Office of International Programmes (OIP) at UHAS conducted a monitoring visit to the three schools that participated in the UHAS-Yonsei Project, in order to consolidate the schools’ activities under the project. Following the monitoring exercise, OIP convened a roundtable meeting of stakeholders on October 7, to share findings.
Mr. Richard Aboagye Gyan, Project Management Officer of the project, announced at the meeting that the client, National Research Foundation of Korea, has extended the project’s mandate for two more years, effective October 1 2021. The main thrust of this extended phase is for advocacy and publicizing the project’s outputs.
UHAS and Yonsei University initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an international cooperation project aimed at developing faculty capacity in three UHAS schools, namely, School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), School of Medicine (SOM) and School of Public Health (SHP). It also aimed at reviewing the curricula on the UHAS flagship Vocational Training Programme (VTP). The collaboration started in April 2017 and was expected to end in March 2021.
Professor Harry Tagbor, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), on behalf of the University’s Senior Management, expressed profound gratitude to the Principal Investigator of the UHAS-Yonsei project, Professor So Yoon Kim and her team in South Korea, for their assiduous commitment that has culminated in the remarkable achievements of the partnership over the past four years. He also acknowledged the deans, heads of department, programme coordinators of SONAM, SOM and SPH as well as other stakeholders who have contributed in various ways towards the success of the project.
He said, “Yonsei University is very happy with the partnership and has therefore given a two-year extension of the project,” adding that “funds have been allocated to support some research areas.”
Briefing participants on the monitoring report conducted by the Office of International Programmes (OIP), Dr. Robert Alhassan, Acting Dean of International Programmes, recounted that the UHAS-Yonsei collaboration was based on mutual trust, sense of common purpose, and a philosophy of addressing public health needs through a community-based approach. He said, “The three important pillars — curriculum remodeling, vocational training and faculty development — are very key ingredients when it comes to training in health care development.”
He also noted that key achievements of the programme have been in the area of faculty development. Four faculty members are currently pursuing PhDs in South Korea on scholarship. There have been series of workshops as well as visits to South Korea by senior management, faculty members and other stakeholders with funding support from the project, for conferences. Regarding vocational training, Dr. Alhassan said VT manuals and student log books have been developed and training conducted for preceptors on manuals and database management.
Dr. Alhassan acknowledged that, while the project supported SOM to roll out the Student Community Engagement Project (SCEP), SONAM and SPH undertook remodeling activities to reduce course load, removal of duplicate courses, and adding more competency-based content to their existing curricula. To promote teaching and learning activities, project funds were used to procure medical equipment, consumables, laptops, printers, photocopiers and e-library equipment. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some project timelines had been missed. Delays in release of funds and multi-tasking by faculty/coordinators were additional issues of concern.
Dr. Alhassan also expressed appreciation to Yonsei University for introducing UHAS to Global Network for Sustainable Development, a Korean NGO that recently donated 10,000 boxes (500,000 pieces) of PPEs to UHAS.
Coordinators from the beneficiary schools also took turns to deliver their presentations on the implementation, challenges, achievements and general assessments of the UHAS-Yonsei Project at the School level. Collectively, they acknowledged the enormous and remarkable successes that the partnership has chalked.