Sharing best practice

A partnership with a Swiss university will give Victoria an insight into the best approaches to adopt when developing its new Faculty of Health.

Dr Jon Cornwall from Victoria's Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Dr Jon Cornwall

The Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Victoria recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the School of Health Professions at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), the first and only university in Switzerland to offer a Bachelor’s degree programme in Health Promotion. Victoria’s new Bachelor of Health programme proposes to offer a major in Health Promotion, as well as four other new majors.

As well as allowing Victoria to draw on ZHAW’s experience, the agreement creates opportunities for students from the two institutions to work in health-related professions in New Zealand and Switzerland, and for staff and students from the universities to collaborate on research projects.

Dr Jon Cornwall from Victoria’s Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health has visited Zurich to gain a first-hand insight into how ZHAW has implemented its Bachelor of Health Promotion programme.

He says community engagement turned out to be one of the most important and useful things ZHAW did. “They focused on finding out where their graduates would be most needed, and took on board employer input on how to arm the students with the necessary skills to fit those roles,” he says. “We will be undertaking a similar process of engagement in New Zealand with organisations such as district health boards, health agencies or large employers—anyone involved in the area of health promotion.

“It’s a fantastic arrangement—we get ZHAW’s experience and knowledge of what it’s like to have so recently set up a degree in a country where such a qualification hasn’t previously existed.”