University College GHENT Strengthens Collaboration with MMU

On October 4th, HoGent received a delegation of Mountains of the Moon University (Uganda), on the occasion of a successful collaboration on the Summer School last August and the intention to strengthen the collaboration over the next years with regard to teaching, research and extension projects.

After organizing a joint Summer School at HoGent over the past three years, our colleagues and seventeen students from the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Work travelled Southwards for the first edition of the Ugandan summer school. For two weeks, our students were trained together with students from Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and United Kingdom. The Summer School addressed the question how quality of care can improve the quality of life of different target groups (young people living with HIV/AIDS, elderly, people with disabilities).

Through lectures, group works, debates and field visits, students cooperated intensively in an interdisciplinary and intercultural context, in search of answers to this question. This was made possible with support from VLIR-UOS and VLHORA, and was organized in collaboration with IASSIDD (International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities). Next month, the experiences and lessons learned in the context of this summer school will also be presented to our partner institution ‘Erasmushogeschool Brussel’ in Belgium, as an inspiring practice for interdisciplinary and intercultural learning among students.

Moreover, an interdisciplinary and international research project, financed by the Fund for Applied Research of HoGent, was launched on October 1st. This joint research project will study how the local and international communities can collaborate to facilitate living with HIV/AIDS in school communities. This project is made possible through a strong collaboration between HoGent and MMU, as researchers from multiple disciplines will collaborate and students from both institutions will take part in it in the context of their internship and/or thesis research.

Related to this, a VLIR-UOS South Initiative project will start as of January 2018 for a period of two years, intending to create a community of practice wherein academics, practitioners and policy makers form a structural partnership to strengthen competencies  for addressing and responding to needs concerning young people living with HIV/AIDS in Fort Portal.

“A partnership with a lot of potential for interdisciplinary training and research, international focus and social commitment, sustainable capacity building and exchange of expertise!”  “For me, the Summer School was incredibly interesting, not just theoretically but also on an intercultural and personal level. I would recommend it to anyone!” – Talitha Van Vooren, student nursing, HoGent
“It was an immersion in many other beautiful cultures. You see a lot of poverty and problems, but for everything they find a solution and especially they stay positive. This has certainly made me reflect as a future occupational therapist: do not always search the solution too far, a solution is sometimes found in small things that are often at your fingertips. It was an experience that I will never forget, and I still think back to it on a daily basis with a smile on my face” – Nina-Maria Colpaert, student occupational therapy, HoGent

On the pictures: Lecturers and students in Special Needs Education, Nursing, Occuppational Therapy, Speech  and Language Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics from HoGent;  Nursing and Public Health from  Mountains of the Moon University ; Occuppational Therapy from University of Rwanda; Nursing of  University of Nottingham.

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