Proving education has no boundaries or borders
TWO universities have joined forces to provide innovative learning and teaching solutions, as well as better health and education services to people in rural and remote areas.
Based on a mutual interest of new technologies and the positive role of education, USQ and the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) will collaborate to help promote well being and better learning outcomes for rural and remote communities in both countries.
USQ Head of School (Teacher Education and Early Childhood) Professor Stephen Winn welcomed Professor Gerald Maguire, Dr Kendrick Davis and Dr Emma Girard from UC Riverside's School of Medicine to USQ Springfield last week.
During their visit the UC Riverside delegation learnt how USQ utilises virtual telepresence platforms and assistive technology to break down geographical and socio-economical barriers for rural and remote students.
Professor Winn said the collaboration was a great example of how taking a transdisciplinary approach in sharing ideas, resources and research can provide mutually beneficial outcomes.
"This link highlights the similarities between two different countries that have the same needs in supporting rural and remote communities,” Professor Winn said.
"Delivering services in rural and remote communities via what is a 20th century model is not viable so we are looking at the use of assistive technologies and virtual synchronous links to meet the needs of young people and adults in those areas.
"This visit has further cemented our relationship and realised the capacity for us to do joint grant applications in our research, joint applications in how we might model service delivery and a joint process of how we move forward in utilising assistive technology.”
Professor Maguire said he was impressed by USQ's commitment to supporting and enhancing learning opportunities to people in rural towns.
"It shows education has no boundaries and no borders,” Professor Maguire said.
"Given our mutual missions to reach out to the under-served, we're thrilled to be collaborating with USQ and demonstrate what the University is doing on an international level and apply it to our inland southern California region.”
Professor Winn said the next step of the pilot project was to connect a rural school in inland southern California with a school in either Quilpie, Roma or St George.