Minister of Health the Honourable David Clark launched the Faculty at an event at the University’s Kelburn campus last night, attended by staff and students and health sector leaders.
Provost Professor Wendy Larner says although the Faculty is a new initiative, academics from across the University have long been involved in health research and teaching, “from researching new drugs and treatments, to thinking about how to promote healthy lifestyles in our schools, to writing about the sort of laws, regulations and public policies that might be needed to improve New Zealanders’ health”.
Professor Larner says Victoria’s health faculty is distinct from those in other universities in that it is inter-disciplinary, working closely with the Faculties of Commerce, Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences.
“That makes it really exciting. Health is not dependent on any one discipline or specialty, but instead depends on a wide range of social, cultural, environmental and physiological factors. To see academics from across the University come together to build this new Faculty bodes very well for its success and the success of its graduates.”
The inaugural Dean of the Faculty, Professor Gregor Coster, is confident the Faculty will make a major contribution to New Zealand’s health system.
“New Zealand has serious challenges, including a mental health crisis and the pressures of an aging population on finite health resources. Our courses in areas such as health psychology, health policy and service delivery, health promotion, health informatics, and health software development will produce graduates who will go out into the health sector and make a difference.”
The Faculty consists of the School of Health—which this year launched a new Bachelor of Health degree—the Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, the Health Services Research Centre, and the Centre for Women’s Health Research.