIvor and Dr Hannah Graham, indicate support among criminal justice practitioners for key changes to the use of electronic monitoring tagging in Scotland. Their study sought the views of criminal justice social workers, Scottish Prison Service staff, sheriffs, the Parole Board for Scotland, Police Scotland, G4S monitoring staff, Scottish Government policymakers, and a third sector organisation.

Currently, the majority of electronically monitored orders made by Scottish courts and prisons do not involve supervision by criminal justice social workers or support from third sector services. Instead, most people are simply tagged and expected to stay at home during curfews of up to 12 hours a day.

Lecturer in Criminology and report co-author Dr Hannah Graham said:

“Our findings suggest that the use of electronic monitoring in Scotland over the last 15 years can be characterised as relatively simple but stable in approach. There’s plenty of momentum among most participants in this study to pursue more innovative and tailored uses.”

“Tagging and curfews alone don’t address the reasons why people commit crime. In line with international evidence, we recommend that tagging needs to be integrated with rehabilitative supports and opportunities to help people change their lives and leave crime behind.”

“One approach to electronic monitoring simply doesn’t fit all. Involving criminal justice social workers will harness their practice knowledge in tailoring community sentences, and could reduce unnecessary uses of court time and resources – for example, do sheriffs really need to decide on requests to change address?”

“Sheriffs are important decision-makers, but there’s a need for greater clarity and consistency between sheriffs and courts across the country about how and why they use electronic monitoring. Whether you get tagged or sentenced to prison should not significantly depend on where you live and who sentenced you.”

The Scottish prison population rate is one of the highest in Western Europe. One in every 700 people in Scotland are in prison. Recent figures show that some Scottish sheriffs and courts use electronically monitored Restriction of Liberty Orders (RLOs) as an alternative to a custodial sentence much more than others, who barely use them at all. In 2015, the rate of Restriction of Liberty Orders imposed by sheriffs in Glasgow was 256% higher than that of their Edinburgh counterparts, with 314 RLOs imposed in Glasgow compared to 88 RLOs in Edinburgh.

Stirling criminologists Gill McIvor and Hannah Graham worked on this project with an international research team of academics from England & Wales, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Commissioned by the European Union, this electronic monitoring comparative research is the first of its kind in Europe.

Dr Hannah Graham added:

“Electronic monitoring offers a versatile and flexible tool in trying to reduce Scotland’s swollen prison population, but this is not the only option and its use must be proportionate and not in isolation.”

“In Scotland, there are moderately high completion rates for electronically monitored orders. Most monitored people do not get breached and returned to court or recalled to prison for non-compliance.”

“Instead of simply focusing on when and where a person must be curfewed or excluded from, we can gain valuable insights from how European neighbours, like the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, use electronic monitoring. In Scotland, we should be considering more imaginative uses which include meaningful activities and community supports. This might involve work, volunteering or education, mentoring, attending an alcohol recovery group or family activities focused on parenting.”

The Scottish report and briefing paper summary are available online at http://emeu.leeds.ac.uk/reports/ 

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Research shows growing support for changes to the use of electronic monitoring tagging in Scotland Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/researchshowsgrowingsupportforchangestotheuseofelectronicmonitoringtagginginscotland/name-129108-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/teacher-of-the-year-honoured/ More than 600 graduates from the Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences celebrated alongside honorary graduates from the worlds of literature and education on the final day of the University of Stirling’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Former local head teacher and Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Teacher of the Year, Elaine Wyllie, received a Masters of Arts from the University for her outstanding contribution to the community with the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative at St. Ninians Primary School, Stirling.

The programme - which sees every pupil walk or run for up to one mile every day - has attracted national and international praise from healthcare experts for its innovative approach to tackling the growing issue of childhood obesity and is now the focus of a study by experts at the University of Stirling.

Ms Wyllie said: “The University of Stirling is Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and I’m delighted that it has chosen to recognise the positive impact that The Daily Mile has on the health and wellbeing of children everywhere. The University’s decision to conduct robust and meaningful research into this initiative will have far-reaching consequences for the health of future generations of children in the UK and beyond.”

Also recognised during Thursday’s ceremonies was Professor Zhengshuan Li, who received the award of Doctor of the University for the promotion of Scottish literature in China. Professor Li presented the University with a copy of his book which translated the poems of Robert Burns into contemporary Chinese to mark the 220th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Speaking during the ceremony, Professor Li praised the University’s reputation as an outward-looking institution with an international reach: “All of us graduating today are proud of the University where innovation and excellence is fully demonstrated, where national culture is highly valued, where we have studied and learned much about the world and the future.”

Thursday’s ceremony marks the final day of celebrations which recognises the achievements of more than 1200 graduates from five faculties.

This summer, more than 80 per cent of Stirling honours degree graduates achieved either a first or 2:1. 96 per cent of Stirling graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Photos, social media and graduate stories from the summer graduation ceremonies are available on the Graduation Live website.

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Teacher of the Year honoured at Stirling graduation ceremony Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:44:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/teacher-of-the-year-honoured/name-129106-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/leading-scientist-honoured-at-stirling-graduation-ceremony/ Over 650 graduates celebrated alongside honorary graduates from science and education on the first day of the University of Stirling’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Cholera expert, the scientist Dr Rita Colwell, received the award of Doctor of the University for her outstanding contribution to marine biotechnology and influences in environmental microbiology.

Congratulating graduates from the faculties of Natural Sciences and Health Sciences and Sport, Dr Colwell said: “It is a very special honour to be recognised for scientific achievement by the University of Stirling. We live in an era of scientific advances that benefit society in many ways and the University of Stirling is an internationally recognised science university.”

Currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and safe drinking water issues in both developed and developing countries, Rita concluded by saying: “I am pleased and honoured to be invited to join the University of Stirling family.”

Also recognised during Wednesday’s ceremony was Alan Simpson OBE, Chair of University Court from 2007 to 2015, who received the award of Doctor of the University for his contribution to the University and for services to higher education. During his tenure he fostered strong relationships within the UK higher education sector and led the University of Stirling through a period of growth and investment.

Praising the support and commitment of University staff past and present, Alan highlighted the positive impact Stirling’s contribution makes globally by saying: “I am thrilled and delighted to receive this degree and to be honoured by such a prestigious institution. Today we are witnessing students receiving degrees from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport and the Stirling Management School which are just two of the areas where Stirling is a real world leader and where the University’s contribution is making such a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Thursday’s ceremonies will celebrate the achievements of almost 650 graduates from the faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. Honorary degrees will also be bestowed on academic and poet Professor Zhengshuan Li and former headteacher Ms Elaine Wyllie, founder of the Daily Mile initiative.

This summer, more than 80 percent of Stirling honours degree graduates achieved either a first or 2:1. 96 percent of Stirling graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Photos, social media and graduate stories from the summer graduation ceremonies are available on the Graduation Live website.

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Leading scientist honoured at Stirling graduation ceremony Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:46:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/leading-scientist-honoured-at-stirling-graduation-ceremony/name-129008-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/more-than-1200-to-celebrate-at-stirling-summer-graduations/ More than 1200 University of Stirling graduands will have their achievements recognised at four Summer 2016 graduation ceremonies today and tomorrow.

The ceremonies held on campus at the University’s Gannochy National Tennis Centre, will confer degrees upon graduands from five academic faculties.

University Chancellor Dr James Naughtie will preside over the graduation ceremonies and Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, will highlight the positive impact that Stirling’s contribution has made to people’s lives across the globe.

More than 80 percent of those receiving an honours degree at this week’s ceremonies will graduate with either a first or 2:1 while 96 percent of Stirling graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

The ceremonies are broadcast live via a graduation webcast.

Graduation coverage – packed with photos, social media and case studies - will also be available online.

Wednesday 29 June, 10am

Graduands from the Faulty of Health Sciences and Sport and Faculty of Natural Sciences will receive their awards at the opening ceremony.

This includes Jayne Galinsky who will leave the University with a Health Sciences PhD and joins Myeloma UK as a researcher and Andrew Hepburn who will collect a scroll bursting with qualifications fit for the digital age, having achieved a first class honours in Computing Science. Andrew will now take up a graduate software engineer role in the defence sector.

Professor and Chief Science Officer at CosmosID.Inc, Dr Rita Colwell, will receive an honorary doctorate for her outstanding contribution to marine biotechnology and influences in environmental microbiology. Dr Colwell is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and safe drinking water issues in both developed and developing countries.

Wednesday 29 June, 2.30pm

The Wednesday afternoon ceremony recognises graduands from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport and Stirling Management School.

Among those graduating is Emily Jenkins who will gain a BA Hons Business Studies and Economics before she takes a place on GlaxoSmithKline’s Future Leaders programme. From Sport, Maurizio Valenti has completed an MSc in Sport Management and will stay to complete a PhD, having been won over by life at Stirling.

Alan Simpson OBE, Chair of University Court from 2007 to 2015, will receive the award of Doctor of the University for his contribution to the University and for services to higher education. During his tenure, he fostered strong relationships within the UK higher education sector and led the University of Stirling through a period of growth and investment.

Thursday 30 June, 10am

Graduands from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities will be recognised at the first of two ceremonies on Thursday including French and Law star student Julian Osei-Bonsu who used his time at University to study abroad in Vancouver and Paris.

Professor Zhengshuan Li will receive the award of Doctor of the University for the promotion of Scottish literature in China. A translator of poetry, Professor Zhengshuan Li is currently working on translating the poems of Robert Burns into contemporary Chinese and he will present the University with a copy of his book, marking the 220th anniversary of Burns’ death. His work is crucial to the links between the University of Stirling, Hebei Normal University in China and the Chinese educational authorities.

Thursday 30 June, 2.30pm

The final ceremony of the summer graduation celebrations sees graduands from the Faculty of Social Sciences recognised.

Golf scholar Eilidh Briggs is among those who takes home a degree to be proud of having achieved a first class honours in Professional Education, Physical Education and Sports Studies. Eilidh represented the University and her country on golf courses around the world, balancing highly competitive performance sport with her studies.

Former local head teacher and Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Teacher of the Year, Elaine Wyllie, is to be recognised for her contribution to the community with the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative at St. Ninians Primary School, Stirling. The programme - which sees every pupil walk or run for up to one mile every day - has attracted national and international praise from healthcare experts for its innovative approach to tackling the growing issue of childhood obesity and is now the focus of a study by experts at the University of Stirling. It has received support from the Scottish Government and has been introduced into schools throughout the country as well as in other parts of the UK.

Visit the Graduation Homepage

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More than 1200 to celebrate at Stirling summer graduations Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:16:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/more-than-1200-to-celebrate-at-stirling-summer-graduations/name-128971-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/eu-referendum---message-from-the-principal/ The outcome of the referendum on 23 June, was not, in my opinion, one that is in the best interests of universities or the country. However, the most important message I have for staff and students is that nothing will change immediately.

European Union students who have been made an offer to study at the University of Stirling in 2016 (or 2017 deferred entry) are unaffected. Those who are considering applying to the University for 2017 entry are encouraged to do so in the usual way. We will keep all applicants informed as relevant details emerge.

As I discussed earlier this month, in an article for The Conversation, the University of Stirling is a European University and will remain a European University. Our EU staff and students are part of the fabric of our scholarly community and contribute greatly to, and enrich all aspects of, university life.  The value of young people from across Europe living and learning together is immeasurable and we will do everything possible to ensure that this is not diminished in any way.

I recognise that this will be a worrying time for EU colleagues, students and their families. I would like to reassure you, that without unilateral action from the UK Government, the vote to leave will have no immediate impact on your immigration status or on the status of current and prospective EU students and staff. There will also be no immediate impact on the UK as a full member of Horizon 2020 and Erasmus.

The University values all our staff and students from across the EU and indeed from across the world – this will not change.

During the coming months, I will be working with the Scottish and UK Governments and with Universities UK and Universities Scotland to ensure that Stirling’s voice is heard in discussions and negotiations to ensure that the rich cultural diversity, that is the hallmark of higher education in the UK, is not lost.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

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EU Referendum - Message from the Principal Fri, 24 Jun 2016 12:49:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/eu-referendum---message-from-the-principal/name-128841-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/teacher-of-the-year-and-world-leading-cholera-scientist-to-be-honoured/ Figures from science, literature and education will receive honorary degrees at the University of Stirling’s Summer Graduation ceremonies next week.

Elaine Wyllie, Dr Rita Colwell, Professor Zhengshuan Li and Alan Simpson OBE will join more than 1000 Stirling graduands receiving their awards at ceremonies on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June.

Former local head teacher and Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Teacher of the Year, Elaine Wyllie, is recognised for her contribution to the community with the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative at St. Ninians Primary School, Stirling.   The programme has attracted national and international praise from healthcare experts for its innovative approach to tackling the growing issue of childhood obesity and is now the focus of a study by experts at the University of Stirling.  The Daily Mile sees every pupil walk or run for up to one mile every day.  It has received support from the Scottish Government and has been introduced into schools throughout the country as well as in other parts of the UK.

Professor and Chief Science Officer at CosmosID.Inc, Dr Rita Colwell, will be recognised for her outstanding contribution to marine biotechnology and influences in environmental microbiology. Dr Colwell is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and safe drinking water issues in both developed and developing countries.

Professor Zhengshuan Li will receive the award of Doctor of the University for the promotion of Scottish literature in China. A translator of poetry, Professor Zhengshuan Li is currently working on translating the poems of Robert Burns into contemporary Chinese. This work is crucial to the link between the University of Stirling, Hebei Normal University and the Chinese educational authorities.

Alan Simpson OBE, Chair of University Court from 2007 to 2015, will receive the award of Doctor of the University for his contribution to the University and for services to higher education. During his tenure he fostered strong relationships within the UK higher education sector and led the University of Stirling through a period of growth and investment.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “We are honoured to confer honorary degrees on such outstanding individuals and role models.

“As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence it is a privilege to recognise Elaine Wyllie’s contribution to the community. Elaine is an inspirational headteacher who has taken a fun and simple idea for exercise and turned it into a positive way to improve the health and wellbeing of children.

“Dr Rita Colwell’s contribution to science is awe-inspiring.  Her research spans the globe and her discoveries around cholera have changed the research world’s perception of that disease.

“Professor Zhengshuan Li’s contribution to the promotion of Scottish culture is not only evidence of his commitment to the enduring friendship between our cultures, but also of his continued support for the University of Stirling’s links with China.

“Finally, in Alan Simpson, we honour a graduand who is an ambassador and champion for Scottish higher education. It is a reflection of his vision and leadership that the University of Stirling is so strongly placed for the quality of our research and teaching. Alan embodies the sense of commitment and ambition that we aim to instil in all our graduating students.

“I extend my congratulations to all of our graduands and honorary graduands on their achievements.”

The ceremonies will celebrate the achievements of graduating students from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Stirling Management School. 

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Teacher of the Year and world-leading cholera scientist to be honoured Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:28:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/teacher-of-the-year-and-world-leading-cholera-scientist-to-be-honoured/name-128672-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/how-makeup-makes-men-admire-but-other-women-jealous/ A psychology study by the University of Stirling has found that men think women with make-up on are more ‘prestigious’, while women think women who wear make-up are more ‘dominant’.

The research is the first to report on how males and females perceive women who wear make-up differently.

In her new study, published in the journal Perception, Dr Viktoria Mileva, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, finds that make-up changes perceptions of status depending on who is making the judgment – males or females.

Dr Viktoria Mileva, said:

“While both sexes agree that women with make-up look more attractive when it comes to "high status", it really depends on who is looking. Men think women with make-up are more ‘prestigious’, while women think women with make-up are more dominant."

Research suggests that ‘high status’ can be obtained through two main routes. Either you are dominant, which means you are happy using forcefulness or manipulation to make people follow you. Alternatively, you can gain high status by prestige; by having positive merits and qualities that make other want to follow you.”

The study also found that women held rather negative views of other women who wear make-up.

Dr Mileva added: "We did some follow-up studies as to why women might feel that women with make-up are perceived as more dominant, and it looks like it might be related to jealousy and threat potential – women rating women with make-up said they would be more jealous of them, thought they were more promiscuous, and would be more attractive to men than their non-make-up wearing counterparts."

“For example, at a job interview, knowing whether the hiring committee will consist of men or women might influence a female candidate's decision about wearing make-up. Whether the interviewers will view her as attractive, dominant, and/or prestigious can affect her and the interviewers' actions and perhaps the outcome of the interview itself. Thus, understanding the potential implications of cosmetics use are important not only for the wearer, but also for the perceiver.”

The research can be found here.

 

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How make-up makes men admire but other women jealous Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:15:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/how-makeup-makes-men-admire-but-other-women-jealous/name-128618-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/stirling-student-scoops-top-marketing-award/ Third year marketing student Sophie Brown has carried off the prestigious Star Marketing Student of the Year Award at the annual Marketing Society Star Awards.

Receiving her award in front of 550 marketing professionals in Edinburgh, Sophie topped an all Stirling shortlist for the coveted category.

Students from universities across Scotland applied to take part in an Apprentice Day at recruitment firm Hudson Edinburgh, tackling a number of tasks developed by industry professionals from Golley Slater and award sponsor Maxxium.

The three top students from the day - all from the University of Stirling Management School - were selected to make up the shortlist for the award.

On receiving her award Sophie, who won a three-month placement at marketing consultancy Maxxium, said: “I’m over the moon to be awarded the Star Marketing Student of the Year by the Scottish Marketing Society. The full process has allowed me to apply theory learned at university and network with marketing professionals. I’m looking forward to starting my internship with Maxxium where I will be conducting marketing activities and events for brands such as The Famous Grouse and Jim Beam which is very exciting. Overall this award has motivated me to graduate next year and pursue a career in marketing and I am excited to see what the summer ahead of me and the future brings!”

Professor Julie Tinson of the Marketing and Retail division commended Sophie on her win saying: “I’m delighted Sophie has been recognised for her talent and ambition and she is a worthy winner of this award. I’d also like to congratulate her fellow students Alexander Bergstrom and Monika Gopal for reaching the top three. It’s testament to the commercially aware and industry ready students that emerge from Stirling Management School that they were also shortlisted.

The Marketing division at the University of Stirling Management School is ranked second in Scotland and 97 percent of students are in employment six months after graduating. 

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Stirling student scoops top marketing award Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:57:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/stirling-student-scoops-top-marketing-award/name-128420-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/dramatic-rise-in-number-of-bets-placed-pushes-possibility-of-eu-leave-vote-higher/ With a week to go until the polls open for the EU Referendum, the Bell Ballot Predictor, which successfully predicted the outcome of the Scottish Referendum in 2014, has recorded a sharp rise in bets in recent days in favour of a leave vote.

Developed by Professor of Economics David Bell, of the University of Stirling Management School, the predictor tracks bookmakers’ odds - shown to be more accurate than opinion polls – to predict the election outcomes.

Currently tracking the EU Referendum, the predictor shows a 40 percent chance of the UK voting to leave Europe, an increase of 10 percent in the last five days.

Professor Bell said: “I used the predictor for the 2014 Scottish Referendum and it forecast the outcome would be a small majority vote to remain in the UK, based on tracking betting odds.

“The mood of the nation, as seen through the prism of the bookies, has taken a sharp turn in recent days. There have been a number of events since the weekend that may have influenced this dramatic increase including an increase in negative media coverage for the Remain camp. Added to a general perceived lack of co-ordination for their overall campaign has allowed the more cohesive Leave voice to be heard louder, and their consistency of messaging is apparent in the media.

“The financial markets have also taken a turn this week, reacting to opinion polls which has resulted in a drop in the value of the pound, in turn creating more uncertainty. We’ve also seen an injection of £2.5 billion into the City by the Bank of England to reassure jittery investors.

“The Euro football tournament may be a factor. With betting apps in their pockets, armchair pundits could be putting on a Brexit bet along with their Euro 16 predictions.

“The Sun coming out in support of Brexit will have had an impact, but the increase in the Leave vote started well before it took its stance, so in the event of a leave vote this time it won’t be a case of ‘the Sun wot won it’.”

Explaining why he developed the Bell Ballot Predictor Professor Bell said: "Opinion polls have become discredited since failing to predict the winner of last year's UK general election. They are struggling to find a reliable method of drawing a representative sample of voters, whereas betting data is collecting more frequently and consistently, and is based on what punters predict will happen rather than on how, and if, people will vote.”

Hosted on media channel The Conversation, the predictor - which shows the peaks and troughs of BREXIT betting from May 2015 - will be updated each day at midday in the run up to the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016 and is also available at dnfb.droppages.com/BREXIT_Odds6.html

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Dramatic rise in number of bets placed pushes possibility of EU leave vote higher Thu, 16 Jun 2016 12:08:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/dramatic-rise-in-number-of-bets-placed-pushes-possibility-of-eu-leave-vote-higher/name-128414-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/droughts-affect-british-beech-most/ Environmental scientists from the University of Stirling have found beech forests across western Europe are increasingly at risk from drought – with areas of southern England worst affected.

In a new €1.4 million study, part-funded by NERC, researchers examined tree ring data from across Western Europe to help uncover the extent to which the growth of beech forests is being impacted by changes in climate.

Results publishing in Global Change Biology show beech trees located at the centre of the region where the species grows, in this case southern England, were least resistant to drought compared to forests located elsewhere in Europe.

Alistair Jump, Professor of Plant Ecology at the University and lead author, said: “Beech trees across Europe are extremely vulnerable to the effects of drought. These long dry spells cause sudden and widespread reduced growth within the species.

“We might expect beech forests in hotter and drier regions of Europe, such as southern France and Spain, to be most at risk. However, we have found that the south of the UK - the very centre of the area where the species grows - is most badly affected.”

The research also revealed that the damage inflicted on beech trees during the record-breaking hot summer of 1967 has impacted forests throughout the UK.

Professor Jump continued: “We previously found that the so-called Great Drought of 1976 continues to impact forest found in South Wales. Many beech trees were killed, while survivors often experience reduced growth now 40 years on. We now understand this extreme event had a big effect on tree growth right across the country.

“As our climate continues to warm, droughts will become more frequent and more extreme. Beech forests across Europe will be hit increasingly hard, with a high risk of widespread mortality when the next big dry spell hits – particularly in southern parts of the UK.

“These trees at the centre of the region where the species grows are more vulnerable to our changing climate than we previously realised and as a result, I would expect to see long-lasting changes to the makeup of our woodlands.

“We know the effects of the 1967 drought have lasted to the present day and expect that future changes to our forests may be sudden and put many of our most iconic beech woods at significant risk.”

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Droughts across Europe affect British trees most Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:51:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/droughts-affect-british-beech-most/name-128372-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/stirling-only-university-to-join-challenge-cup/ Stirling University Football Club (SUFC) has been selected for the new Scottish Challenge Cup line-up.

The only University team to be included in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) national cup, the team will take part in the new format which has been expanded for the forthcoming 2016-17 season following approval from Uefa.

Competing alongside teams from Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Highland League clubs, under 20s teams from each of the 12 Ladbrokes Premiership clubs, and rivals from the Lowland League, SUFC will make a bid for the first ever IRN-BRU Cup.

The team will be led by first team coach Shelley Kerr - the first woman to manage a British senior men's team.

Shelley said: “The challenge of playing higher ranked opposition is a brilliant opportunity for our players to measure and test themselves in a competitive environment.

“We are able to do this occasionally during friendly games against professional teams, but it’s difficult to replicate the intensity of a competitive game. By being involved in the SPFL Challenge Cup we have a unique opportunity to do this.

“Our involvement is testament to the outstanding performance of the team throughout the season and is a great reward for their success in the Scottish Lowland League. The good work of the University of Stirling’s High Performance Football programme is evident within our competitive environment and we are excited about this new challenge.”

Raleigh Gowrie, Sports Performance Manager at the University of Stirling, added: “Football at Stirling has, and continues, to attract hundreds of talented young players to campus. We have 12 former football scholars now playing professional football across the globe and believe the new Challenge Cup format will give our student players added opportunity to improve their skills and progress within the world of professional football.

“Under Shelley Kerr’s stewardship, SUFC continues to go from strength-to-strength and I wish her and the team the best of luck in their Challenge Cup debut. We are delighted to see them compete on the national stage alongside professional squads from Scotland and beyond.”

The majority of Challenge Cup fixtures will take place during international weekends, while BBC ALBA, S4C and Premier Sports will all show live matches.

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Stirling is only university football club to join revamped Challenge Cup Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:09:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/stirling-only-university-to-join-challenge-cup/name-128218-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/stirling-alimnu-scots-makar-returns/ The University of Stirling hosted Scotland’s national poet, Jackie Kay, on campus for a special poetry reading.

Jackie, who graduated from the University of Stirling with a BA in English Studies in 1983 and was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University in 2000, was welcomed back with open arms.

The Scots Makar attended the Out of Bounds Schools Poetry Day at the University’s Pathfoot Building where she read some of her works to 100 enthusiastic students from Shawlands Academy, Larbert High School and Dunblane High School and answered their questions on poetry, place and identity.

The celebrated poet also enjoyed a walk around the campus revisiting her favourite spots. She was joined by fellow Stirling alumna Asif Khan, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library.

Jackie said: “It’s lovely being back on campus – every time you come back here you get a magical feeling. I try to come back as much as possible and revisit my roots.”

Academics at the University are now working with Jackie to create a new digital anthology of British poetry.

Dr Gemma Robinson, Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said: “We’re very proud to say Jackie is one our most loved alumna and we are delighted to welcome her back to the University to share her love of poetry with the next generation of writers and readers.

“Working with Jackie, editing the Out of Bounds poetry anthology, was a joy. We imagined the book as an alternative A-Z of Britain, bringing together new and established black and Asian poets who write about place. In this new AHRC-funded project we are experimenting with ways to take place poetry off the page and give it a new digital life. It’s always pleasure to think about the future of poetry with Jackie Kay.”

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Stirling alumna Scots Makar returns for poetry project Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:27:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/stirling-alimnu-scots-makar-returns/name-128168-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/weak-evidence-for-prescribed-drug/ A drug being used to treat alcohol problems in the UK was licensed for use despite insufficient evidence to prove its effectiveness, new research led by the University of Stirling has found.

The drug nalmefene, marketed as Selincro®, was approved in Europe in February 2013 and was subsequently recommended by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Yet a team of scientists have found problems with the way clinical trials were conducted and analysed, making it impossible to know how much the drug actually helps to reduce drinking in patients dependent on alcohol.

Outlined in the journal Addiction, a group of experts analysed the published studies ofnalmefene that formed the basis for the licensing and NICE decision. They concluded that evidence of its effectiveness was weak, and any possible effect on patients was small at around a one drink per day reduction on average.

In the trials, side effects were generally more common in patients taking nalmefene, who were also more likely to drop out of the trials. The research also found nalmefene is more expensive than similar drugs on the market and that no comparison with these alternatives was made.

Dr Niamh Fitzgerald, a pharmacist and Lecturer in Alcohol Studies at the University’s Institute for Social Marketing led the study. She said: “It’s vitally important that we know that prescribed drugs are effective in treating the intended problem. In this case, we found problems with the registration, design, analysis and reporting of these clinical trials which did not prevent the drug being licensed or recommended for use.

“We believe this creates a difficulty for doctors trying to treat alcohol dependence and throws up critical questions for regulators around why a drug was licensed without a bank of high quality, reliable evidence.”

The drug is currently licensed to be used in conjunction with psychosocial support to reduce alcohol consumption in patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence, with consistently high alcohol consumption levels, but who do not experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking.

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Weak evidence for prescribed alcohol drug, say scientists Mon, 06 Jun 2016 07:50:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/weak-evidence-for-prescribed-drug/name-127732-en.html
http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/ladybird-challenge/ Scientists are calling on people who are out in their garden this summer to take part in The Ladybird Challenge and help discover how far an alien ladybird species in the UK is affecting other insects, including a wasp parasite.

Researchers from the University of Stirling are working in partnership with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the UK Ladybird Survey to find out whether the natural balance between the seven-spot ladybird and the parasitic wasphas been disrupted by the arrival of another ladybird species in the UK - the harlequin ladybird.

PhD researcher Katie Murray from the University’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “Harlequin ladybirds continue to cause large population declines for lots of native ladybirds, but we believe the impact is even more widespread. We need the public to help us find out whether the parasitic wasp has also been affected.

“We’re asking volunteers to help find seven-spot ladybirds in their gardens and parks and check if they have a wasp cocoon. Cocoons are easy to spot - they are nearly the same size as the ladybird and are found between its legs.”

Intrepid ladybird spotters are encouraged to count how many ladybirds they find and how many have cocoons. Records from these everyday eco-warriors will allow researchers to look at the occurrence of the wasp in the UK and whether it is less common in areas where harlequin ladybirds dominate.

Dr Matt Tinsley, senior lecturer at the University, added: “The wasp has an amazing lifecycle: it lays an egg in an adult ladybird, which hatches into a grub that eats the ladybird from the inside. The grub eventually squeezes out of the still-living ladybird and spins a cocoon between its legs. The ladybird is turned into a ‘zombie bodyguard’ protecting the cocoon from predators until the wasp emerges. Without the ladybird, the wasp would not be able to complete its lifecycle.”

Helen Roy, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and coordinator of the UK Ladybird Survey, said: “People across the UK have been instrumental in tracking the spread of the harlequin ladybird and providing records of native ladybirds too.

“Through the inspiring contributions of citizen scientists we have hugely increased our understanding of the ecology of ladybirds in Britain. There is now a unique and exciting opportunity to monitor this intriguing parasite alongside the spread of the harlequin ladybird.”

Volunteers can send in their sightings at ladybirdchallenge.co.uk or follow the study on Twitter: @lbird_challenge.

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Researchers need your help to spot ladybirds Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:13:00 +0000 http://www.stir.ac.uk/news/news-archive/../2016/06/ladybird-challenge/name-127597-en.html