By Paul Ratcliffe
On 10 September, Singapore’s High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Thambynathan Jasudasen, joined guests from across Imperial College London to mark the opening of LKCMedicine at a celebratory event.
I had the privilege of being one of the event’s speakers, having been invited to give our perspective on the project. I outlined the role of the London Office in managing and coordinating Imperial’s responsibilities in relation to the development of the School, while LKCMedicine Vice Dean (Education) Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer spoke about some of the highlights of the innovative new curriculum. Fifth-year Imperial medical student Claire Vassie also gave her perspective on the project, having been involved in giving a students’-eye view and feedback on the new curriculum.
Some of the London Office Team - Left to right: Chris Cook (Project Management Assistant); Dr Senita Mountjoy (Clinical Education Fellow); Dr Jaita Mukherjee (Clinical Education Fellow); Catherine Robinson (Project Officer, Curriculum); Paul Ratcliffe (Deputy Faculty Education Officer and Singapore Project Manager); Vicky Bullett (Project Support Assistant).
LKCMedicine Senior Vice Dean Professor Jenny Higham shared her overall reflections on the work that has taken place to turn the vision into reality since negotiations on the collaboration began back in 2009, and also thanked staff from across Imperial for their tremendous support. Dean of LKCMedicine Professor Dermot Kelleher closed the formal proceedings by declaring, “Creating the new medical school is a historic moment: for Imperial, for NTU, and for Singapore.”
Imperial’s Head of Learning Resources Dr Mike Barrett and I then had the privilege of accompanying Imperial’s Vice Provost (Education) Professor Debra Humphris and Natalie Kempston, Imperial College Students’ Union’s Deputy President (Education), to Singapore from 23 to 24 September. Professor Humphris has College-level responsibility for education and students at Imperial and due to the nature of the joint degree, has a vested interest to ensure our work in Singapore is of the highest quality.
Dr Mike Barrett and Professor Debra Humphries at LKCMedicine.
After the visit, Professor Humphris said, “It’s been a real pleasure to meet both the students and staff of LKCMedicine. The thought, attention and preparation that have gone into delivering a Team-Based Learning approach are impressive. As a model of learning, it reflects the critical capabilities required by healthcare teams now and in the future. I look forward to watching the progress of the 2013 cohort.”
Student engagement is a top priority at Imperial and it was fantastic to be able to demonstrate how this is echoed at LKCMedicine by introducing Natalie to the MedSoc Representatives and House Representatives at LKCMedicine, cementing links that were forged following the visit by Imperial College School of Medicine Students’ Union President Steve Tran in August. Natalie also got the opportunity to meet the President and Secretary of the NTU Students’ Union.
Back in the London Office, my academic colleagues have been busy reviewing questions devised for December’s mock written examination and for the end of year examination in June. Two Imperial-led delegations will also be visiting Singapore in October and November to participate in examinations and assessments workshops. Meanwhile, the curriculum development continues with the first recordings of the voiceover lectures for Year 2 recently being undertaken.