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Partners and Community
JCU medical students strengthen skills in Singapore
JCU continues to cement its reputation as one of Australia’s most distinctive and successful universities, securing $48,000 under the first tranche of the Federal Government’s $100 million New Colombo Plan.
The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a Federal Government initiative whereby Australian university students are sent abroad to learn, build friendships and strengthen ties with neighbouring Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean countries.
A pilot program of the NCP was launched earlier this year. It has two elements: the Mobility Program (Tranche 1 and 2) and around 40 undergraduate scholarships for up to a year of study are being offered across the four pilot locations of Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Hong Kong.
The students will undertake study experiences ranging from semester-based and short-term study to teaching practicums, research, field studies and clinical placements.
Many participants will also complete internships with businesses operating in their host country.
Anna Ekstrand, Manager Student Mobility at JCU, said a total of 15 JCU students are heading abroad, with seven having already left, while a group of eight will leave next month for the four-week Tranche 1 placement.
“All students, who are from either the Townsville or Cairns campus, are Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery students,” she said.
“They will travel to Singapore on clinical placement as part of their 4th year clinical studies.
“The students will be placed in pairs in their Singapore placements, facilitated by the Singapore College of Family Physicians.”
Professor Richard Murray, Head of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at JCU, said the initiative would further strengthen ties with Singapore and beyond.
“The medical course at JCU is known for graduating adventurous, well-skilled graduates who are keen to make a difference. The Singapore experience builds on that,” he said.
“We share obvious interests in the health of tropical populations and in tropical diseases such as dengue. “
Professor Murray said there were other, perhaps surprising links too.
“For instance, both JCU and the College of Family Physicians Singapore are committed to producing broadly-skilled ‘generalist’ doctors who are able to work in a community clinic, the hospital setting and anywhere that their patients need care,” he said.
“This is clearly important in rural and remote areas, but Australia could learn much form Singapore about the value of the medical ‘generalist’ doctor in major cities.”
Jan Mo, Associate Director, International Recruitment and Admissions, said JCU was proud to have been awarded funding through the New Colombo Plan.
“The School of Medicine and Dentistry has put a lot of work into establishing the Singapore clinical placement program and the NCP Tranche1 funding is an important contribution to ensure that all qualified students have the opportunity to participate in the program,” he said.
The NCP programs being funded span a wide range of academic disciplines from law, health and education, language and culture to science, technology and engineering.
More than 700 Australian undergraduate students are involved in the NCP Tranche 1, under a mobility grants program that will support a range of study experiences from short term to up to one year.
A total of $4 million was allocated for Tranche 1 and 2 in 2013-2014. And $100 million is allocated for the whole program over five years.
JCU Media Liaison: Caroline Kaurila, tel: (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175
Issued May 19, 2014