News at Stirling 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 Employees looking for a hike in salary have lost their bargaining power because of a rise in underemployment, according to a new paper by University of Stirling economists.

Professor David Bell and Professor David Blanchflower, of the Stirling Management School, looked at the reasons wage growth has remained static despite the return of the unemployment rate to pre-recession levels.

In their paper, The Lack of Wage Growth and the Falling NAIRU, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research today, they attributed this to the rise in underemployment which rose in the Great Recession but has not returned to pre-recession levels.

Underemployment refers to people who are highly skilled but working in low-paying or low-skill jobs, and part-time workers who would prefer to be full time.

Professor of Economics David Bell said: “There remains a puzzle around the world over why wage growth is so benign given the unemployment rate has returned to pre-recession levels. 

“It is our contention that a considerable part of the explanation is the rise in underemployment which rose in the Great Recession but has not returned to pre-recession levels even though the unemployment rate has. 

“Involuntary part-time employment rose in every advanced country and remains elevated in many in 2018.”

The academics looked at people in both full-time and part-time work who wanted to either decrease or increase their hours at the going wage rate.

“Prior to 2008, our underemployment rate was below the unemployment rate,” the report states. “Over the period 2001-2017 we find little change in the number of hours of workers who want fewer hours, but a big rise in the numbers wanting more hours.  Underemployment reduces wage pressure.”

The report shows that following the Great Recession, the UK Phillips Curve – a concept in economics which says the lower the rate of unemployment, the faster wages will grow – has flattened.

They also found that the UK non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) - the specific unemployment rate at which the rate of inflation stabilises – has shifted down.

They conclude that despite the current low level of unemployment of 4.3% in the UK, this does not necessarily indicate that the country is close to full-employment.

Instead they argue there is a shortfall between the volume of work desired by workers and the actual volume of work available, and that the unemployment rate may have to go lower than 3% before there is an equivalent up-turn in wage growth.

“In the years 2000-2008 there was no relationship between high wage growth, which averaged 4%, and the relatively low unemployment rate,” said Professor Bell. “Then the Great Recession came along, and everything shifted down with lower wage growth and higher unemployment. 

“Once recovery happened there was a transition to a new flatter equilibrium with low unemployment of less than 5% and low wage growth of around 2%. This seems to undermine the justification for a short-term increase in interest rates.”   

Stirling academics blame low wage growth on underemployment Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:24:00 +0000 Record-breaking swimming sensation Duncan Scott brought down the curtain on his spectacular Commonwealth Games display with a sixth – and the University of Stirling’s eleventh – medal of the competition.

Scott took silver in the 200m individual medley on the final day of swimming at the Gold Coast Games - adding to the gold and four bronze medals he won in earlier events.

The 20-year-old’s achievements make him the most decorated Scottish athlete at a single Commonwealth Games. His latest triumph at the Optus Aquatic Centre sees the final tally of medals from Stirling athletes hit eleven.

Reflecting on Stirling’s success Down Under, University of Stirling Principal, Professor Gerry McCormac, said: “I am delighted and immensely proud of our athletes who will return from Australia with two gold, two silver and seven bronze medals.

“I reserve a special mention for Duncan Scott who catapulted his way into the record books by winning a phenomenal six medals on the Gold Coast – making him the most decorated Scottish athlete at a single Commonwealth Games.

“The achievements are testament to the hard work and dedication of our athletes and coaches here at Stirling, and, once again, re-emphasises our position as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.

“I cannot wait to welcome our athletes home and congratulate them in person on what has been an unforgettable Commonwealth Games.”

Scott opened his Gold Coast 2018 account with bronze in the 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly and 4x100m freestyle relay, which also saw fellow Stirling swimmers Scott McLay and Craig McLean receive medals for contributing to the team’s win.

Scott scooped gold in the 100m freestyle, before winning bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay and then silver in the 200m individual medley – narrowly missing out another gold, finishing 0.19 seconds behind Australia’s Mitch Larkin.

Reflecting on his Gold Coast success, Scott said: “I sat down with my coach beforehand, like we always do at every meet and talked about the possibilities – the good things that could happen and the bad things.

“This is definitely on the good things spectrum. I’m delighted with how things have gone.”

Aimee Willmott, 25, landed England’s first gold medal of the Games with a dramatic win in the 400m individual final, pipping Hannah Miley to the post; while Ross Murdoch, 24, won silver for Scotland in the 200m breaststroke, finishing behind England’s James Wilby.

Former Stirling scholar Marc Austin, 24, put in a hugely impressive performance to take bronze in the triathlon.

Nine swimmers who train at the National Swimming Academy, based at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, were selected for the Games. Scott, Willmott, Murdoch, McLay and McLean, were joined by Scotland’s Kathleen Dawson and Craig Benson, as well as Northern Ireland’s Calum Bain and Jamie Graham. All are coached by Steven Tigg, Head Performance Swimming Coach, supported by Bradley Hay and Josh Williamson.

Stirling’s Grant Sheldon also competed alongside Austin in the triathlon.

Meanwhile, the University was also represented on the Gold Coast by archivist Karl Magee and Professor of Media Sport, Richard Haynes. They presented the ‘Hosts and Champions’ exhibition – which documents more than 80 years of international sporting competition – at Team Scotland HQ between April 2 and 6.

Scott takes Stirling’s final Gold Coast medal tally to eleven Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:00:10 +0000 Support for international students embarking on study in the UK was highlighted to Stirling’s MP Stephen Kerr during a visit to the University of Stirling’s INTO Building.

During a tour of the new learning and teaching facilities, Mr Kerr had the opportunity to meet with a number of international students who are studying through the centre. 

Students at the University of Stirling INTO Building undertake a range of University of Stirling validated programmes for progression to degrees at the University of Stirling as well as other universities.

Established in 2014, the partnership between INTO and the University of Stirling supports international students in making the transition to studying at a UK university and offers a range of study options including integrated programmes, pathway programmes and English language courses.   

The venture has already seen more than 1,000 students enjoy the experience of studying at the University, opening doors to further academic study. 

As part of his visit, Mr Kerr toured the new University of Stirling’s INTO Building, which provides a permanent, dedicated space for teaching and learning including a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, 10 teaching rooms, a café, and capacity for up to 420 students.

Situated at the heart of the campus, the £6.5m centre was opened in November 2017 by His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex as part of a series of events commemorating the University’s 50th anniversary.

Speaking during the visit, Stephen Kerr, MP for Stirling, said: “It is always great to visit my old university to see how things are going. The University of Stirling is a magnet for international students and the work that is done at the INTO centre helps attract the best people from all around the world.”

Centre Director for INTO University of Stirling, Sandy Tippett, added: “International students bring a wealth of talent and experience to university life, with over 50,000 international students currently calling Scotland home.

“More than 120 nationalities are represented at Stirling, with a global family of graduates spanning 160 countries across the globe. INTO University of Stirling provides a gateway to international students, and it’s always a pleasure to welcome new students as they take the next step on their academic journey”.  

Stephen Kerr MP visits Stirling’s £6.5m international student facility Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:23:00 +0000 Nine images have been shortlisted as part of an inaugural competition designed to promote research at the University of Stirling.

The images were selected from a total of 18 entries to the Research Images Competition which offered researchers - from postgraduate research students to professors – a chance to promote their work to the public in an innovative, visual way.

The public and University community are now being invited to vote for their favourite from the shortlisted images by Wednesday 25 April.

The images will also be exhibited at the Research Images exhibition during the University’s Research Week which is being held from Monday 30 April to Friday 4 May.  

Entries were invited in three categories: Living Well; Cultures, Communities and Society; and Global Resilience and Security; reflecting the key research themes of the University.

The shortlisted images in the Living Well category include one of two boys walking hand-in-hand alongside their father in a wheelchair, highlighting behaviour change research to address the barriers carers face in keeping active.

Another image in the Cultures, Communities and Society category shows graffiti on a wall to promote research surveying the proliferation of social documentary photography and photojournalism in modern South Wales.

In the Global Resilience and Security category, the image Roads through the forest shows a tropical rainforest to highlight research looking at how they recover after some of the most valuable trees are logged for timber.

Research Development Officer Fiona Millar said: “We are delighted to have received 18 entries across the three categories and are impressed with the quality of images submitted.

“We would like to thank The Stirling Fund for sponsoring this inaugural Research Images competition.”

Rachel Beaton, Research Policy Officer, added: “For some, this is a valuable first step in public engagement and, for others, it presents an opportunity to try a more engaging and effective way of demonstrating their research than through words.

“By taking part, researchers had the chance to highlight, through a single image, how their research is having impact on contemporary, global society.”

Sally Foster submitted the shortlisted image of a swallow flying past the St John’s Cross replica at St Columba’s Shrine on Iona, to highlight an ethnographic study of the contemporary value and authenticity of historic replicas.

“I'm thoroughly enjoying my research on Iona, and it gives me great pleasure to share a striking picture that speaks to the significance of what we're doing,” she said.

“I've used versions of this image on postcards that we distribute to promote the project. It feels like my signature.”

The competition will conclude with an Awards Ceremony on Monday 30th April during the Research Week Welcome Reception. Each of the three winners will receive a framed copy of their image and a cash prize to further their research.

Inaugural images competition captures essence of University of Stirling research Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:55:00 +0000 Scotland’s “comprehensive” approach to assessing hazards and public health risks posed by fracking is world-leading and sets a precedent for other countries, according to experts.

The University of Stirling studied the way in which the Scottish Government analysed the potential impact of unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOGE), which includes fracking for shale gas, coalbed methane extraction, and underground coal gasification.

In the first study of its kind, the team compared the approach to 14 assessments carried out around the world, including in the United States, Australia, and Germany. They found that Scotland carried out the most extensive assessment – focussing on key factors including public health, climate change and economic impact.

The report concludes: “In terms of breadth, depth and scale, this approach appears more detailed than any undertaken to date globally.”

Proponents believe UOGE is a major source of global energy that can boost economies and employment; generate greater tax revenues; and deliver investment to communities. They do not believe the industry poses a significant risk to public health.

However, opponents argue that UOGE is an immediate and long-term threat to global, national and regional public health and climate. They highlight the potential for air, water and soil pollution; seismic activity; noise and radiation hazards; and risks to wellbeing and mental health.

In Scotland, the Scottish Government controls planning and environmental pollution regulation, but workplace health and safety remains under the jurisdiction of Westminster. The UK Government is also responsible for licensing gas exploration and development.

No large-scale UOGE has ever occurred onshore in Scotland and, in 2015, Holyrood ministers imposed a moratorium on all such activity before setting up six enquiries to examine evidence on the industry, as well as a public consultation. The consultation ended in May 2017 and the Scottish Government did not approve UOGE based on the reports.


The new research, by Professor Andrew Watterson in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, and Dr William Dinan, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, analysed the Scottish Government approach – including a review of policy documents and technical, industry and regulatory reports – and compared it with 13 other assessments carried out in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and England. For each publication, the team examined core contents to identify the level of consideration given to 10 key areas: occupational health; climate change; regulation; industry practice; economic factors; vulnerable populations; social determinants of health; peer review; declaration of interests; and public engagement.

The research concluded that the Scottish Government carried out a “comprehensive review” of public health, climate change, economic impacts, transport, geology and decommissioning. It states that the public health impact assessment is underpinned by “a rigorous and transparent examination of existing scientific literature”.

However, the academics also said it was “surprising” that the Government did not commission an in-depth environmental impact analysis on a par with the public health impact assessment.

The study said: “The Scottish review of evidence on UOGE offers a coherent, evidence-based and inclusive approach with citizens as well as scientists, civil servants and politicians involved.”

It added: “The process used by the Scottish government, as well as the organisation and results of the respective investigations, albeit most relevant and sometimes particular to Scotland, provides a useful generic framework for UOGE public health and related assessments across the globe. At a national level, the Scottish case appears to be unique.”

Professor Watterson, Head of the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, said: “As far as we are aware, this is the first study of its kind to compare and contrast the process used by governments and states to assess possible health effects of fracking.

“Scotland is the only country to produce such a nation-wide assessment. The findings indicate that the Scottish Government approach was one of the most thorough, if not the most thorough, conducted globally.”

Policy impact

The academics believe that Scotland’s approach will inform policymakers, politicians, industry, regulators and civil society around the world in planning and assessing UOGE proposals.

Dr Dinan, a Lecturer in Communications, Media and Culture, is an expert on political communication and the mediation of environmental and public health issues. He said: “We argue that the approach used in Scotland should be largely transferable globally, despite differences in energy needs, energy policies, geology and water resources, demography, planning and regulatory laws. The scope and scale of stakeholder and public engagement during the moratorium also offers lessons for other jurisdictions where fracking is under consideration.  

“As research and the existing knowledge base on UOGE impacts continues to develop, informing policy and decision making with the latest evidence is clearly a significant issue.

“We believe that lessons can be drawn from the Scottish case on how to meet these challenges.”

The paper, ‘Public Health and Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction Including Fracking: Global Lessons from a Scottish Government Review’, is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Scotland leads the way on fracking analysis, experts find Tue, 10 Apr 2018 09:42:22 +0000 The University of Stirling’s Duncan Scott has become Scotland’s most decorated swimmer at a single Commonwealth Games, adding to his earlier haul of three bronze medals by winning gold and bronze in the 100m Freestyle and 4x200m Freestyle.

His win came in a ‘stacked’ 100m Freestyle final at the Aquatics Centre on the Gold Coast, where he timed his race to perfection to take the first ever gold by a Scottish athlete in this event, forcing South Africa's Chad le Clos and the Olympic Champion and home crowd favourite, Kyle Chalmers, of Australia, to share joint second place. Cameron McEvoy‚ the fastest 100m freestyler in a textile suit, came fourth.

Later in the evening Scott lined up alongside Stephen Milne, Dan Wallace and Mark Szaranek in the 4x200m Freestyle final, earning Scotland a second bronze medal in the relay events behind Australia and England.

Cathy Gallagher, Director of Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “What an amazing achievement by Duncan in the blue riband event of swimming. It was a phenomenal race between the world’s top swimmers, and Duncan has proven his undoubted pedigree at this level.

“I would also like to congratulate the relay team on their second bronze medal win and recognise the role of our High Performance Coaching team, Steve Tigg, Bradley Hay and Josh Williamson.  Alongside the expertise and support of Scottish Swimming and the sportscotland Institute of Sport, the performances and successes of the swimmers is testament to the world-class sporting environment we have in place at the University.

“We are very proud of all our athletes who are performing to the top of their abilities on the Gold Coast."

Other successes by University of Stirling athletes at the Commonwealth Games have included a gold medal for Aimee Willmott in the 400m individual medley final and a silver for Ross Murdoch in the 200m breaststroke final, while former scholar Marc Austin took bronze in the triathlon.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast, in Australia, runs between 4 and 15 April 2018.

Historic Commonwealth Gold Medal for Stirling’s Duncan Scott Mon, 09 Apr 2018 14:11:00 +0000 The University of Stirling's swimmer Duncan Scott has claimed his first ever individual Commonwealth Games medal, taking bronze in the 200m freestyle final on the Gold Coast.
This was quickly followed by Scott helping Scotland to another bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. Stirling's Scott McLay and Craig McLean were also part of the relay team.
In the 200m freestyle final, he finished in third place behind Australia's Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton who won gold and silver respectively.
The Stirling swimmer previously won a silver medal in the 4×200 m freestyle relay for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, but this success represents his first ever individual games medal.
The two bronze medals adds to a run of success with University of Stirling swimmer Aimee Willmott landing England's first gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In further success for Stirling, Ross Murdoch scooped silver in the 200m breaststroke final, while former scholar Marc Austin took bronze in the triathlon.
Cathy Gallagher, Director of Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “This is another fantastic result for Stirling's Commonwealth Games athletes. Many congratulations to Duncan on his first individual medal in what was an incredibly close finish in the 200m freestyle and a further bronze in the 4x100m relay.  The success in the pool achieved thus far is testament to Head Performance Swimming Coach, Steven Tigg.
"The entire University community is incredibly proud of all our swimmers and our former triathlete scholars flying the flag on the Gold Coast."
The 2018 Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, in Australia runs between 4 and 15 April 2018.

Stirling celebrates more success at Commonwealth Games Fri, 06 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0000 University of Stirling swimmer Aimee Willmott landed England’s first gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a dramatic win in the 400m individual medley final.

The 25-year-old came from behind to pip Hannah Miley to the post – denying the Scot her third successive title – with a phenomenal performance at the Optus Aquatic Centre.

In further success for Stirling, Ross Murdoch scooped silver in the 200m breaststroke final, while former scholar Marc Austin took bronze in the triathlon.

Willmott recorded a time of 4min 34.90sec with Miley, who won gold at Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014, finishing 0.26 behind. Bronze went to Australia’s Blair Evans (4:38.23).

The gold medal is Willmott’s first major title – after she took silvers in the 400m individual medley and 200m fly at her second Commonwealths in Glasgow.

Reflecting on her victory, Willmott, from Middlesbrough, said: “I tried to tactically swim it a lot better. In Glasgow, my downfall was that I tried to win it after 250 metres and I gave everything down the first length for the breaststroke and I literally had nothing in me for the last length. So it was a case of swimming controlled and really trying not to worry about what is going on.

“I could see Hannah out of the corner of my eye and just tried to keep relaxed on the breaststroke then save everything I had for that last 25 metres of the freestyle.

“I thought she was coming for me so I stuck my head down and my legs are so sore but it was totally worth it.”

Silver and bronze

Murdoch, who won gold in the 200m breaststroke at Glasgow 2014, looked on course to defend his title, however, Wilby stormed home on the last 50m to take top spot on the podium. Wilby touched in 2:08.05, just ahead of Murdoch in 2:08.32.

It came hours after triathlete Austin won Scotland’s first medal at the Gold Coast Games. The 24-year-old Glaswegian took an unexpected bronze in the event – describing the race as the “performance of his life”.

“Nothing comes close to this,” the self-coached athlete said. “I’ve had performances when I’ve delivered results but to come away with a medal is great. I’ve not medalled in two and a bit years.”

Cathy Gallagher, Director of Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “Everybody here at the University of Stirling sends our congratulations to Aimee on winning her first Commonwealth Games gold.

“Aimee’s hard work here at the National Swimming Academy paid off as she swam an excellent race and, following a tense and dramatic finish, we were all delighted to see her emerge from the pool victorious.

“We are also really pleased for Ross on his silver and our former scholar Marc who put in a tremendous performance to finish third in the triathlon.”

“It has been a superb start for Stirling’s athletes and we wish them all well for the rest of the Games. We can’t wait to welcome them home with medals round their necks.”

The Commonwealth Games runs from April 4 to 15.

Stirling’s Willmott takes gold at Commonwealth Games Thu, 05 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0000 A number of University of Stirling graduates have received recognition in a series of ‘women in science’ features published by a leading business organisation in the aquaculture industry.

Five alumni from the University’s Institute of Aquaculture are among those recognised by the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) – reflecting Stirling’s reputation for generating career-ready graduates.

In recent weeks, the SSPO has featured Meritxell Diez Padrisa (2008-09) and Charlotte Maddocks (2012-13), who both graduated with a MSc Aquatic Veterinary studies; Teresa Fernandez and Stephanie Horn, who left Stirling with a MSc Sustainable Aquaculture in 2015; and Stephanie Arnott who achieved a MSc Marine Biotechnology in 2016.

Andrew Davie, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “Everyone here at the Institute of Aquaculture is proud to see our graduates go on to enjoy successful careers. Not only are they achieving employment shortly after leaving Stirling, but they are also working their way into positions of responsibility relatively quickly.”

After graduating, Charlotte Maddocks worked as Aquaculture Manager at Tesco headquarters for three years and today is Regional Health Manager for Marine Harvest Scotland. Her role entails monitoring fish health at sea, farm visits and diagnostics, routine health management and planning.

Reflecting on her time at Stirling, she said: “Studying the Aquatic Veterinary Masters allowed me to specialise and achieve a world-recognised qualification in aquaculture, which, in turn, strengthened my CV. I met a great network of people from across the world who were all passionate about the aquatic environment.

“I enjoyed the practical aspects of the course, in particular visiting Scottish aquaculture sites on the west coast and spending a week working in the Fish Health team at the Environment Agency, undertaking disease investigations.”

She added: “I love working towards having a healthier ocean and being out on the sea in all weather.”


Stephanie Horn is a Cleaner Fish Supervisor, currently on secondment as Assistant Site Manager, for the Scottish Salmon Company. Her work revolves around developing, implementing and supervising the cleaner fish programme to ensure the husbandry, health and welfare of cleaner fish on site.

“Every day I learn or experience something new,” Ms Horn explained. “I’m really interested in fish biology, environmental sustainability, and the production of Scottish salmon. The programme allows me to enjoy all of my main interests and work with people who are enthusiastic.”

During her time at Stirling, Ms Horn carried out research in Bangladesh, which she said gave her “invaluable experience and life skills”.

Encouraging others to pursue an aquaculture degree at Stirling, she added: “The course was very well structured, the staff are great and the facilities are first class. The course material is interesting and relevant, and is organised in a way that develops students’ practical abilities and employability skills.”

Biology Assistant, Teresa Fernandez, also works for the Scottish Salmon Company, monitoring fish health and wellbeing at marine and freshwater sites.

“It was a great decision for me to study at Stirling,” she said. “It definitely opens many doors and I highly recommend it as the courses in aquaculture are exceptionally good and well known throughout the industry. In addition, the campus is wonderful and the city is absolutely beautiful.”

She added: “I love working with fish and ensuring their healthy growth. I also love seeing areas in Scotland that I would never normally get the opportunity to visit.”

Meritxell Diez Padrisa is Veterinarian and Head of Fish Health for Marine Harvest Scotland, while Stephanie Arnott is Account manager with Cargill Aqua Nutrition.

The SSPO ran the series of features between the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on February 11, and British Science Week, March 9 – 18.

Stirling graduates lead the way in the aquaculture sector Wed, 04 Apr 2018 10:06:00 +0000 University of Stirling golfers are celebrating after triumphing across all events at the 96th Scottish Student Championships.

A top performance from Laird Shepherd saw him win back-to-back Scottish Student titles in the men’s singles competition; Hazel MacGarvie claimed top spot in the women’s strokeplay event; and Penelope Brown scooped the women’s matchplay title.

The Stirling men’s first team lifted the Charles McNeill Cup – their eighth consecutive Scottish Students matchplay title – while both the men and women’s teams won their strokeplay events too.

Dean Robertson, High Performance Golf Course at the University of Stirling, said: “We are very pleased that the hard work of our athletes has been rewarded with a fantastic result at the Scottish Student Championships. All of our golfers can be incredibly proud of their performance at the competition, especially Laird, Hazel and Penelope who excelled in the individual events.

“The wins will stand our athletes in good stead for the rest of the season.”

The Championships took place on the Old and New Courses at Moray Golf Club, in Lossiemouth, between March 25 and 30.

Shepherd defended his 2017 men’s singles title by seeing off stiff competition from Stirling teammate Rob Foley and St Andrews’ Alexander Wilson in difficult conditions.

Shepherd, a third year Sports Studies student, said: “It is a great championship and a real highlight of my season to come up to Moray. The courses here are superb and the whole club contributes to a fabulous event. It was tough out there today but I’m delighted to have closed out the win.”

Shepherd also contributed to a Stirling victory in the team strokeplay competition, with an eight-round total of 422, ahead of St Andrews III (427), and St Andrews I (428).

Meanwhile, in the final of the men’s team matchplay event, Stirling easily overcame St Andrews, winning 11.5 to 0.5.

In the women’s strokeplay singles, MacGarvie fought back after double bogeys at the second and fourth holes to finish ahead of St Andrews’ Lieve Van Veggel and three-time champion Gemma Batty, also of Stirling.

The win meant even more to the first year Sports Business Management student as it was her inaugural visit to the Championships.

She said: “It feels great to win this tournament, especially first time round. I got off to a bad start today but didn’t feel too nervous and I was really happy to be able to bring it back.

“I really enjoy playing student golf. It gets me out of the classroom and I really enjoy getting to play with new people.”

The Stirling I women’s team won the strokeplay event with a six-round total of 289, eight shots ahead of St Andrews, with Stirling II a further four shots back.

Second-year Sports Studies scholar Penny Brown beat fellow Stirling golfers MacGarvie and Emily Laws to win the individual matchplay competition.

Reflecting on her performance, Brown said: “It’s been a very special day and I am really thrilled to have won the event. It can be strange playing against teammates but I felt really comfortable out there and didn’t realise I’d made so many birdies.”

Stirling cleans up at the Scottish Student Golf Championships Tue, 03 Apr 2018 14:31:00 +0000 University of Stirling Sport has announced an exciting new student development initiative with the launch of its new Strength and Conditioning Internship Programme.

Open to students interested in a career in performance sport, the programme has been designed to introduce participants to the concept of strength and conditioning and develop their understanding of the discipline’s key components including physical preparation, physiology and programming. 

Playing an active role in the department across the semester, the interns will shadow and support weekly strength and conditioning sessions for the University’s International Sports Scholarship Programme (ISSP) teams and attend regular CPD workshops and lectures and will also receive personalised mentoring support and respected industry certification such as UKSCA membership and first aid qualifications.

The programme is based on a pyramid structure, with the first group of five participants starting as Junior interns, with promoted Senior and Lead positions becoming available as the programme progresses and the students develop their theoretical and practical knowledge.

Second-year Sport and Exercise Science student, Phoebe Lloyd-Evans, is one of the programme’s inaugural interns and, as a competitive triathlete, has received strength and conditioning support which inspired her to pursue the internship. She said: “I already had quite a big interest in general strength and conditioning and, being a triathlete, felt the programme would allow me to increase my knowledge in the overall area and apply what I’ve learnt in a real training environment.

“I’m really enjoying it and it’s giving us a varied experience because we’re working with a number of different sports. 

“And whilst studying it’s allowing us to look at the theoretical aspects of our degree and apply them practically which will be a good thing for my CV going into a working environment.”

The University of Stirling’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Josh Walsh, manages the programme and has been impressed by the enthusiasm of the interns. He said: “We’re still in the early stages but it’s pleasing to see the interns throw themselves into the work and show such an enthusiasm to learn and develop. We’ve got a comprehensive timetable of activity planned for them and hope they continue to maximise the benefits and opportunities during their time with us.”

David Bond, the University of Stirling’s Head of Performance Sport who led on the development of the internships, added: “Rather than a traditional work experience placement, we wanted to develop a programme that truly benefitted participants and gave them a clear pathway for progression. As well as the potential of expanding skilled workforces at the University, the Strength and Conditioning internships offer a great opportunity for students as they can immerse themselves in an elite working environment, gaining the essential experience needed for entry-level careers in the performance sports industry.”

Details of applications for future stages of the Strength and Conditioning Internship Programme will be announced towards the end of the semester.

Dumbbells and degrees: University of Stirling Sport launches strength and conditioning internship programme Thu, 29 Mar 2018 15:22:00 +0000 The University of Stirling’s world-leading Institute of Aquaculture is in the running for a top award in recognition of the nutritional analysis it provides to industry.

The Institute’s Nutrition Analytical Service (NAS) – which provides advice and analysis to aquaculture, agriculture, food and drink, and human health sectors around the world – is shortlisted in the Business Development category at the Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards.

Stirling is shortlisted in the category – which recognises those that have developed a husbandry or practice that has made a significant and positive contribution to the economic sustainability of the business – alongside AKVA group Scotland and Scottish Sea Farms.

James Dick, Technical Manager at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted in the Business Development category at the Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards 2018.

“We would like to thank all our customers and collaborators for their support and encouragement.

“We are committed to delivering a quality service and providing new strategies for the innovative analytical services that are required by the aquaculture industry. This is also recognition of the commitment of our staff to provide quality recognised analytical services and a communication platform that is focussed on easy access and customer satisfaction.

“We look forward to the awards ceremony.”

The NAS, founded in 1998, is an independent laboratory, internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for nutrition research, with specific focus on lipids and fatty acids.

It was shortlisted for the award following testimonial submissions from several clients.

The Awards, which recognise those making an exceptional contribution to the aquaculture industry, will take place as part of the annual Aquaculture UK exhibition and conference.

The two-day event attracts hundreds of delegates and provides the opportunity to network, discover new products and meet key stakeholders.

As a leader in its field, the Institute of Aquaculture will host a stand (number 27) at the event, informing delegates of its world-renowned research, teaching and commercial services.

Aquaculture UK 2018 held at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort on the 23 and 24 May.

University of Stirling shortlisted at top aquaculture awards Thu, 29 Mar 2018 11:45:00 +0000 Leading academics, clinicians and politicians have gathered at the University of Stirling for a major conference discussing the latest research into emergency medicine.

Delegates turned out for the annual conference of the 999 EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Research Forum at Stirling Court Hotel on March 26 and 27.

It is the first time that the conference has visited Scotland and Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Public Health and Sport, provided the opening address.

Welcoming delegates, Ms Campbell said: “Health research is one of this country’s key strengths and it is essential that we use this national resource to the fullest.

“As we progress person-centred care in Scotland we must realise the importance of digital technology and its role in the transformation of health and social care and in helping people to live longer, healthier lives.

“There is a lot of excellent work going on across the country and I look forward to seeing how this develops as we continue to use research to improve the care received by the people of Scotland.”

Hosted by the University and the Scottish Ambulance Service, keynote presentations were given by Dr Peter Davidson, Director of the National Institute for Health Research Dissemination Centre and an Honorary Consultant in Public Health; and Dr Gareth Clegg, Clinical Senior Lecturer (University of Edinburgh), Honorary Consultant in Emergency Medicine (NHS Lothian), and Associate Medical Director with The Scottish Ambulance Service.

Dr Davidson delivered a presentation entitled ‘Research that makes a difference’ before Dr Clegg’s discussion on ‘Pre-hospital research and the ABC of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest’.

Other issues discussed during the conference included: an investigation into suicide amongst ambulance service staff; women’s experience of unplanned out-of-hospital birth in paramedic care; and research priorities in pre hospital 999 emergency care research.


Dr Edward Duncan, Associate Professor in Applied Health Research with the Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP-RU), is one of the organisers of the event.

He said: “It is an exciting moment to be co-hosting this well-respected conference in Stirling, the first time it has been in Scotland.

“The University has a growing international profile in pre-hospital emergency care research, and hosting this prestigious conference is testament to the work that has been done. Our academic and clinical collaborations, such as our longstanding partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service enable us to undertake high quality research and transfer these findings into practice. This ensures that our research has national, as well as international, impact.”

Founded in 1997, the 999 EMS Research Forum is a UK-based partnership that aims to encourage, promote and disseminate research and evidence-based policy and practice in 999 healthcare. It brings together academics and healthcare providers with a research interest in emergency care.

The conference schedule, including a list of speakers, is available here.

Major conference on emergency care research held at Stirling Tue, 27 Mar 2018 14:14:00 +0000 A University of Stirling journalism student has landed a national writers’ award.

Florence Breitstadt received the student prize in the Ian Bell ‘New Writing’ competition for an unpublished piece by a writer under 30.

The award was presented at ‘The Importance of Good Journalism’ event at Glasgow’s Aye Write! Book Festival, held in the city’s Royal Concert Hall, earlier this month.

Florence, a fourth-year journalism student, won for her piece on ‘The Woes of a Theatre Usher’.

Speaking after the winners were announced, Florence said: “I am absolutely ecstatic to have won the student prize.


“It is encouraging to be able to take part in such an event and to receive recognition for it: ‘thank you’ to the judges for creating the student category.

“I also want to give a big ‘thank you’ to my journalism lecturer, Tom Collins, for motivating his students to submit their entries.”

Senior Lecturer Tom Collins, Acting Programme Director of Journalism Studies, in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said: “We are really proud of what Florence has achieved.

“We don’t have any problem singing the praises of our students – they are talented – but it is great when their quality is recognised independently by some of the most respected writers in the business.”

The Ian Bell ‘New Writing’ competition was set up in memory of the journalist Ian Bell, who died in 2015, by his family and the Edinburgh branch of the National Union of Journalists, of which Ian was a member.

The awards were presented by Ian Bell’s widow, Mandy, and his son Sean.

Stirling student scoops Scottish journalism award Mon, 26 Mar 2018 12:31:00 +0000 Children from low-income families risk being failed by schools – because of the belief their parents lack ambition for them, a University of Stirling academic has claimed.

Aspirations are widely used in education and policy circles as levers for closing the attainment gap between children and young people of high and low socioeconomic backgrounds.

However, Dr Morag Treanor, senior lecturer in Sociology, challenged the so-called ‘poverty of aspiration’ myth, claiming it transferred responsibility for aspirations and achievement from governments and schools, to parents and children.

In a study, Can we put the ‘poverty of aspiration’ myth to bed now?, she analysed 3,500 responses from the Growing up in Scotland longitudinal study, which is tracking the lives of thousands of children and their families from birth through to the teenage years and beyond.

She found that all parents want the best for their children but lower-income parents are less likely to know what is possible or how to achieve it. They are also less likely to know how to support their children’s education.

She called on policy-makers to promote policies which open up knowledge of the whole range of opportunities available to parents and children in poverty, including routes into higher education.

“Each of us is a creation of our past and present experiences as well as our acquired skills, knowledge and education,” she said. “Those of us with no experience of sailing in the Mediterranean do not aspire to yacht ownership on the Côte d’Azur.

“That does not make us deficient in aspiration; rather, we aspire to what we have experience of, what we know we can influence, and what we believe we can achieve.

“While the poverty of aspiration myth is allowed to perpetuate and even gain in momentum, it will continue to distract from the ways in which children living in poverty are failed by the education system.”

The study analysed parents’ responses to questions on the aspirations they hold for their children.

It found significant difference in the types of aspirations parents hold for their children, according to their experience of poverty.

Those with an experience of living in any type of poverty were 1.6 times more likely to want their children to start a training course or undertake an apprenticeship and they were half as likely as parents with no experience of poverty to want their children to stay on at school beyond the age of 16.

Dr Treanor argued that while parents’ aspirations can differ according to their experience of poverty, they are still ‘high’ aspirations, and are based on parents’ own knowledge, understanding and experience.

The study also looked at parents’ confidence in their ability to influence their children’s schooling.

For every type of poverty, parents are between 1.4 and 1.8 times less likely to believe that they can positively influence their child’s achievement at school, compared to parents with no experience of poverty.

Dr Treanor said this corresponded to existing research which shows while poorer parents have aspirations for their children, they are less confident in their ability to assist them.

New study challenges myth that low-income parents and children suffer from a ‘poverty of aspiration’ Mon, 26 Mar 2018 10:45:00 +0000