University of Limerick welcomes funding support package for higher and further…

first_imgUniversity you Limerick campus aerialsPhoto: True MediaUNIVERSITY of Limerick has today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD of a €168 million funding package for the Higher and Further Education Sector and a roadmap for the return to colleges in September.The package of supports will cover costs incurred by third-level institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic and offer guidance on students returning to campus through its Further and Higher Education Roadmap.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Welcoming the announcement, incoming Interim UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said: “Over the past five months our University has faced extraordinary challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every aspect of our campus life was affected but as a community, we rose to the challenges.“Like all Irish universities, we are facing a funding deficit so it is very welcome news today that Minister Harris and his colleague Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD have intensively engaged with the universities and established these measures of support.”UL has been at the forefront of the national response to the Coronavirus global pandemic with staff from UL’s School of Medicine, School of Allied Health, Department of Nursing and Department of Psychology joining the frontline to support the HSE.The University is currently hosting the Intermediate Care Facility at the UL Sport Arena and has secured close to €500,000 in funding for COVID-19 research projects.UL, in partnership with the HSE and Revenue, very quickly set up the UL Virtual Hub with over 50 senior health sciences students trained to engage in contact tracing which during the peak of the outbreak in Ireland were averaging around 100 calls a day.UL’s Bernal Institute, Department of Chemical Sciences and Department of Biological Sciences scientists prepared a validated lysis buffer for the HSE. The Bernal Institute is also providing technical expertise to University Hospital Limerick (UHL), while collaborating closely with HSE staff and colleagues in the pharma sector on the testing reagents critical supply chain.UL staff served on national COVID-19 advisory committees; developed and produced PPE solutions; provided daily graphic updates on national and international case numbers; compiled advice and support for autistic adults and children during the crisis; developed patient communications protocols for HSE; researched the sociological impacts for parents of the pandemic and a huge amount of research continues to support the national response to the global pandemic.At the same time, there remains the potential for significant loss of income for the University of Limerick arising from falls in international and graduate income.“Our summer income has been wiped out and the income from on-campus student residences next year has yet to be determined with substantial reliance still on online delivery. We must also invest further in technology including lecture capture, online resilience, online communications capability and the virtual learning and student support environments to enhance online delivery and this package will help us to do so,” said Professor Mey.UL looks forward to welcoming its students back to campus and the new academic year commences for all students on September 28. Teaching will be delivered via blended learning both online and face-to-face on campus. Each year cohort will have scheduled on campus face-to-face teaching as well as online and interactive facilitation of learning.UL has also committed to its international students that they are welcome to travel to the campus to commence their programmes of study in September and they will be facilitated and supported when self-isolating for 14 days. UL’s international cohort of students broaden the learning experience of all student, enrich campus life and bring an economic injection estimated in excess of €21 million to the region each year. NewsEducationUniversity of Limerick welcomes funding support package for higher and further educationBy Staff Reporter – July 22, 2020 232 Advertisement Linkedin WhatsApp Printcenter_img Twitter Email Facebook Previous articleWATCH: Highlights of Limerick U21 Hurling ActionNext articleLimerick Post Show | Noel Hogan on Ireland:AM Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ielast_img read more

Industry reaction: new working group on ‘professionalisation’ of estate agents

first_imgHome » News » Industry reaction: new working group on ‘professionalisation’ of estate agents previous nextRegulation & LawIndustry reaction: new working group on ‘professionalisation’ of estate agentsGovernment says group has eight months to recommend ideas for better agent qualifications, an industry regulator and a Code of Practice, among other things. What does the industry think?Nigel Lewis14th October 201802,767 Views The Government has convened a new working group that will consider how to improve professional standards among estate agents and report back to ministers next year, most likely in late August.Chaired by social housing activist peer Lord Best, it is to consider greater regulation of agents including setting minimum levels of qualification for staff, a Code of Practice and an independent regulator for sales, letting and managing agents.“For too long, many people have faced incurring fees and bad service from a number of property agents. People should have confidence when buying, selling or renting a home,” says Housing Minister Heather Wheeler.The working group will include representatives of both the industry and consumers including RICS, the NLA, Citizens Advice, ARLA and the NAEA.Industry reactionJon Werth, MD of LiFE Residential“It’s not a new thing that government or industry bodies are trying to raise standards for those dealing in this sector.  It’s been happening for years, certainly since the eighties, and the improvements are vast, but it takes time and does cost more than ever to implement.“Ideas for minimum standard qualification along with regulatory body memberships must be welcomed by all serious professionals working today in UK property, but the challenge is getting it out there in the public domain. The majority of our staff at LiFE Residential are all NFOPP trained and qualified, but if you tell that to our Landlords or Tenants, they just don’t know what that means. Awareness is key.“Processes are improving all the time, but sales still take as long, if not longer than it did 10 years ago.Rental processes are far quicker, more efficient and much clearer. Protecting the under privileged, those on lower incomes and those at risk are so important, but the ways to do this may not be aligned with the needs of many others.“I would hope that price points for both lettings and sales will be taken in to account in order for the right rules to apply to the right people.”Chris Wood, MD of PDQ Estates“The welcome, if long overdue, news that the government is going to set minimum standards of competence and knowledge for anyone advising the public on the marketing, likely value and negotiation of what is usually their largest asset has to be tempered with caution that it is implemented and policed properly.“The current set up has failed everyone except those who know they can and seek to get away with deceiving the public and riding roughshod over the law with impunity and have been doing so for years.“There is no joined up or effective regulation or system for complaint however, the government must either create and resource a single statutory and fully accountable, transparent government body or ensure it does not unwittingly hand an effective state monopoly to organisations who have singularly failed consumers and the industry for years and are subject to questionable business practices of their own.”Jon Notley, CEO of ZeroDeposit“There are many thousands of professional and passionate agents around the country who are working hard for landlords and tenants every day, performing an essential role in the rental market,” he says.“It is a shame that the practices of a relatively small number of shoddy operators do so much damage to the reputation of the industry as a whole.Implemented sensibly, regulation could provide a useful framework and help to reinforce the high standards that most agents operate to.“However, I would urge politicians to bear in mind the pressures already on letting agents in a tough market and with the fees ban looming, not to make life unnecessarily difficult for them by imposing an overly bureaucratic and costly regime.”Mal McCallion, of newly-launched agency network Movenation“We believe that every agent – whether self-service or full-service – should be regulated; that every consumer should be given a clear, educated choice; and that our agent partners should adhere to the highest standards and be seen as a beacon of propriety in their local market.Sheraz Dar, CEO of CreditLadder“We encourage Lord Best and the working party to engage a range of businesses in this debate but we support any initiative that looks to raise standards across the property sector, as we believe this will ensure all sides of the equation; agents, landlords and tenants will benefit.”Read more about the increasing regulation of the estate agent industry. October 14, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Soybean Outlook Bright

first_imgFarmers will do well, too, to use forward pricing to lock in current high prices. Current prices for new-crop soybeans range from $7.30 to $7.40 per bushel, well overthe 10-year average of $6.25. Woodruff expects Georgia farmers to plant 500,000 acres of soybeans this year. At lastyear’s average yield of 27 bushels per acre, they could see their crop valued at almost$100 million. That’s a 50 percent increase over the 1996 crop value of $66 million. The average person encounters soybeans 10 to 15 times every day, Woodruff said. It’sin many baked and fried snack foods. It’s even in cosmetics and inks. “This is the best soybean situation we’ve seen in better than 10 years,” said Dr. JohnWoodruff, an agronomist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “It’salmost too good to believe.” To realize that value, farmers must manage their crop carefully. That includes plantinga suitable, high-yielding variety, fertilizing right, controlling weeds and insects,harvesting at the best time and marketing carefully. Georgia soybean growers have never — well, hardly ever — had it so good. This year, world stocks of soybeans are at 140 million bushels — only a 30-day supplyand the lowest since 1973. In a more normal year, stocks would be at more than 250million bushels. Those low stocks have suppliers vying for beans and driving up prices. “The crop value is at its lowest during harvest,” Woodruff said. He tells farmers tocontract up to one-fourth of their crop during the early season, and another one-fourthin midsummer if they feel their crop is off to a good start. New herbicide-tolerant varieties can help farmers control weeds. Recent research in theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences also shows that applyingboron and Dimilin, a pesticide, at the right time can control velvet bean caterpillarswhile boosting yields. U.S. farmers have had near-record crops during each of the past three years. But anever-increasing demand nearly uses up each crop before the next one comes in. People in poorer countries can use whole soybeans as their main protein source. Thebeans are crushed for oil, too. More industrialized countries use the meal remainingafter crushing for livestock feed. “We’ve essentially bought and used up last year’s soybean crop,” Woodruff said. Harvest is under way in South America. But Woodruff expects it to be used before the1997 U.S. crop matures. U.S. farmers raise the world’s largest soybean crop at 2.4billion bushels. Georgia grows 2.5 percent to 3 percent of the nation’s crop. Worldwide, soybean demand is rising nearly constantly. Livestock farmers anddieticians prize soybeans for their high-quality protein. That protein has a nearcomplete balance of the six essential amino acids humans and animals need in a healthydiet. Humans directly use only 15 percent to 20 percent of the world soybean crop. “Really,80 to 85 percent of consumption is in livestock feed — for beef cattle, poultry andswine,” Woodruff said. The 1996 Freedom to Farm bill has crops competing for acres based on their marketprices. “So as the demand for soybeans carries up their price, it’s carrying the price ofcorn, cotton and other crops up with it,” Woodruff said. “It’s a win-win situation foreveryone.”last_img read more

UK pension funds failing to protect worker rights in investment policies

first_imgUK pension funds lag their peers in the rest of Europe when it comes to having responsible investment policies referencing labour rights, according to a study by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).The study was motivated in part by the union’s concern that although progress had been made with respect to incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors by institutional investors, social issues are often overlooked.It reviewed the responsible investment policies of the 100 largest European pension funds and providers.Almost two-thirds (63%) of the sample – including funds in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark – referred to international standards including labour rights such as the International Labour Organization’s core conventions and the UN Global Compact. The UK was “the clear outsider”, it found, as it accounted for two-thirds of the funds that did not refer to international standards, and 78% by assets (€684bn).This finding was significant, the ITF said, because the UK had the largest pool of retirement assets in Europe, and, in contrast to many other European countries, did not provide board-level representation for workers.“So neither does the governance structure for its public companies provide a formal role for workers, nor do the vehicles of UK workers’ retirement savings formally promote their interests,” it said.More generally, it said the study’s findings were important because they showed that it was “entirely possible for funds to adopt policies that promote workers’ rights, and that existing fund policies may be shaped more by the country’s political and social culture than fiduciary duty or regulation covering pensions and investments”.Tom Powdrill, responsible investment coordinator at the ITF and author of the report, told IPE that the geographic split seemed to run counter to the increasingly accepted argument that ESG issues were financially material over the long-term.“If that is the case, then it seems pretty intuitively plausible that the way you treat people is going to be a factor in the financial performance of investee companies,” he said. “Therefore you shouldn’t really see any geographic split between which investors think labour issues matter and which don’t.“If that’s a historical cultural hang-up then we should try and change it.”The ITF said it was working with others in the labour movement to develop ideas about a model pension fund policy on labour issues. It also said that unions could help improve practice on labour issues at pension funds by sharing more information about companies with funds.Danish labour market pension fund PensionDanmark recently had meetings with representatives of two of the biggest UK trade unions over claims of wage-undercutting at two bio-mass plants in which the pension fund invests.ITF president Paddy Crumlin spoke of ethics and morals: “[Pension money] is the hard-earned product of hard work and industrial negotiation, and is a deferment of wages that workers decide to make to secure a dignified and decent retirement. It has to be put to work itself in a way that respects that source.“It is only right that it helps build sustainable individual and collective futures, and that it does so ethically. It is morally inconceivable that it should be invested in companies that attack the rights of the very workers paying towards these pensions.”last_img read more

RACEceiver rewards national runners-up in all divisions in fifth season as IMCA sponsor

first_imgThose awards will be presented during the national IMCA banquet in November.  The Gainesville, Ga., company gives Element custom driver packages to the runners-up in na­tional point standings for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Late Models, IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods, IMCA Southern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts. GAINESVILLE, Ga. – RACEceiver marks its fifth year as manufacturer of the official one-way ra­dio of IMCA in 2020, giving new post-season awards in all eight sanctioned divisions. “RACEceiver has come out with a new rechargeable radio for racers, and the extension of this program incorporates that new model into the contingency package,” commented IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “It will be a great resource and one we’ll have the pleasure of giving away to many deserving drivers.”center_img “Being a sponsor of IMCA is a big part of giving back to the community of drivers who have supported our business for so many years. A lot of the support we get from drivers is feedback that helps us to develop new products for the racing industry,” said RACEceiver’s Joe Vinson. “Because of that feedback, RACEceiver will be introducing some new technology this year that will further improve safety in racing.  IMCA drivers and tracks will be some of the first to see and experience that new technology. RACEceiver is excited to continue our sponsorship of IMCA for many years to come!” Information about RACEceiver products and dealers is available by calling 866 301-7233 and at the www.raceceiver.com website. last_img read more

Maiden edition of Ghana Golf Awards launched in Accra

first_imgThe maiden edition of the Ghana Golf Awards has been launched at the media centre of the Accra sports stadium.Twenty-five award categories will be rewarded to the best golf performers in the National golf tournaments, Amateur Golf Championships, corporate and affiliated bodies which ensured the successful run of the competition, Amateur golfer of the year (Male and Female), Most promising golfer (Male and Female), Golf manager of the year, Best dressed golfer (Male and Female), Golf club of the year, Golf personality of the year and Media Houses which have supported golf in the year under review.Other categories are Golf company of the year, Most improved golfer (Male and Female), Junior golfer of the year (Male and Female), Senior golfer of the year (Male and Female) PRO golfer of the year, Golf spot of the year and Golfer of the year.Recognition awards will be given to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II for their varied contributions to the sport of golf in their respective regions.The President of Ghana Golf Association, Dr. Felix Frimpong, said the golf association wants to use the awards ceremony to motivate Ghanaians to participate in the golf of sports.”We want to improve and encourage Ghanaians to participate in Golf Championships. Golf is an interesting sports and we hope the awards will inspire people to get into golf,” Dr. Felix Frimpong said. This year’s Ghana golf awards has been scheduled for Saturday December 22, 2013 at the La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra.last_img read more