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UCD

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Ah, the Gaeltacht. Remember the days? Busloads of mid-teen adolescents would head down to the depths of the Wesht for three weeks (costing a bomb) to try and shove Irish into our mouths…

Most of the time we came back with less of the mother tongue than when we left, and had some interesting experiences at the céilí with some lad you've probably seen in Coppers seven years later and almost died of mortification.

The jealousy of the other kids who managed to get a bean an tí who could actually cook was too real. News has now hit us that a scheme similar to the Erasmus programme will allow up to 175 students to study in the Gaeltacht for a semester.

College students will be offered the chance to spend three months in Connemara under the new language immersion scheme announced today by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

New government funding worth €250,000 will allow students to live with families while attending third-level courses for the entire summer.

Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne made the announcement in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carna, an off-site part of the NUI Galway campus.  

Image: Flickr/janmennens

The Minister said the scheme “will be of benefit both to the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht”, and is aimed both at students with Irish as a core subject in their university, and at those who need the language to work in certain jobs and the public service.

The subsidy is worth up to €1,428 per student, and is payable to families qualified under the department’s Irish Language Learner’s Scheme.

Minister Kyne commented:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to announce this new funding in further supporting third level students across Ireland to further enrich their Irish through spending three months living with Gaeltacht families while they are attending a qualification course in the Gaeltacht."

Image: Flickr/Will

"For many years, students learning languages have had the opportunity to spend time immersed in a target language while studying abroad on Erasmus. A fund will now be available for the first time which will help students to spend an entire semester in the Gaeltacht.” 

Students studying primary school teaching often visit the Gaeltacht as part of their course, as a proficiency in Irish is required.

We've all got some hilarious teenaged memories from our time in the Gaeltacht, be the recollections good or bad, so this should be interesting…

Feature image: Flickr/Dora Meulman

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That famous first day of college is so unbearably nerve-wracking. Many of us can agree that walking into the giant lecture hall of your new college is quite possibly one of the most intimidating experiences of the college experience. You hesitate as you open the door, stomach full of nerves and a head full of worries.

You’re surrounded by hundreds of new faces, new voices and new personalities, yet despite the huge crowds, you can be left feeling incredibly alone.

You try your best to make awkward chit-chat with the girl sitting next to you about where you’re from and how stressful public transport is (the 46a at 8 am is a true nightmare.) You laugh at your lecturer’s jokes that they no doubt repeat at the beginning of every college year. And breathe a sigh of relief after making it through that overwhelming first class.

As the weeks go by, you start to settle in. You make friends, you get into a groove with your coursework and revel in the entire college experience. However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

College can be an intense and isolating time for many people, especially when you’re attending somewhere like Trinity or UCD which feel like their own little towns themselves.

Some may find it hard to socialise, others may feel too nervous to get involved in clubs and meeting new people may just be too daunting for other people.

I felt so disheartened when I read a tweet by UCD student Niamh Murphy about something that happened in the Dublin college this week.

Niamh revealed that she had overheard a few girls mocking a guy for sitting alone eating lunch in the college.

“I don't know him or them but UCD can be a very lonely, isolating and anxiety-inducing place for many and a smile would go a whole lot further than mockery and shaming okay thanks,” she tweeted.

What that group of girls did angered so many people. We all know just how terrifying college can be and to have people sneer at you is the last thing you need.

Their secondary school mindset should have been left behind when they started college. The desire to be popular is something that we all need to give up on. Isn’t being valued and loved far more important than being surrounded by dozens of people as you eat an overpriced sandwich from the campus coffee shop?

Spending time on your own is an empowering and mature thing to do. There is no shame in simply wanting to be by yourself.

Embracing your own company is one of the greatest things you can do for your self-confidence. It takes a lot of courage and strength to do it, especially in a place like UCD that can be awfully alienating.

It’s 2019, it is about time we let go of that childish notion that being popular is the be all and end all of life.

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Research from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has presented results on the graduates who are most likely to find a job after college.

Naturally, we were curious and had to check out the scores. Unsurprisingly, creative work seems fairly sparse *sighs*.

As it turns out, teachers are the most likely to find a job after they graduate, with over 93 percent of recent education grads finding employment within nine months of finishing their course.

The HEA's research found that graduates in areas such as health and welfare (87 percent), ICT (82 percent) and engineering (82 percent) had especially high employment outcomes.

Nearly 80 percent of third-level students secured work within nine months of graduating, which is good news.

The HEA found that students who studied subjects like philosophy and literature were the LEAST likely to be employed…sorry to all those deep thinkers and bookworms out there.

Anyone who completed their arts and humanities studies were actually among the highest percentages who embarked on further study, at 24 percent.

The study involved 29,000 participants who graduated back in 2017, and found that teaching grads are one of the best paid. Their starting salaries mostly came in at €30-€35,000.

The average salary of full-time graduates in employment was €33,574. The HEA's Valerie Harvey said that those who complete further study are the most employable.

She commented on the research, saying that; "The overwhelming majority of all graduates are working and as you move through the levels of educational attainment higher numbers are in employment."

She continued, "So we found that 75 percent of honours degree, 86 percent of post-graduate taught and 91 percent of postgraduate research graduates are in employment."

78 percent of those participants surveyed are working or due to begin a job, and 14 percent of those surveyed are in training or further education.

A further five percent are searching for work, and the remainder are in "further activities", like travelling the world or saving the turtles. Apparently, 90 percent of those who graduate find a job in Ireland. That one surprised us, alright.

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A gorgeous and powerfully vivid collection of essays written by Emilie Pine has won the An Post Book of the Year for 2018.

Notes to Self sees Pine writing on a variety of important moments in her life, including sexual assault, fertility problems, sexism in the academia sector, feminism, depression and addiction.

Published by Tramp Press, the book has been widely read around Ireland since it's publication, and has deeply resonated especially with women nationwide who relate to the stark and emotional work.

Emilie tweeted her joy at hearing the news, writing on Twitter: "Delighted and honoured to win Book of the Year 2018….Thank you to everyone who voted."

She also paid tribute to Tramp Press for commissioning the work, which tugged at the heartstrings of Irish women and men nationwide with it's brutal and visceral honesty.

The An Post Irish Book of the Year 2018 was handpicked by a public vote from a list of category winners which were recently announced at the An Post Irish Book Awards.

The esteemed prize boasts previous winners such as John Crowley's Atlas of the Irish Revolution, written with Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and Dr. John Borgonovo, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, Academy Street by Mary Costello, The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan, Belinda McKeon's Solace, Staring at Lakes by Michael Harding and Asking For It by Louise O'Neill.

Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards Maria Dickenson said; “Emilie Pine’s Notes to Self was one of the great stories in Irish bookselling in 2018 and I’m delighted that the voting public has chosen it as the An Post Book of the Year."

"The power and honesty of Emilie’s essays have captivated readers, and it’s truly gratifying both to see her talent rewarded and to see an Irish publisher like Tramp Press receive this well-deserved recognition," she continued.

Readers of the book couldn't put the engrossing work down. David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, commented on Emilie's wonderful win,

“2018 was a huge year for Irish writing and no book illustrates better why An Post is delighted to sponsor the Irish Book Awards: Emilie Pine’s book, a challenging read, is deeply human and Irish, emotional and clever. An Post thanks all the voters for engaging with the Awards in such large numbers.”

The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to a wide range of readers, bringing together a massive community who are passionate about writing. Readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians unite to recognise Irish talent.

Congratulations to Emilie on her deserved achievement, we can't wait to consume her next piece of beautiful and fearless writing.

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Iconic whiskey distillers Jameson are making a final call for college graduates to apply for its renowned 2019/20 international graduate programme.

The programme is known globally for offering world-class experience and two international placements, but they've claimed that the latest candidates need one thing; 'Serious character'. 

The grad programme has been running for an outstanding 27 years, and gives graduates the chance to fulfil their personal and professional potential while working with an Irish brand with worldwide influence.

The successful candidate will be working on the international stage, and are supported by a competitive benefits package, multi-award winning training and development programme and a global support network.

The leader of Jameson's programme, Sinéad D'Arcy, commented that;

“The Jameson International Graduate Programme is a truly unique programme offering graduates three-years’ experience in a marketing role, in one of over 50 countries across the world."

"Every year we look for driven, charismatic and creative graduates, from a range of diverse backgrounds, to serve as brand ambassadors in cities across the world," she added. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jameson Graduate Programme (@jamesongradprog) on

Over 400 countries to date have completed the infamous graduate programme alongside Jameson since it began in 1991.

Alumni of the Irish distiller's programme have progressed to high quality roles internally and externally in over 33 cities, and Jameson maintains its role as the fifth most popular graduate employer in Ireland according to gradireland

If you want to kick-start your career, why not start now? Applications for the 2019/20 Jameson International Graduate Programme close on Wednesday 16 January 2019 at 1pm, so get on it.

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Following a 90 minute deliberation, a jury in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court found a former UCD student guilty of sexual assault.

The 36-year-old man denied the assault against the Brazilian native, who made contact with people via Tinder in an effort to improve her language skills.

According to The Independent, he court heard that the woman met the defendant in the city centre in July 2014, who then drove her to a secluded area of the UCD campus.

The victim, who had been in contact with the defendant since June 29, grew worried upon arriving in the isolated area as she was under the impression they were going for a coffee.

The woman claimed that after rejecting a kiss from the defendant, he grew aggressive, punched her and exposed her breast.

“He was looking like a monster. His face wasn’t the same face that smiled to me when I got into his car," she said. "He was calling me bad names and trying to touch me. I tried to take his hands away, and I couldn’t."

The court heard that the woman eventually managed to escape the car where she was met by a dog walker who told authorities she was very distressed.

The defendant contradicted the woman's recollection of events, saying that after she didn't return his kiss, he immediately stopped, but she became hysterical.

However, the jury of six men and six women, who listened to eight days of evidence, ultimately determined that the defendant was guilty of sexual assault.

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UCD students have voted to impeach their Students' Union president Katie Ascough.

Overall, 69pc of students voted in favour of impeaching Ascough, while 31% voting against the move.

Overall, 6,611 students cast their vote.

According to The University Observer, the former president made this statement following the announcement of the results:

'I have respected the law.'

'I feel confident that I have done all that I could for the students that I am grateful to have been elected to represent.'

'This is a sad day for me but it is also a sad day for our university.'

'Universities should be a place of freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of association, fairness, respect for those who do not wish to break the law and respect for others with different beliefs,' she finished, according to the campus publication.

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With more than 1,000 UCD students having petitioned for her impeachment, UCD SU President, Katie Ascough, has released an open letter via the Fight4Katie Faceook page.

Katie was the subject of intense criticism in August when she made the decision to remove information pertaining to abortions in the university's Fresher handbook Winging It.

Ahead of today's referendum, which was set in motion by the petition and will ultimately decide Katie's fate as SU President, she chose to issue a letter to the student body.

"I have put my whole heart and soul into being your SU President for the last four months. UCD is an incredible place, and I am so grateful to be elected to represent the 30,000+ amazing students of UCD. You have my commitment, you have my all," she began.

"The Impeachment referendum was initiated because of my decision not to distribute the Winging It books. Doing so would have been illegal. The advice I received on the issue was clear. It said that the prudent action was to redesign the books or, if it was too late – and it was – to cancel them."


"Some have referred to the SU’s “proud history” of breaking the law, especially in the 80s and 90s, but the question is this: Is it fair to demand that I break the law, too?" she asked.

"I ran on a platform of things like cutting the cost of college and improving mental health supports. I did not agree to break the law and run the risk of a criminal record for the rest of my life."

In the lengthy message, Katie was keen to clarify the issues at the heart of the controversy.

"Regarding the Winging It books – I ask you to please place yourself in my shoes. I kept my election promise and delegated tasks to my team; I trusted my team. In trying to respect the pro-choice mandate of the Union, as I had promised, I allowed another officer to sign off on the content of the books."

"I realised the book contained abortion information. Never for one moment did it look illegal to me, it just looked like abortion information. No one on the team told me that I was signing off on something illegal, despite the fact that they admit they knew."

Looking to the future, Katie insists she prioritises the needs of the student body, writing "I am willing, ready, and determined – if UCD students Vote No – to return to my job on Friday morning and begin to mend what has been broken."

"Please Vote No to see your representation restored. Please Vote No for fair treatment of someone who chose to not break the law. And please Vote No to stand up for a President who is committed to you."

Those championing Katie have been vocal in their support of the post, but a number of students have dismissed Katie's protestations.

"Liar, Bigot, and Coward, removing comments and blocking those who go against you on this page," wrote one Facebook user. "Dont let the door hit you on the way out."

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Gardaí are currently investigating an armed robbery which took place at a Centra store on the UCD campus earlier this week.

According to reports, a female employee and her male colleague were held at gunpoint after two armed raiders entered the store at approximately 10pm on Wednesday night.

The two employees were threatened and forced to hand over a sum of cash before being tied up by the raiders.

It is understood the raiders, who brandished an iron bar and a hand gun, made off across the Belfield campus, leaving the two employees shaken but uninjured.

Gardai have confirmed that an investigation into the robbery has been launched.

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UCD Student Union President, Katie Ascough, was the subject of intense criticism last month following her decision to remove information pertaining to abortion services from the university's magazine.

Katie, who is pro-life but pledged to facilitate the SU's pro-choice stance upon election, argued that providing the information was illegal, and her decision to remove it was based solely on legal advice.

Katie's decision was not supported by other members of the Student's Union, and as press attention around the issue intensified, a petition was created to call for her impeachment.

However, it has been confirmed that despite amassing more than 1,600 signatures, the petition has been rejected by Returning Officer Stephen Devine because it did not contain a section which allowed students to provide their signatures.

As the number of people who petitioned for her impeachment exceeded the number who elected her, those calling for her impeachment have stated they will address the omitted signature section, and re-submit.
 

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We are all well aware that the Dublin rental crisis has reached a critical point, with the cost of housing skyrocketing due to the lack of residential prospects in the capital. 

UCD's student union are using Snapchat to uncover how the rental crisis is impacting Irish students. 

'We're going to the worst places for rent in Dublin to expose how bad the situation is for students,' reads a statement on their Facebook page where the videos are being uploaded. 

'We want you to know what kinds of kips are out there and how landlords can try and pressure you into on-the-spot cash deposits.'

'Our goal is to pressure Govt for support for a joint project with Trinity & Daft.ie by bringing the horror stories to camera.'

Irish rent prices are at an all time high, according to a report from rental site Daft.ie.

The average price of rent nationwide now stands at €1131.00.

The average cost of renting a home has increased by €134.00 a month over the last year, according to The Irish Times. 

So far, the UCDSU have uncovered landlords demanding deposits and first months rent up front, cash in hand, a house where the kitchen utensils are kept in a bathroom cupboard, temporary camp beds, and a house in which three strangers are sharing a bedroom for €750.00 per month…each. 

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University College Dublin has revealed it may be forced to cut the number of places available to Irish students if it does not get more funding.

Although this will not affect intake for the 2017 academic year, UCD president, Professor Andrew Deeks, has warned that the issue could pose a threat in the future.

According to independent.ie, international students typically pay between €18,000 and €24,000 for undergraduate courses – fees which in turn subsidise the costs for Irish students.

"Unless there is movement on the funding of Irish students soon, the university will have to consider the option of reducing the number of places available to Irish students in order to preserve quality," Professor Deeks said.

The news comes after figures show that the demand for college places will rise over the next two to three years.

It's no secret that Ireland's education system is going through a financial crisis. But with rising fees and cuts to grants putting students under huge pressure, there is controversy over who must pay to fix the problem.

According to Professor Deeks, as a result of the Government's failure to properly address the issue, UCD have been forced to up their intake of international students in order to increase staff number at the college, and maintain their place in The QS World University Rankings. 

 

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