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London International Development Centre Wins Praise for Collaborative Approach

LIDC's pioneering work to combine the natural and social sciences to tackle international development has been hailed as 'exciting' in two publications. It has been described as 'one of the most exciting new collaborative projects within the University of London’ in The Facts, a booklet produced by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of London. The interdisciplinary initiative has also been highlighted in The School of Pharmacy’s Annual Review 2007-2008 as a high profile academic grouping set to become the ‘largest and most multi-disciplinary academic grouping in the UK on development issues’. LIDC has also been backed enthusiastically in the latest issue of the Institute of Education's magazine IoE Life.


Wide-ranging expertise

The double-page spread in the July publication, The Facts, highlights the range of expertise brought together at LIDC, including public health and tropical medicine, animal health, the languages, cultures and societies of Africa and Asia and business development. It reads: ‘With this diverse base, and its existing international partnerships, the Centre will build an original programme of development research. Its focus will be interdisciplinary, applying natural and social science to development problems.’ The Facts also highlights how the University of London’s federal structure fosters ‘a culture of intercollegiality and spirit of partnership’ as it supports collaboration in both teaching and research.


High profile project

The School of Pharmacy’s Annual Review 2007-2008 reads: ‘The [Bloomsbury] colleges already work together on a variety of administrative and academic matters, but this is the highest profile collaborative project to date. The LIDC is set to become the largest and most multi-disciplinary academic grouping in the UK on development issues… Professor Anthony Smith [Principal and Dean at The School of Pharmacy] comments: ‘The LIDC represents an opportunity for the School to be part of an exciting venture that will benefit our staff, students and the wider world. Since the Millennium Development Goals were set, there have been some gains, but there is a long way to go. I see the LIDC as a focal point for bringing about improved health and disease eradication through education and modern medicine'. LIDC has also won praise in an IoE Life article about the work of the Institute's Education and International Development (EID) department, which is concerned with promoting education and health in low- and middle-income countries. Professor Angela Little, chair of EID, added: 'The centre [LIDC] will encourage us to address issues at the interfaces of our subject boundaries.'


Progress so far

LIDC is an interdisciplinary project involving the University of London’s six Bloomsbury Colleges: Birkbeck, Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, RoyalVeterinaryCollege, School of Oriental and African Studies and The School of Pharmacy. It opened in April 2008 after receiving a £3.7m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and it has already attracted 250 members from across the six colleges. Workshops designed to broaden horizons have already taken place and have provided new insights. So far natural and social scientists from the Colleges have met at LIDC workshops to discuss HIV/AIDS, anthropology, economics and the difficulties of fighting zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted between animals and  humans).



Click on the links below for the LIDC-related pages of the three publications:

The Facts, produced by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of London (designed by Hudson Fuggle)

Annual Review 2007-2008, The School of Pharmacy

IoE Life, Issue 7, Summer 2008, Institute of Education


For more information please contact Guy Collender at guy.collender@lidc.bloomsbury.ac.uk or phone 020 7958 8260.