A case study in the globalization of medical education: assisting overseas-born students at the University of Melbourne.

Medical teacher

PubMedID: 15203524

Hawthorne L, Minas IH, Singh B. A case study in the globalization of medical education: assisting overseas-born students at the University of Melbourne. Med Teach. 2004;26(2):150-9.
Over the past decade there has been a remarkable increase in ethnic diversity among Australian medical students. This phenomenon has been driven by two forces: the disproportionate school-level academic success achieved by first-generation migrant and refugee-origin youth, and the rapid globalization of Australia's tertiary education system, in a context where reduced government funding has accelerated the development of 'academic capitalism' (Slaughter & Leslie, 1997 ). This paper briefly examines each trend, prior to exploring select pedagogical implications of these changes for the University of Melbourne, the destination of choice by 2001 for 30% of all international students electing to study medicine in Australia. Two key questions are addressed: (1) What are the potential problems in delivering Western-style medical education to culturally and linguistically disparate groups?; (2) What model of international student support has been developed by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne? The paper suggests the model may have potential relevance for other universities, in the context of the accelerating globalization of medical education.