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New £232,000 Grant Encourages Students to Become Global Citizens

Undergraduates studying medicine, pharmacy and veterinary science will learn more about global issues and how their professions can contribute to international development due to an unprecedented project. Students from the Royal Veterinary College, The School of Pharmacy, and the Medical School of University College London will be taught about the social, economic and cultural context of the developing world during the three-year scheme run by the Institute of Education's Development Education Research Centre in partnership with LIDC. Their experiences and engagement with campaigns against global poverty will also be surveyed annually as part of the research funded by the UK Department For International Development through its Development Awareness Fund.
Mainstreaming development education
The project will build on existing support and engagement with development by students and staff within the Colleges.

Key aims of the action research, called Students as Global Citizens, include:

• Integrating global and development issues within degree courses at the three Colleges
• Holding staff development sessions to emphasise the relevance of development issues to the three selected communities of practice: vets, medics and pharmacists
• Disseminating findings to professional bodies (including the British Medical Association, and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), academic institutions and student networks via a major conference and publications

Comparing students’ experiences
Dr Doug Bourn, Director of DERC and manager of the Students as Global Citizens project, said: “There is a great deal of rhetoric about promoting students as global citizens, be it by governments, NGOs, or even by universities themselves. However, there is little evidence to demonstrate where learning relates to wider views about society and social action. There has been no systematic development education project related to learning within higher education which compares a number of professions.”
Students will comment on their learning via blogs, which will show the relative impact of the courses on thinking about development and its relation to their wider social and lifestyle experiences.  Staff will be engaged in the project via a series of professional development workshops, curriculum initiatives and conferences. A series of booklets relating to medicine, pharmacy and veterinary science will include the rationale for global perspectives and development education, examples of practice from within the Colleges, and case studies from students.

LIDC and Skillshare International
LIDC brings together social and natural scientists from across the University of London’s six Bloomsbury Colleges (Birkbeck, IoE, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, RVC, School of Oriental and African Studies, and The School of Pharmacy) and it helped mobilise two of these Colleges (RVC and School of Pharmacy) to take part in the project led by the DERC. Professor Jeff Waage, Director of LIDC, will chair the project’s management group, and LIDC will be responsible for the publicity and newsletters linked to the work. UK charity Skillshare International – a UK charity with experience and resources in global health education  –  will collaborate in the development of curriculum materials and direct delivery of activities.

Further information
Please contact Dr Doug Bourn, Director of IoE's DERC and manager of the Students as Global Citizens project,  d.bourn@ioe.ac.uk , telephone: 0203 073 8309.
By Guy Collender, Senior Communications Officer, LIDC