The University of Aberdeen’s links with Nepal are being further strengthened following a funding allocation which will benefit education in the landlocked South Asian country.
The British Council has just awarded a DelPHE (Development Partnerships in Higher Education) grant to a collaboration involving the University; the University of Bournemouth; Tribhuvan University - the oldest university in Nepal, and a charity in Kathmandu, The Development Resource Centre.
The new project will address gaps in teaching, learning and research at Nepalese universities.
It also aims to build on capacity of the higher education institutions in accessing and utilising research based information in the medical, nursing and public health fields.
Dr Padam Simkhada, Lecturer in International Health in the Institute of Health Sciences, said: "The University of Aberdeen wants to increase its research involvement in developing countries and Nepal is one of the countries where we are involved in high calibre research and teaching."
Dr Simkhada has two visiting professorships with Nepalese health institutions - one at the Nepal Institute of Health Sciences, Purbanchal University, and the second at Manhohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, also within Purbanchal University.
Professor Edwin van Teijlingen, from the University of Bournemouth, said: "The Universities of Aberdeen and Bournemouth have a long standing commitment to high quality research in Nepal. Over the past years our staff and students we have published jointly on research based in Nepal in many academic journals."
Dr Julie Bruce, from the University of Aberdeen's Epidemiology Group, added: "The project will contribute to sustainable development in Nepalese higher education."
The University of Aberdeen has large number of PhD students conducting research in Nepal.
Postgraduate research by Aberdeen students in Nepal includes studies which have examined:
· indoor pollution in rural Nepal
· the use of sexual health services by sex workers
· maternity care in rural Nepal
· the integration of rebel health services into the health care system
· the changing attitudes towards sex in young people
· access to health services in Nepal for people with HIV
The University of Aberdeen is the 3rd largest university in the UK to have Nepalese students and it is the most popular university among Nepalese student for postgraduate study.
The research in Nepal will be conducted alongside Professor Ram Saran Pathak, from Tribhuvan University, and Bhimsen Devkota from Development Resource Centre