Professor Desmond Johnston, Vice Dean (Education) – the year in review

 

The last year has been, even by our own ‘full-on’ standards, an extraordinarily packed year for the Faculty of Medicine in terms of educational development, both at home and internationally.

The year started with the Faculty welcoming its inaugural student cohort for the newly launched BSc in Medical Biosciences. Harnessing new technologies to deliver a blended syllabus of online and in-class learning,  the new interdisciplinary course also taps into the wide-ranging research programmes underway across the Faculty.  I congratulate everyone involved in creating and delivering this successful first year of the course.

Whilst innovative delivery has been an important cornerstone in the development of the brand new programme, the Medical Biosciences BSc has by no means had the monopoly on educational invention. Course and module leads from right across the Faculty have been hugely active this year in ensuring innovation and scientific opportunity underpins educational development throughout our existing course portfolio.

Innovation and progress

The College’s Learning and Teaching strategy has set a clear path for Imperial educational delivery, and we have seen the start of developments towards providing innovative teaching spaces which will support the utilisation of new pedagogical methods. Over the last several months, work has progressed on the establishment of major review programmes for the curricula of both our undergraduate MBBS/BSc and the postgraduate taught portfolio.  This is a really key and exciting time for educational opportunity in this Faculty, and it is one which holds important possibilities for engagement and skills development for all staff.

You can read more about the work underway for the undergraduate medicine curriculum review, and how you can be part of this key process, on Jo Harris’s recent FoM Staff blog piece.  We want to keep all Faculty staff updated on this important evolving process for both undergraduate and postgraduate provision right through next year so please watch out for further updates and do get in touch for further info.

Alongside our review processes, I’ve also been excited to watch opportunity grow for widening the reach of our education and expertise beyond our London campuses with the exploration and initiation of global online learning opportunities. Developments such as work within the School of Public Health to develop a ‘Global Master of Public Health’ create both exciting new formats for our educational provision and outstanding routes to achieving academic impact and spreading the benefits of our work.

Celebrating achievement

I would not want to let this review go by without noting the extraordinary hard work and many individual achievements that have contributed to the developments outlined above, as well as the quality and dedication that shows itself day-to-day in delivering our courses.  I would like to congratulate those who are recognised through the President’s awards for Excellence in Education and through our own School of Medicine Teaching awards.

Lastly, as I sign-off from writing this review, I cannot fail to mention that I am writing this not from my office, but sitting in Singapore awaiting the start of an event which truly demonstrates how much the innovation, dedication and talent to be found in our Faculty can achieve – the first graduation ceremony for our inaugural student cohort at LKCMedicine. A truly exceptional effort from two partner universities, from LKCMedicine school staff and, it goes without saying, from the students themselves has brought us to this very proud moment.

My thanks to all who have been part of this extraordinary year of opportunity for medicine education at Imperial.

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