Making a difference in East Timor
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Bruce Robinson, Timor Leste’s Ambassador to Australia, HE Mr Hernani Coelho and Professor John Hearn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International
23 March 2007
The University of Sydney is making a tangible contribution to assist the health of people in East Timor.
Medical students in East Timor are to benefit from scholarships allowing them to join the prestigious graduate medical program at the University of Sydney.
In an agreement signed today, the University of Sydney will provide scholarships to cover all fees, living expenses and other costs for up to five years for students from Timor Leste.
The initiative came from Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Medicine who said: "As the major provider of health and medical education and training in Australia, the University of Sydney is committed to assisting with health care education and delivery in our region, especially in one of its poorest nations".
"Training doctors is a very practical way of helping improve people’s quality of life. Our aim is to eventually train a specialist workforce who have the skills and understanding to lead a first class health care system in Timor Leste".
Professor Robinson said that these scholarships were just the latest initiative from the University of Sydney. A number of the University’s academic staff have been working voluntarily in East Timor for a number of years in areas such as ophthalmology, mental health, sexual health and general practice.
Students will be expected to pass the same selection criteria for entry into the medical program as all other students, but there will be two places allocated for applicants from Timor Leste.
The first students to come to Australia under this new program will start in 2008. The University’s Medical Program is a graduate-entry, four year program. As well as all fees and living costs for two students a year, the University’s Faculty of Medicine will provide extra funds for the purchase of text books and reading materials, as well as extra tutoring if it is required.
The MoU was signed by Timor Leste’s Ambassador to Australia, HE Mr Hernani Coelho, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Bruce Robinson and the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Professor John Hearn.
Media Enquiries: Andrew Potter, 02 9351 4514, 0414 998 521