Last week, Peter Sutherland gave a speech about the Irish university sector. It generated quite a lot of controversy at the time, and an edited version appears in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Unfortunately, the speech has rather overshadowed the occasion; this is a pity, since it was the launch of the Undergraduate Awards of Ireland and Northern Ireland 2010. This is the second year of the initiative; the IUA website has information about the last year’s winners as well as about this year’s competition. Submissions from undergraduates in the form of essays or projects can be entered into one of 26 categories. The first round is especially for final and penultimate year students together with part-time students who have secured at least 1/3 of credits necessary to graduate, and their deadline is 12 March 2010, so it’s approaching rather quickly. According to the criteria on the website, “your submission should represent the highest standard of intellectual and scholarly achievement in your chosen field … [and it] should embody a piece of independent and original work together with a clear identification of its aims and objectives”. So, no pressure then.