News in brief


UCD Awarded €62.7m under PRTLI 5 to Advance Innovation

UCD has been awarded €62.7m as part of the single largest investment in third-level research in the history of the State.

Under the PRTLI5 (Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions), 15 key UCD projects are to receive funding, with the UCD Science Centre receiving the largest funding of €37.7m. It is now set to become the largest national resource harbouring 2,000 researchers and postgraduate students in a newly renovated 45,000 square metre building.

The funding is intended to support new infrastructural developments, structured PhD programmes and development research.

The PRTLI also awarded funding to Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Brian Cowen made the announcement in July, stating: “This announcement is another clear signal that we are confident about the future of our country.”

UCD Student Comes Seventh in Miss Universe

20-year-old UCD student Rozanna Purcell came seventh in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.

The contest was won by Miss Mexico, Ximena Navarrete, but Purcell was considered a favourite by Paddy Power Bookmakers, who gave her 9-2 odds to win the competition.

Purcell will now be taking a year out of university to pursue an international modeling career with Trump Model Management. Donald Trump offered Purcell the modeling contract after her participation in this year’s Miss Universe Contest, which took place in the Mandalay Bay Resort and casino last month.

Purcell said that it has always been her dream to model in New York: “As long as I’m doing that, whether it’s with Victoria’s Secret or whoever, I’ll be happy.”

CAO Points Rise

CAO Points for a number of courses on offer at UCD rose considerably this year. The most significant rise was seen in Science Omnibus, where the point requirements rose 50 points to 435 from 2009.

Law and Architecture saw a small rise of ten points each, while the Health Sciences saw a steady increase in points across the board.  The demand for Engineering dropped 20 points from last year’s requirements to 425.

The current economic situation has been cited in drawing mature students back to education, which resulted in an increased demand for places in university courses.

UCDSU Education Vice-President James Williamson told The University Observer that “there was an increase of slightly above 17 per cent in the numbers of mature students applying alone”.

Mr. Williamson also added that the points rise is “great for UCD, as it means the quality of students we take in has improved”.

Sinéad  O’Brien