2014 OS-HELP Loan Application Now Open
We can now advise that 2014 OS-HELP Loan Application kits are available from International Services, Level 4, Jane Foss Russell Building G02.
The application kit comprises:
- OS-HELP Loan Application Form (reference copy attached)
- Vendor EFT Form (reference copy attached)
- OS-HELP Debt Confirmation Form (not available electronically)
- OS-HELP Statement of Terms and Conditions 2014 (printed booklet available)
OS-HELP Loans are not guaranteed. Students must read the loan criteria carefully to ensure you are eligible to apply for the loan.
The closing date for submission back to the International Services Office is 13th Dec 2013. OGH will facilitate the faculty endorsement on Section 4 for all OGH placements only.
Please note that fund transfers for 2014 OS-HELP Loans can only be done from January 2014.
For further information please contact International Services on the Application Guide attached.
Sharing expertise across borders
A senior lecturer at the Sydney Medical School, Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, was a panel member at the 2013 Regional Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, an annual forum bringing together the knowledge, expertise and skills of the Indian community in Australia and the Pacific.
The forum was hosted by the Ministry of Indian Affairs of the Government of India in Sydney last week, and was supported by the University of Sydney as part of its ongoing focus on international engagement and collaboration in the South Asia region. More
Joint symposium with Peking University Health Science Centre
The health challenges that will confront China and Australia at the turn of the next decade were discussed at a symposium in Beijing hosted by Peking University Health Science Centre and the University of Sydney.
The symposium was an interdisciplinary initiative involving delegates from Sydney Medical School, Sydney Nursing School and the Faculty of Dentistry. It explored many of the common issues faced by health professionals and policymakers in both countries, such as the uneven population distribution between urban and rural areas, and the demands of an aging population.
The Vice-President of PKUHSC, Professor Xian Wang, welcomed the delegation from Sydney and stressed the need for cooperation in the areas of professional development and rural health care. Professor Chris Peck, Dean of Dentistry at Sydney, emphasised the need to strengthen health systems in both countries by 2020.
Professor Andrew Wilson, Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, talked about the factors affecting Australia¹s future health workforce capacity, and exchanged ideas with Dr Xiaoyun Liu of PKU on how to attract and retain rural health workers in China.
Professor Jill White, Dean of Nursing addressed a group of 70 people in the Models of Care 2020 session, while Professor Peck discussed simulation learning as a future model of education.
Several of the Chinese speakers pointed out the potential for collaboration in community-based health care, an area now being encouraged by the Chinese Government in which Australia has strong experience.
Sydney Medical School has an active student exchange arrangement with PUKHSC and a number of research partnerships. Professor Tony Keech from the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Professor Stephen Colagiuri from the Boden Institute recently delivered seminars on advanced clinical trials, diabetes and vascular diseases at PKUHSC in Beijing.
Click on thumbnail images below to enlarge.
Systems Perspectives on Prevention of Chronic Disease
Professor Andrew Wilson, Director of Menzies Centre for Health Policy delivered lectures at Fudan University School of Public Health (Fudan SPH) and at the George Institute for Global Health at Peking University Health Science Center in China from 28-31 October 2013.
The lectures are part of a series of activities organised by Office for Global Health to strengthen our engagement with Chinese partners. Professor Wilson's lectures covered topics such as Systems Perspective on Prevention of Chronic Disease, the Economics of Pharmaceuticals in Australia, and The Role of Health Policies in Control of Chronic Diseases.
Fudan University School of Public Health is one of the top three public health schools in China, and has a long relationship with Sydney School of Public Health (SSPH). Health economics and health reform have been identified as the next areas of collaboration between SSPH and Fudan SPH.
Farewell to our Timor Leste Health Leaders
Mentors, colleagues and friends farewelled fourteen Timorese fellows, following a three month Australia Award Fellowship finishing on 27th October 2013. Through the support of the Australian Government's aid program the Office for Global Health at the University of Sydney coordinated an intensive health leadership training program that aimed to build capacity in the health care system of Timor Leste. Each Fellowship plan was individualised to suit the specific learning goals and expertise of the Fellow and their home organisation, (eg the Ministry of Health's Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares (HGNV)).
Emphasis was placed on exposing Fellows, via various means such as practical placements and training courses, to methods, theories, techniques and approaches that they can implement, as well as use to train and lead others, when they return to Timor Leste. The individual plans, coordinated by Ms Trudy Fernan, included not only placements and courses, but also a "Project for Change" to be implemented in their organisations back home. The fellows were placed with a range of organisations whilst in Australia, including the Royal North Shore hospital, Royal Prince Alfred hospital, Canterbury hospital, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Centre for Clinical Excellence and the Australian Red Cross Blood Bank, to name a few. Fellows were provided with networking opportunities such as attendance at conferences (2013 Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference in Darwin and the "Short Course in Critical Infection" in Sydney).
This is the third cohort of health leaders that the University of Sydney has facilitated from Timor Leste, funded by the Australian Government’s aid program. The inaugural cohort of six (6) Timorese Fellows completed the program in 2009 and in 2011, the second cohort of ten (10) Timorese Fellows participated.
The University of Sydney is pleased to continue collaborating on health related projects with Timor Leste and has recently established a charitable fund (Fundu Isin-Di'ak) within the Sydney Medical School, to support projects undertaken by University staff to improve health and the quality of health services provided to the people of Timor-Leste. The Governor, Her Excellency Prof Marie Bashir, is the Patron with scholarships for both inbound and outbound students.
Professor Merrilyn Walton, Dr Grant Hill-Cawthorne and Ms Danielle Somers will return to Timor Leste in early 2014 to touch base with the fellows and will continue to provide support and mentoring as requested.
Strengthening ties with Fiji
On the 1st October 2013, the University of Sydney signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fiji National University (FNU) to encourage and promote academic cooperation and exchange between the two institutions.
The MoU is intended to facilitate education and training activities, such as staff and student exchange and joint research. The key challenges and needs of Fiji National University were highlighted by the Dean, Professor Ian Rouse at a one day roundtable with his key staff from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
Professor Iqbal Ramzan, who chairs a University-wide regional expert group, focused on the Pacific, identified several areas of collaboration during discussions, including a focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through research capacity building, mentoring FNU staff and assisting with curriculum development.
The delegation from the University of Sydney included representation from the Sydney Medical School (Dr Kirsten Black, Joint Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Ms Danielle Somers, Director, Office for Global Health; Dr Adrian Sheen, Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of General Practice, Nepean Clinical School; Dr Birendra Singh, Medical Educator for stage III (years 3 and 4), Nepean Clinical School), the Faculty of Pharmacy (Dean, Professor Iqbal Ramzan), and the Faculty of Dentistry (Dean, Professor Chris Peck).
Leading medical universities from Australia, New Zealand and China get together in Sydney
Deans and their representatives from leading medical universities from China, Australia and New Zealand gathered together at the University of Sydney on 23 and 24 September to discuss opportunities for collaboration in medical education and research.
This is an inaugural meeting fostered by the vision of Professor Bruce Robinson, following a trip to China in 2012. "Individual Australian universities and Chinese universities already have various forms of collaboration, the synergy could be enormous if GO8, C9 universities and the University of Auckland all work together. We have the power to greatly impact medical education and research by joining forces together" said Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Sydney Medical School, who hosted this inaugural meeting.
Topics discussed included Medical Education in Australia (both undergraduates and postgraduates), Primary Health Care in Australian and China, Communicable Diseases, Non Communicable Diseases, Neurosciences and mental Health, Cancer Genetics and Genomics.
Professor John Horvath AO gave an overall perspective of "The Health of Australia", followed by a presentation by Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO of NHMRC, who provided a summary of Australian Health and Medical Research. These key presentations set the scene of the discussions and further presentations from eminent Australian and Chinese researchers.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the slideshow.
View the presentations.
- Ms Jane Liang, Director, China Engagement and Web Management, G08
- Professor John Horvath
- Professor Warwick Anderson, NHMRC
- Professor Alastair Burt (University of Adelaide)
- Professor Amanda Barnard (ANU)
- Professor Sharon Lewin (Monash University and Burnet Institute)
- Professor Fabienne Mackay (Monash University)
- Professor Susan Prescott (UWA)
- Professor Ian Reid (University of Auckland)
- Professor Denis Wakefield (UNSW)
- Dr Liping Duan – Peking University Health Science Centre
- Professor Tianhua Zhou (Zhejiang University School of Medicine)
- Professor John McGrath (Queensland University)
- Professor Graham Mann (University of Sydney)
- Xia Jinglin, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University
Timor Leste Health Leaders Program 2013
Sydney Medical School is currently running an Australia Awards Fellowships funded by the Australian Government's aid program, titled "Timor Leste Health Leaders Program – Developing Timorese health leaders" from 1 August to 25 October 2013.
The program follows the format of previous successful Fellowships run in 2009 and 2011, with a focus on developing individual programs specifically tailored to each Fellow to best meet their goals and career development.
The fourteen Fellows in the 2013 cohort attended a seminar event on 31st August at Sydney University organised by the East Timorese Student Organisation NSW (ETSA - NSW) held to commemorate the 14th anniversary of referendum in Timor Leste. The presenters addressed the role of the youth in the national development of Timor Leste.
Lymphatic filariasis elimination program for Timor Leste
The Timor-Leste Minister of Health, Dr Sergio Lobo, recently approved the implementation of the "A Plan for an Integrated Neglected Tropical Disease Control Program in Timor Leste, 2014-2020", for national roll out in 2014.
Lymphatic filariasis is considered as one of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and is endemic in Timor-Leste. It is a disease borne by mosquitoes and is caused by one of three worms. It is considered as "neglected" because the disease has not been given sufficient priority as a global health issue and control programs remain stagnant. Lymphatic filariasis is a disease of poverty and is one of several debilitating and disfiguring diseases that include leprosy and yaws. It is the second leading cause of disability globally, is highly disfiguring and can affect the productivity and the economic and social welfare of sufferers. The mass administration of antifilarial agents is the recommended strategy for global elimination of Lymphatic filariasis. An Integrated elimination program will make a significant contribution toward the health and welfare of the Timorese population.
The decision to commence the National Integrated NTD Control Program was supported by evidence obtained from a national NTD prevalence study undertaken by Timorese medical scientists in 2012 with capacity building and technical support provided by the University of Sydney.
It is expected that the National Plan for Integrated NTD Control will provide strategic direction toward achieving goal of Lymphatic filariasis elimination as a public health concern in Timor-Leste by 2020 and for soil transmitted helminth control and yaws elimination to be achieved by 2016.
Professor Peter McMinn, a contributing technical advisor to this plan, will attend a Donor’s Meeting in Dili on 17th October 2013 where the funds required for each year of the program will be discussed. Professor McMinn is the chairperson of Fundu Isin Diak, which was established in 2011 to improve the health of the people of Timor-Leste, through the education and training of Timorese health professionals and to assist the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health (MOH) to implement large-scale public health programs.
New perspectives through studying medicine in English
English has been called the global language of the twenty-first century, used by more than two-thirds of the world’s scientists. To cater to the growing demand for specialised medical courses in English, Sydney Medical School has hosted 28 students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) for an intensive eight-week program from July to September 2013.
The SJTUSM undergraduate medical students worked on polishing their English and learning histology, pathology, pharmacology as well as professionalism and ethics.
With a focus on helping Chinese students connect with locals, the eight-week program also incorporated visits to the Concord Clinical School and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.
Fuwei Shang, an 18-year-old medical student originally from Kunming, says: "It has been inspiring working with my pathology lecturers at the University, including Professor Nick King."
"The style of teaching and learning here has encouraged me to engage more deeply with different problems in medicine by thinking critically and studying independently," he says.
For many students, the program offered an opportunity to travel abroad for the first time.
Sun Le, a 19-year-old student, says: “It has been such an interesting experience being immersed in a different culture and seeing how my peers from a different university and different backgrounds study."
She says: "The most important lesson that I’m taking home to China is the importance of self-initiative in finding answers to questions that I’ve encountered in medicine."
As part of a buddy system, the study program pairs Shanghai students with local University of Sydney student peers. Jason Ma, a Sydney science student who partnered with Sun Le, says: "Taking part in this buddy system opened my eyes to a part of the world that I don’t normally see. I hope to keep the friendships that I’ve made over the past few weeks for the rest of my life."
For more information contact Senice So.
Click on the thumbnails below to launch the slideshow.
Medical symposium strengthens relationship between Australia and China
The University continues to grow its relationship with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) at the 6th Sino-Australian Symposium.
An annual event organised by the medical schools of both universities, the symposium was held on August 12 to explore the theme of Translational Research Centres.
It attracted more than 70 people including Chinese and Australian experts who discussed key translational processes and technologies such as bioinformatics, clinical trials and tissue banks, as well as the overarching challenges in making such centres work.
Our own translational cancer research centres and the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre were a special focus, since the symposium had been motivated by the exciting new 300-bed national translational medicine centre under development at SJTUSM, the first state-level infrastructure of its kind.
Since 2008, the University of Sydney and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have held an annual symposium as a platform for researchers to exchange scientific information and link with each other.
Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Sydney Medical School, says: "I hope the symposium will enable researchers from our two universities to create new and meaningful collaborations. Together, we can improve the health and well-being of people both in China and Australia."
Over the years, the relationship between both universities has evolved to include joint research initiatives in areas such as cancer, staff exchange in various disciplines and joint supervision of PhD students.
Addressing healthcare needs on Buka Island, Papua New Guinea
On 24th June, Professor Merrilyn Walton (Associate Dean International) and Dr Kirsten Black (Obstetrician/Gynaecologist) visited Malassang 3, a cocoa farming village on Buka Island, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, on invitation from the local village cooperative.
Professor Walton and Dr Black met with the chair of the cocoa farming village cooperative, Mr Cornelius Nohu and around 70 community members, who expressed their concerns about access to health care.
The top health priorities identified by the men were diarrhoea, malaria, pneumonia, skin infections (fungus, other) and the women nominated cervical cancer, safe childbirth and family planning as the priorities.
The Buka Region has 10 cooperative cocoa and coconut farmers living in the region and 6 health centres/clinics in addition to Buka Hospital (AusAID funded).
The Sydney Medical School (SMS) at the University of Sydney in conjunction with colleagues from agriculture are preparing a grant being developed in collaboration with the community and health service providers in the region. Our goal is to improve access to health care by raising awareness of the importance of seeking health care as well as providing education and training to the health workers at the clinics and Buka Hospital. Our focus on prevention (infections and maternal and child health) early symptom recognition and capacity building.
- The Bougainville Plan for Health 2012-2030
- Autonomous Region of Bougainville Health Capacity Diagnostic Report: March 2012 (Papua New Guinea National Department of Health & AusAID
9th World Congress of the International Health Economics Association delegates visit Sydney
The University of Sydney welcomed the top Heath Economists to the 9th World Congress of the International Health Economics Association, 7-10 July 2013.
Many overseas university attendees took the opportunity to visit the Sydney School of Public Health. Peking University School of Public Health and Fudan University School of Public Health are amongst the top universities in the area of Health Economics and Health Management. Both universities met with our leading health experts separately.
Dean Professor Chen Wen and Associate Dean International Professor Chen Yingyao spent a morning at the Sydney School of Public Health to consolidate areas of collaboration.
Improving quality of and access to health services for rural and low-income farming households in Sulawesi, Indonesia
Sustainable development is achieved by long term, broad-spectrum interventions that include consideration of the community; its health, the environment and its economic influences. Global health initiatives often fail to sustain impact due to vertical programming. Health and wellbeing in rural communities is intimately tied to their livelihood status. The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Agriculture has been working with cocoa farming communities in Sulawesi to improve farming methods, leading to higher productivity and increased incomes. These farming communities have expressed a need for a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to improve health literacy at a societal level.
Professor Walton and Dr Hill-Cawthorne of the Marie Bashir Institute travelled to Polewali Mandar in July 2013 and talked with cocoa farming communities to find out about their main healthcare concerns. Common symptoms included upper and lower respiratory tract infections in adults and fevers in children. Often the villagers would use traditional medicines to treat fevers in the first instance and seek healthcare only when there were signs of severe fever such as dehydration and a reduced conscious level.
The healthcare needs of the villages are served by small free-at-the-point-of-use primary care clinics together with larger primary care centres. Basic diagnostic blood tests are available, together with a sputum smear test for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. However no cultures are performed for any infectious diseases and patients are treated with empirical antibiotics for the majority of symptoms.
A particular concern for many villagers was a lack of antenatal services and of women’s health services. Pregnant women were reviewed to assess for the potential of a complicated labour but no other education was given nor screening tests performed. The level of training was a significant issue for many rural healthcare providers with staff being either quite junior or having not had updated skills training for a number of years.
We will now be conducting pilot research into the effects of providing information about prevention, immunisation, early symptom recognition, hygiene, animal housing and sanitation. We will select and train appropriate female leaders from the community as “Good Health Advocates” and then measure whether their new role increases the number of visits to maternity clinics, use of skilled birth attendants, immunisation uptake, appropriately early healthcare seeking behaviour and overall improvements in health across a range of measures. We will also gather baseline information on cases of fever and diarrhoea and start training for early presentation of sick children to health care. The outcomes of this pilot research will be to jointly gain a better understanding of the environmental and economic impacts, on predicting human behaviours and likely health outcomes in a remote farming community in Sulawesi, Indonesia.