Nobel cause: Bangladesh and scotland to reap the benefits of team-up

October 1, 2009

Glasgow Caledonian University is establishing a health and social equality research department in Scotland and a centre for nursing in Bangladesh in partnership with Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel laureate.

The economist, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, pioneered the concept of microfinance as founder of the Grameen Bank, which lends small amounts of money to deprived communities in order to address inequalities.

A formal partnership between the university and the Grameen Trust, signed earlier this year, has led to the development of the Grameen Caledonian Creative Lab, based in the university's Institute of Health and Wellbeing.

Its researchers will investigate the social determinants that influence health, such as the environment, education and the economy.

The centre will analyse the impact of social-business developments on the wellbeing of populations, and establish the economic benefits of microfinance in Scotland.

The university has established a Yunus chair in social business and health to lead the venture, which will be filled shortly.

Glasgow Caledonian is also working with Professor Yunus to develop the University College for Nursing and Midwifery in Bangladesh.

There are currently more doctors than trained nurses in the country, which has high levels of mortality in childbirth and infancy.

Pamela Gillies, vice-chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian, said Professor Yunus was keen to work with the university because of its social mission, adding that they had a "shared purpose".

hannah.fearn@tsleducation.com.

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