The new Centre, based in the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care, is underpinned by three core principles guiding its work. Firstly, to support the development of medical, health and social care services that meet the particular needs of low- and middle-income countries; to work towards the creation of professional groups who are educated to the highest standards in those countries; and to ensure any involvement becomes locally sustainable through quality educational programmes.
Building on the work of the successful MA Medical Education programme at the University of Winchester, Professor Colin Coles – who joined the University over 16 years ago to help develop postgraduate qualifications for health care professionals – has been appointed the Centre’s first convenor.
“Over the past seven or eight years I've been involved in development projects in Africa, such as the Kintampo Project in Ghana and a new medical school in Lusaka, Zambia,” said Professor Coles. “Each of these projects has involved increasing capacity in health and social care, and in most cases the creation of entirely new professional groups.
“These projects have involved developing educational programmes from scratch at institutions of higher education. All have involved considerable curriculum development as well as faculty development.
“Using my experience, I wanted develop a Centre at the University of Winchester which reflects our commitment to knowledge exchange across an international medical sector.”
The launch of the Centre attracted interest from influential people within the field such as the Dean from Postgraduate Medical Education at Health Education Wessex; the Head of Health of Partnerships for the Tropical Health Education Trust in London; and the Director of Medical Education, Lusaka Apex Medical University, Zambia.
Projects in Somaliland, Uganda and Nepal are already being discussed, and a conference is being planned in the autumn to explore how the Centre can expand its offering.