Cog Notes: UCC second in league of environmentally friendly universities

Criteria include the preservation of lawns and forests, use of energy-efficient appliances, waste recycling, environmental course offerings and number of cars entering the campus daily

Belated congratulations to UCC for coming runner-up for the second successive year in the GreenMetric, the league table of environmentally friendly universities.

One of the criteria used by Universitas Indonesia to measure "greenness" is the preservation of lawns and forests, which is presumably why UCD fails to register (given its penchant for building on playing fields and turning running tracks into car parks).

Other factors are the use of energy-efficient appliances, waste recycling, environmental course offerings, and the number of cars entering the campus daily (the fewer the better).

In the latest rankings (based on self-declared data), UL jumped to 11th place, from 29th the previous year. DCU was down to 53rd (from 46th), TCD 104th (from 97th) and DIT 193rd (from 157th).


Number one in the table for the past two year is University of Nottingham,thanks in part to Sherwood Forest. In an acclaimed conservation plan, the university is surveying caves reputed to have sheltered Robin Hood.

UCD graduate misses world debating crown by one vote

Another recent runner-up of note is UCD law and economics graduate Michael O’Dwyer, who just missed out on the World Debating Championship crown in Malaysia.

The 23-year-old, who went to St Conleth’s College in Dublin and was captain of the school’s debating team in the World Schools Finals in 2010, is now studying at the BPP University in London. He partnered UK graduate Steven Rajavinothan in the global competition of 400 teams from 60 countries.

They are both entering traineeships with London law firms, and lined up against Oxford, Harvard and Sydney in the final in January. They were pipped by a single vote by the Australians. O’Dwyer expressed delight at the outcome, “although we do still have a sense of ‘what might have been’.”

Raidió na Gaeltachta tackles Leaving Cert Irish

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta is broadcasting a new six-part series, starting on Sunday, covering all aspects of the Irish Leaving Cert exam.

The first three programmes in Gaeilge na hArdteiste, presented by Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, will focus exclusively on the oral exam.

The other three programmes will cover poetry, prose, and the essay, with advice, explanations and analysis.

Gaeilge na hArdteiste will run March 1st-6th, 8.30pm-9pm, on 92.8 FM and other RTÉ platforms

Big can be beautiful, Monaghan education campus proves

At a time when many rural communities are campaigning to protect small schools, Monaghan is showing how bigger can be better.

The site of the former military barracks in Monaghan town has been transformed into a multi-user education campus incorporating primary, postprimary and further education.

Co Monaghan VEC, led by chief executive Martin G O’Brien, was sanctioned by the Department of Education to manage on a “devolved pilot basis” what is billed as the first development of its type in Ireland.

It comprises five buildings: Gaelscoil Ultain, Coláiste Oiriall , Monaghan Institute, a shared gymnasium and the 300-seat Garage Theatre. A centralised biomass heating system is helping to reduce running costs.

Further efficiencies are being achieved through centralised procurement of heat, electricity, IT systems, maintenance, repair and upgrade.

Yeats Among Schoolchildren competition for young artists

Primary pupils are being encouraged to get their creative juices flowing to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats. The competition Yeats Among Schoolchildren is inviting art based on a visual interpretation of a Yeats poem. The project, launched through the network of teachers' education centres, is part of Yeats2015 commemorative programme.

Leading the initiative is Mary Hough from the Sligo Education Centre. “Along with promoting access to and enjoyment of the poetry of WB Yeats, the competition aims to enable pupils to understand the language and imagery used in the poetry and promote greater literacy skills,” she says.

A book with all winning entries will be published around June 13th. More at