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Department of Clinical Dentistry

Establishment of Joint Research-Based Education in Dentistry in Norway and East Africa

Department of Clinical Dentistry together with partners from five universities in East Africa has started a new international project aimed at developing new educational acitivities with a focus on global oral health.

All project partners
Representatives from all the collaborative institutions at the project planning workshop in Sudan.
Photo:
Anne Nordrehaug Åstrøm

Department of Clinical Dentistry at the University of Bergen has launched a new international project together with five partner institutions in East Africa. The project “Establishment of Joint Research-based Education in Dentistry in Norway and East Africa” is financed by the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU) in the framework of NORPART programme and will be implemented in the period of the next five years. The general aim of the project is to develop and establish a standardized educational platform for the global oral health at the University of Bergen and partner institutions.

Background

Today there is a lack of a global oral health perspective in the dental curriculum both at the UiB and collaborative institutions in East Africa. In order to target oral health problems in a highly globalized world, with increasing migration, there is an urge for dental training institutions to introduce courses in global oral health both in pre-doctoral and doctoral curricula. The project adresses this issue from a global perspective as collaborators from five different countries are invovled in project implementation. 

Partnership

UiB partner institutions for this project are - University of Khartoum (Sudan), University of Science and Technology (Sudan), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania), Makerere University (Uganda) and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia).
All the partners have a long-standing academic collaboration in oral science from before, including student and staff exchange. The plan is to expand this collaboration in education and research through development of joined educational activities as well as  enhanced staff and student mobility. 

Activities


The project entails development and implementation of several educational courses, as well as other collaborative activities:

Course “Global Oral Health”

The project will develop joined standardized guidelines for education and training in global oral health. After identifying the needs for educational training, a harmonized curriculum for course “Global Oral Health” will be developed. Some of the topics that the course will cover are - primary oral health strategies, global burden of oral diseases, oral health care systems globally, dental ethics, globalization process and cultural competence in addressing international oral health issues. The course will be integrated in the teaching curriculum at the UiB and collaborating institutions, providing students with a new knowledge and competence in global oral health.
This course will also be developed as an online course with scientific contribution from all collaborating institutions.

Winter School in Research Methodology

Winter School in Research Methodology will provide students with tools and knowledge for understanding and conducting their own research projects within oral health topics. The Winter School will cover various research methods, including different types of studies and methods of data collection, and will have a particular focus on analytic methods, preparations, and presentation of statistical analyses of data. The first Winter School will take place in 2022 and will target both dental undergraduate students, MSc. and PhD students. 

 

Student and Staff Mobility

In order to strengthen internationalization at the educational institutions and to ensure development and sustainability of collaboration between the UiB and other partners, the project will provide opportunities for student and staff mobility.  

The project offers 15 scholarships to students (10 Master and 5 PhD students) from partner institutions in East Africa. Scholarship covers one-semester stay at the UiB for Master students and two-semester stay for PhD students.

The project also provides exchange scholarships to 5 UiB students (Master and PhD) that cover a shorter period of stay at one of the partner institutions in East Africa.

Staff mobility will take place through their involvement in teaching and supervision activities within the project framework. 

Student Research Projects

Joint research projects through MSc and PhD programs will be developed based upon a pool of mirror student projects. These projects will ensure knowledge transfer, as well as quality and standardization of research that addresses global oral health problems. The students will be trained in necessary technologies enabling them to be experts in areas such as community dentistry, experimental and clinical dentistry and oral pathology. Some projects will target age specific problems (ECC in children), special need groups (elderly, socially disadvantaged) and public oral health problems (oral cancer, HIV ). 

 

Through the various activities the project aims to increase awareness, knowledge and competence on global oral health issues. The project is designed to provide an individualized training in global oral health issues and oral health research methodology. By developing a digital educational platforms on topics and research methodology related to global oral health, the project will provide a sustainable and long-lasting platform for joined research-based education in dentistry both in Norway and East Africa.