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A Biomedical Benchmark

29 October 2009

The School of Biomedical Sciences has established a new team to strategically build on the strengths of biomedical education and teaching.

The Biomedical Education Advancement Unit (BEAU) was officially launched earlier this month by Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington.

The new unit will assist teaching staff to enhance the learning experience of students so that they are better prepared for careers in biomedical sciences and other areas.

Director of Education for BEAU, Professor Phillip Nagley said the unit is responding to developments in educational technologies and biomedical research advances in recent years.

"Our educational and teaching standards are ranked among the best in the world. We need to not only maintain this level of excellence, but build on this success as we move toward a new decade," Professor Nagley said.

"We need to focus our energies on collaborative teaching to ensure student preparedness for the workforce – to provide students with the latest in technological and research information and provide them with the opportunities for a well-rounded education. This group will combine the expertise across disciplines to fulfil this challenge.

"Biomedical science, by its very nature, is broad and requires good communication between the various disciplines. BEAU will make it easier for educators to liaise and develop ideas," Professor Nagley said.

The launch of BEAU was timed to coincide with a visit by one of the world’s leading educators in biomedical sciences, Professor Ian Hughes [pictured]. Professor Hughes, a Senior Fellow of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds, spent a week working with biomedical sciences staff, hosted by the BEAU team.

"Ian was very encouraged by the initiative, as we are. BEAU is a framework that will provide a firm foundation for making Monash the top university for biomedical education in Australia," Professor Nagley said.

Deputy Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Professor Louise McCall said BEAU is one of several projects in the faculty designed to strengthen teaching in focussed areas.

"Our profile in the world rankings demonstrates that our research strategies are yielding important recognition internationally. Teaching underpins healthcare, bioscience practice and research, and creates the foundation for any intellectual powerhouse," Professor McCall said.

Monash was ranked 25th in the world for Life Sciences and Biomedicine by the recent Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings, rising five places from its 2008 ranking in the prestigious list. Monash is also the youngest university in the list.

School of Biomedical Sciences
Professor Ian Hughes

Professor Ian Hughes