Sydney University Medical Program in Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to use the curriculum design and course administration expertise of the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine to deliver medical education. In a new agreement with the National Guard Health Affairs (NGHA), the Faculty of Medicine will assist the King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in developing their medical education program.
The agreement was struck following a visit conducted by Dr. Bandar Al Knawy, Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Youssef Eissa, Dean, College of Medicine, Dr. Essam Banyan, Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs, and Dr. Ali Hajeer, Chairman, Basic Medical Sciences in November 2004.
The NGHA is a large health organization providing modern medical care to National Guard employees and their dependents, as well as to Saudi Arabian nationals. Under the umbrella of NGHA, there are four hospitals and sixty primary and secondary health centers around the Kingdom.
The 5-year agreement is comprehensive covering the full spectrum of program delivery. The Faculty of Medicine will be licensing the entire University of Sydney Medical Program to the NGHA, providing assistance with curriculum development, program evaluation and staff training, and with resource establishment and student management systems.
Critically, the University of Sydney Medical Program team "will be working closely with their Saudi Arabian counterparts to customize the University of Sydney curriculum to ensure that it meets both the health and cultural specificity of the Saudi Arabian environment", said Dr Vera Terry, Educational Business Development Manager for the University of Sydney Medical Program.
"What we are looking for here is a real partnership", said Professor Andrew Coats, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. "We have much to learn about the special needs of medical delivery in different environments, we are hoping that this arrangement with such a prestigious Saudi Arabian organization will develop into educational exchanges, thus providing a much richer learning and teaching environment for not only the Saudi Arabian students and lecturers but also ours."
"This is a real testament to the quality of our medical program, the sophistication of our curriculum and the flexibility of our approach. The University of Sydney Medical Program is becoming the program of choice for institutions developing their medical curriculum. The University of Sydney Medical Program has been licensed to universities in the UK, South Africa and other universities throughout Australia. We can truly be said to be playing a major role in medical education throughout the world not just throughout NSW", said Professor Coats.