Plan for virtual medical school explored

October 19, 2001

Scotland's five medical schools are to jointly explore a revolutionary approach to medical training using the latest advances in e-learning and technology.

The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council has given £90,000 towards a feasibility study for an International Virtual Medical School (Ivimeds).

John Sizer, Shefc's chief executive, said: "It is an exciting development for the future of medical education in Scotland."

Ivimeds would pool the teaching expertise in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews universities, with extra support from leading medical schools in the rest of the United Kingdom, North America and Australasia.

The study, led by Dundee University, is backed by national development agency Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Knowledge, which markets home-grown distance learning.

Sir Alan Langlands, Dundee's principal and former chief executive of the National Health Service in England, said it was different from the University of the NHS and was investigating "blended learning", a more flexible undergraduate curriculum. "It's exploring the technology to see if we can come up with high-quality programmes that combine distance learning and face-to-face learning."

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