Strategic partnership project with multiple beneficiaries under the ERASMUS+ programme

Projekt: Uppdragsforskning

Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Medicin och hälsovetenskap

Beskrivning

Making Internationalisation a Reality for Occupational Therapy students (MIROTS) – EU funded Project.
The MIROTS project aimed to:
1. Bring together the expertise of three different universities to explore and offer innovative ways of meeting the educational needs of occupational therapists. To evaluate these outcomes to demonstrate how working with ‘real’ projects in a contextualised manner which engages students differently to develop their understanding.
2. Use the international community to strengthen and deepen professional identity to encourage students to work confidently with their occupationally focused approach. This unique approach aims to bring about transformational change to small and isolated groups in society.
3. Further develop an intercultural skilled workforce who can support the increasingly diverse populations of all partner countries to meet the needs of global health concerns.
4. Develop a future workforce that has the confidence and skills to work within the European and global work market to address global health and societal issues.

The objectives of the project have been and continue to be realised through 4 activities:

1. Physical exchange learning weeks (2016/17/18 hosted by one partner organisation each year).
Students have participated in a programme of education, practice and research based activities with community partners, focusing on how occupational therapists might support socially isolated groups in society to improve their health and wellbeing. Students and staff have worked in mixed groups to develop their professional knowledge, skills, professional identity, and language and cultural competencies.
2. Development of web-exchange and digital technologies to internationalise the classroom (2016/17/18 hosted in each of the home countries).
Over a 10-week period mixed groups of students from each University have formed a web-exchange group. They have established informal relationships with one another learning about their educational programmes, healthcare and other sector systems. Each country has drawn on authentic project work with community partners which has considered the occupational needs of particular individuals, groups and communities. Over the web-exchange they have discussed and debated the similarities and differences in OT practice and considered how occupational issues might be solved differently.
3. Staff exchange.
The project has developed a clear and coherent scoping of staff working within the participating institutions to identify where staff may contribute to one another’s curriculum, offering research expertise, new knowledge and innovative educational approaches.
4. Extension of web-exchange partners.
During the 3-year project the original three participating institutions will share links with existing partners and develop further partners (an additional three international Universities) to expose the students to greater diversity, intercultural aspects and worldwide occupationally focussed solutions.

Both the physical exchange and the web-exchange have seen Occupational Therapy students working in partnership with charitable, not-for-profit or voluntary organisations to develop and design occupational solutions to real life challenges for people. These organisations serve vulnerable groups of people who may experience social exclusion as a result of disability, stereotyping, poor understanding of diversity or an inability to articulate their needs. Through the project work students developed an understanding of the needs of these groups and demonstrated a commitment as health professionals to addressing their needs. The students also interacted fully with their local communities offering skills, new perspectives on how these issues could be addressed and encouraged the students and staff, in their professional roles, to consider their civic responsibilities to their communities.
These new and innovative methods and approaches to learning (e.g. project work and the internationalisation of the classroom through web-exchange) were driven by the need to develop learners who are independent, intrinsically motivated thinkers with a capacity for reflective and critical analysis of their own and other professionals’ practice. The provision of experiential learning opportunities through project work has promoted the acquisition of knowledge and skills in a contextual, integrated manner. The learning approaches have aimed to develop future health practitioners who have:
- an appreciation of ethical and responsible practices in a challenging multicultural context
- an awareness of social, civic and environmental responsibilities in care
- an appreciation of the value of diversity and its relationship to innovation, quality and mutual respect.
The next phase of the MIROTS project now seeks to recruit three additional university partners. Starting in 2019, UoS, LU and NUIG will each be paired with one new university for a web-exchange running from January to March. This aims to:
- expand the innovative approaches to the internationalisation of the classroom that the project has already developed
- extend traditional Erasmus exchange arrangements and make the internationalization of the curriculum a reality for all occupational therapy students, impacting positively on the development of intercultural skills to address the increasing diversity of the participating countries.
- provide students with a truly international perspective on how an occupationally focused approach might add value in addressing global health concerns and societal reorganisation
- provide students with an international opportunity to strengthen their professional identity
The outcomes of this project are of upmost importance if we are to develop individuals who can work outside of traditional areas of practice using an occupationally focused approach to detect and bring about transformational change to small and isolated groups in society, whilst demonstrating a commitment to civic and global responsibilities.

Populärvetenskaplig beskrivning

The outcomes of the MIROTS project are of upmost importance if we are to develop individuals who can work outside of traditional areas of practice using an occupationally focused approach to detect and bring about transformational change to small and isolated groups in society, whilst demonstrating a commitment to civic and global responsibilities.
Kort titelMIROTS
StatusEj startat

Samarbetspartner

  • Lunds universitet (ansvarig)
  • University of Southampton
  • National University of Ireland Galway

Participants