Building a bridge through Sharjah dental link
The recent visit to the University of Adelaide by the Ruler of Sharjah and Supreme President of the University of Sharjah, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, has further cemented links between the two institutions.
Earlier this year, the University of Adelaide entered into a contract valued at more than $6 million with the University of Sharjah to provide the Bachelor of Dental Surgery curriculum, the intellectual property and associated expertise to Sharjah's new College of Dentistry.
Associate Professor Viv Burgess, who is Director of the School's dedicated Sharjah project team, said the contract represents a very important milestone for the School.
"We are honoured that the University of Sharjah has chosen us to help them with their dentistry program," he said. "It further underlines that our teaching and learning facilities are world-class and highly regarded.
"It's important to realise that we're not setting up a dental school, as they've established their College of Dentistry on their own.
"What we have done is sign a contract selling them the curriculum from our Bachelor of Dental Surgery and giving them assistance with its implementation, as well as recruitment and development of staff and the development of facilities."
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby, said there would be additional support to establish an on-site clinical training facility of 48 simulators and 12 dental chairs - scheduled for opening in February next year - and a 120-chair dental hospital on the Sharjah campus in September 2007.
He said the Online Education team within Adelaide's Centre for Learning and Professional Development had played a pivotal role in helping the project meet its contractual obligations.
"They are providing various types of support for the Dental School, including online curriculum design and integration of materials into Sharjah's learning management system," Professor Beilby said. "They are also producing various multimedia resources, including videos and audio-narrated lectures and tutorials.
"CLPD has also made available its virtual classroom facilities to allow for live tutorials between Adelaide lecturers and Sharjah students. It provides the technical support to the project for its range of IT activities."
Story by Ben Osborne