first_imgCareer Guidance Counsellor Rory White’s column series continues with a guide for students to understanding the UCAS system: So what is UCAS?UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Application Service for higher education courses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the equivalent of the CAO system here.  The website is www.ucas.com  Is the application process the same as the CAO? No, it is quite different.  Students can choose up to five courses and will be required to achieve specific grades rather than CAO points.  Applicants must supply predicted grades for their Leaving Certificate and also an academic reference.  However, perhaps the most important element of the UCAS application is the personal statement. Why is the personal statement important and what should I consider when putting it together?The personal statement is very important indeed and worth paying time and attention to.  Its purpose is to make the most suitable candidates stand out. It should be engaging and personal and highlight the experiences and interest you have shown in the particular career area you are applying for. Any work experience or volunteer work you have done should be included as should any information sessions you have attended- this all demonstrates that you are serious about pursuing a career in the area. Writing a vague personal statement, for instance if a student is interested in a couple of career areas, might hinder your application. Finally, get someone to look over and proof-read your statement before submitting. There are several good videos on the UCAS website that offer good tips. Should I be concerned about Brexit or studying outside of the Republic of Ireland?The dreaded ‘B-word’!  The terms for studying in the UK have been protected for 2020 entry in that Irish students will still be treated the same as UK students (and vice-versa for UK students wanting to study in the ROI) and there is a memorandum of understanding that this should continue post Brexit.  (www.education.ie/Brexit) Students who intend studying in the UK, with a view to later working in the ROI should ensure the degree you are thinking about will be recognised to work for the relevant governing body in the ROI- for example a student studying an Arts or Humanities degree with a view to teaching in ROI must get their degree recognised by the Teaching Council which can prove problematic at times, so it is worth looking into.What about costs and can I still apply for a SUSI grant?The application for UCAS costs £20 if choosing one course and £25 for more than one (up to a maximum of 5) Currently fees for courses in Northern Ireland are typically £4,275stg and up to £9,250stg in England and Wales.  Irish students opting to study in Scotland are still considered as ‘Home’ students and will not be required to pay fees. (www.saas.gov.uk) Students eligible for the SUSI grant can still avail of the maintenance element of the grant, but SUSI will not pay for course fees.  For the fees, many students avail of a student loan which can be paid back after completion of your degree and when earnings are over £18,935.An enticing option for students interested in healthcare courses is that the ‘Allied Health’ courses in Radiography, Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiotherapy and Speech & Language Therapy have no fees (These all, with the exception of Podiatry, require you to sit HPAT-Ulster) while Nursing degrees, as well as having no fees, also include a bursary. (www.ulster.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/full-time-fees/funded-courses)How and when will I know if I have been offered a place?This is not an exact science as each college and course can be different, it is best to keep checking into the track facility for correspondence.  When responses have been received from all choices made, the applicant will be given a date by which to respond to the offers. The applicant can then choose one course they have been offered as their ‘firm’ choice and one as their ‘insurance’ choice. All other offers must then be declined. Offers made will be conditional and entry will be based on meeting the conditions of the offer.Rory has been a Guidance Counsellor at Finn Valley College for the past 10 years and is a member of the Donegal Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Applying for college or changing careers is one of the most important and exciting decisions someone can make, and Rory will be here to offer advice and top tips on the many options that are available.Career Guidance with Rory White: Understanding UCAS was last modified: December 15th, 2019 by Rory WhiteShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:careersCollegeeducationucasUniversitylast_img read more

first_imgTB patients waiting in a hospital in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. (Image: David Gough, Irin News)  MEDIA CONTACTS • Trevor Oosterwyk  Statistics SA communications manager  +27 12 843 6793 or +27 82 379 8268• Bhungane Mzolo Marina Joubert  Dept of Health media liaison  +27 12 395 8479 or +27 71 600 8927 RELATED ARTICLES • Better pay for SA’s TB medics • Brazil health plan adapted for SA • TB vaccine in SA clinical trial • African Guernica: life becomes art • African TB nurses laudedEmily van RijswijckStatistics South Africa recently released its latest report on mortality rates in the country.The results show a decrease in deaths among males and females as well as a steady decline in the most common cause of natural death, tuberculosis (TB). The statistics apply to 2009.The publication, titled Mortality and causes of death in South Africa: Findings from death notifications, has been released annually since 2004.The latest analysis looks at trends in mortality from 2007 to 2009 as well as selected characteristics such as demographics and social circumstances specifically related to 2009.The decline in TB deaths in particular is significant as it is the most common opportunistic infection to affect and kill HIV. The disease is known to actively accelerate the progression of HIV into Aids.In addition, in recent years TB has evolved into a drug resistant strain with a much higher mortality potential.  “Tuberculosis continued to be the most commonly mentioned cause of death on death notification forms, as well as the leading underlying natural cause of death in the country. However, the number of TB deaths has decreased since 2007,” notes the report.HIV rates seventhAs a result HIV is rated only seventh and accounts for only 3.1% out of over 572 000 deaths for the year, despite South Africa’s infection rates being among the highest in the world.It is estimated that about 5.38-million people in a population of some 50.59-million are living with the disease, as indicated in the Stats SA mid-year population estimates for 2011.Influenza and pneumonia were the second most common cause of death, followed by intestinal infectious diseases. The latter is also the main cause of death among children aged under 15 and younger.In the category for non-natural deaths, the 15 to 19 age group is most at risk from accidental or homicidal deaths, while males are also more likely than females to die of unnatural causes in general, among all age groups.The Western Cape received the dubious honour of being the province where the highest proportion of non-natural deaths occurred.Life expectancyNot surprisingly, life expectancy is slowly on the increase. The 2011 mid-year population estimate compares favourably with that for 2010, and shows that life expectancy among males, females and infants are rising, albeit slowly among some groups.The estimated life expectancy at birth is now 54.9 years for males and 59.1 years for females, with males gaining more than one year and females four years in expectancy since 2010.The infant mortality rate for 2011 is estimated at 37.9 per 1 000 live births and shows a marked improvement from 2010 when it stood at just below 47 per 1 000 births.Calling the shots on TBThe drop in mortality rates and increased life expectancy aside, TB remains the bane of the South African health scene, although it’s a treatable and curable disease. Since 1997 it has been the leading cause of death in the country.According to the Department of Health‘s Policy Framework on Multi-Drug Resistant TB (PDF, 1.3MB), South Africa ranks third among the high-burden countries that contribute to 80% of the world TB burden, only lagging behind much the larger nations of India and China.The two biggest problems for health workers are the heavy caseloads related to TB and HIV, and the high number of defaulters in relation to TB medication.Where gains are made, as the health department has recorded in the past, this is significantly reduced by patients who, for various reasons, stop using the medication before full recovery.This not only results in a drop in success rates for cured patients, but takes the disease back into an already vulnerable environment and increases the potential for drug resistance.Based on numbers, the burden on the health budget will continue to increase for some time to come. Figures released in the Tuberculosis Strategic Plan, 2007 – 2011 (PDF, 480KB) shows the incidence of TB over a decade growing by 167 %, from 269 cases per 100 000 in 1996 to 720 per 100 000 people in 2006.The proportion of people with TB who were co-infected with HIV at that time was estimated to be around 55%.Testing for TB now much quickerAt least one stumbling block is slowly being eradicated. TB testing in itself is a lengthy process which can take anything from three to six weeks – but in March 2011, Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi unveiled the first of several new GeneXpert TB testing machines at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital in Durban.The machine process the TB tests within two hours, which means patients can start treatment almost immediately.The eThekwini district was chosen for the first roll-out as it has the highest TB infection rate in the country. The health department will gradually introduce the machine at key state hospitals around South Africa.last_img read more

first_imgHigh relative humidity is a significant problem in many regions of the country during the summer months. In hot weather, the higher the humidity, the less comfortable we are–partly because moisture does not evaporate from our skin as readily. More worrisome over the long haul, high humidity levels in the air and high moisture content of materials in our homes can result in mold growth, which, in turn, can cause allergies and other health problems (as well as damage the building itself).There are two broad strategies for minimizing indoor humidity problems during the summer months: eliminating moisture sources, and removing moisture from the air. This week we’ll take a look at controlling moisture sources; next week we’ll examine moisture removal. Keeping moisture out of a home is almost always less expensive and less energy-intensive than removing that moisture.Strategies for minimizing unwanted moisture:Fix drainage problems around the house. If the ground slopes toward the house, moisture will flow toward the foundation during and after a rainstorm, and some of that will seep through foundation walls (or a concrete slab) and into your house.Install gutters. Capturing rainwater that falls on the roof using gutters, and then directing that water into downspouts and pipes to move it away from the house, rather than letting that water drip off the roof edge, is a great way to minimize moisture entry through the foundation. In a climate with heavy snow, it may be necessary to remove gutters in the winter to prevent damage. To avoid the need for gutters, some people secure a layer of polyethylene to the foundation wall below ground level and slope it away from the foundation–in effect moving the gutter to the bottom of the wall.Fix leaks. If rainwater is making its way into your house through damaged roofing or inadequate flashing around windows and roof penetrations, get a contractor in to identify and fix those leaks. Not only will that help keep humidity levels down in the house, but it will prevent decay and other problems.Insulate water pipes. Just as it makes sense to insulate hot-water pipes to save energy, it also makes sense to insulate cold-water pipes to prevent condensation, which can dampen surfaces in the house and contribute to high humidity levels. Foam pipe insulation is readily available and easy to install. Insulate all water pipes that can be accessed relatively easily.Always use a bathroom fan while showering. If you have one, use it. If you don’t, install one–a high-quality, quiet fan that you and your family are likely to actually use. If you have a bath fan but tend not to use it because it’s too noisy, replace it with a quiet model or discipline yourself to use it anyway, given the benefits. Panasonic led the industry with quiet bath fans in the 1980s, but most major fan manufacturers offer quality models today that produce less than 1.5 sones (a measure of noise). Look for an Energy Star-certified bath fan, which will produce no more than 1.5 sones.Wipe down the shower after use. Using a squeegee to remove water droplets from the shower after use will direct that water down the drain. Otherwise, that water will evaporate and contribute to the home’s indoor humidity.Use a kitchen range hood fan. It should be ducted directly to the outdoors; avoid range hood fans that simply filter and recirculate cooking odors, because those fans don’t remove moisture.Cover pots on your stove. This will minimize evaporation during cooking and will also save energy. In hot humid weather, try to minimize cooking altogether by grilling outdoors or eating more salads.Put houseplants outside in the summer so that they won’t be introducing moisture into your house. If you have a lot of houseplants, evapotranspiration from them can be a huge source of unwanted moisture.Don’t dry laundry indoors. If you hang laundry to dry, hang it outside during the summer months. If you use a clothes dryer, make sure that the exhaust hose is property installed and that leaks are not introducing moisture into the house. Periodically clean exhaust hoses to prevent clogging.Never dry firewood indoors. In rural areas it is not uncommon to bring green firewood directly into the basement for storage. Avoid this practice. As the wood dries it will release huge quantities of moisture into the house–just when you don’t want that moisture.In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex writes the weekly blog on BuildingGreen.com: “Alex’s Cool Product of the Week,” which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. The most recent such blog is on gas-filled panels that provide up to R-7.6 per inch. You can sign up to receive notices of these blogs by e-mail—on the BuildingGreen.com blog page enter your e-mail address in the upper right corner.Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, LLC and executive editor of Environmental Building News. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK — Closer Aroldis Chapman and the New York Yankees agreed Friday to a one-year contract worth $11,325,000, avoiding salary arbitration.Acquired from Cincinnati in December, Chapman had asked for $13.1 million and had been offered $9 million when the sides exchanged figures last month. The agreement was $275,000 above the midpoint.Chapman threw the 62 fastest pitches in the major leagues last season, ranging from 103.92 to 102.36 mph. He was 4-4 with a 1.63 ERA and 33 saves in 36 chances, striking out 116 and walking 33 in 66 1-3 innings. He made $8,075,000.Major League Baseball is investigating Chapman under the sport’s new domestic abuse policy following a disturbance in Florida on Oct. 30 involving his girlfriend. Prosecutors decided not to file charges.Players have won three of four cases decided this year. Just two players remain scheduled for arbitration hearings next week: Colorado second baseman DJ LeMahieu and Houston designated hitter Evan Gattis.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgAnnette Francis APTN NewsThe Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Monday that may change the way laws are made if the court agrees governments are required to consult First Nations over new legislation.“The reality is right now … governments can pick or choose whether they consult about legislation, so it could be a law that directly hit reserves, a law that directly hits hunting or trapping rights, fishing rights,” said Robert Janes, lawyer for Mikisew Cree First Nation.Seven Indigenous groups had their voices heard, while five provincial attorney generals argued on the side of the [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – Viewers hoping to catch the latest HBO series and fresh Hollywood movies have a new choice in their streaming options.Bell Media says it’s throwing open the gates to its vast library of content that was previously only available to cable subscribers of The Movie Network and HBO Canada.Starting next week, Canadians will have access to a bulked up version of the Crave streaming platform, dubbed Crave+, for an additional fee of about $10 per month.It’s a significant change for cable subscribers who were hanging onto their TV packages for access to TMN and its sister channels.Under the new Crave+ they will have the option to join other cord-cutters, though some cable providers may sell the Crave package at a discount with other set-top TV offerings.The move comes as Bell Media contends with competition from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.“Every day you read about a new offering that’s in the marketplace,” said Bell Media chief executive Randy Lennox in an interview, highlighting how Crave is now considered both a TV and online option.“We’re trying to be on both sides of the highway.”The new Crave+ package includes all of Showtime and older HBO series previously on CraveTV, plus a roster of more recent shows like new seasons of “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld.”Customers who don’t want the extra stuff can hang onto a basic Crave package, which includes series from Vice, Showtime and Crave exclusives like “Letterkenny” and “Star Trek: Discovery.”Bell Media is in the midst of widespread changes to its TV channels which include a decision to retire its brand The Movie Network and replace it with channels under the Crave name.Companies in this story: (TSX: BCE)last_img read more

first_imgKATOWICE, Poland — The Latest on the U.N. climate conference (all times local):10:45 a.m.No global climate summit would be complete without a few celebrities.Monday’s gathering of ministers and national leaders for the start of the U.N. talks on tackling global warming is getting a dose of glitz.Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has long campaigned against climate change, is expected to draw crowds, while there are reports that other Hollywood celebrities will make an appearance as well.Other VIPs attending the meeting in Katowice, Poland, include adventurer Bertrand Piccard, who co-piloted the first solar round-the-world flight, and Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, whose climate campaigning has received support from students around the globe.___8:45 a.m.Leaders from around the world are arriving for the ceremonial opening of the climate conference in southern Poland that will discuss ways of curbing climate change.The two-week conference in Katowice is expected to work out how governments can report on their efforts to reduce green gas emission and keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), as agreed in 2015 in Paris.Host Poland will propose a declaration Monday for a “just transition” away from coal mining, the supplier of its main source of energy, to take into consideration the situation of people employed in the sector.Critics say the declaration should more broadly cover all aspects of transition from fossil fuels to green energy.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgThe four candidates looking to be elected to the two seats in Electoral Area I are Becky Borton, Jessica Fairful, Crystal Hillton, and Andrea Smith.The three candidates looking to be elected to the two seats in Electoral Area III are Jennifer Lalonde, Angelica Schurmann, and Tamara Ziemer.The five candidates looking to be elected to the two seats in Electoral Area IV are Chad Anderson, Kim Erickson, Darcy Heartt, Travis Jones, and Nicole Soontiens.The local government elections are taking place on October 20th. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – There will be an election for six of the seven seats on the Peace River South School District’s Board of Trustees.Of the seven seats on the School Board in the South Peace, two represent Electoral Areas I, III, and IV, while Electoral Area II only gets one seat.Roxanne Gulick was the lone candidate to submit nomination papers for Electoral Area II, which serves the Tumbler Ridge area.last_img read more

first_imgBalurghat: South Dinajpur district administration will conduct a special awareness drive for two days to encourage people to cast votes during the upcoming Parliamentary elections slated for the region on April 23.Addressing mediapersons the district magistrate Deepap Priya P said on Monday: “The district administration will organise an awareness drive for two days starting Tuesday to encourage the voters, especially the new ones, to cast votes,” she said. Priya P said the district administration was on alert to ensure free and fair polls in the region. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”The Election Commission of India has directed us to ensure voters’ participants in large numbers in the upcoming poll. We have introduced a special mask mascot to attract young generations to enlist their names in the electoral roll. We are happy to announce that our initiative has received good response from people,” she said. Answering a question about the deputation of Central forces in South Dinajpur, she said the district administration is yet to receive any information on the issue. In a significant announcement, the district magistrate said mediapersons on the basis of their applications may be able to cast Election Duty votes. “We know that the district correspondents remain busy covering the reports on poll. If they want, they can cast ED votes. This is happening for the first time in the district,” she said. She also sought cooperation from the media to ensure hassle-free polls. She said the district has 1305 polling booths and 144 sectors. Later, during the press conference she unveiled a huge election mascot.last_img read more