The University of Bath is pleased to have signed an agreement with Western University in Canada. The agreement is made between the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bath and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Working relationships between Bath’s Department of Health, the Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy and Western’s School of Health Studies have already begun and the School of Kinesiology at Western is also keen to participate.

The focus of these collaborations is how the pandemic has highlighted profound weaknesses in health care and healthcare management across the world while issues of capacity, sustainability, and equity have become more prevalent than ever before. Health care professionals have had to manage complex and rapidly evolving and potentially devastating threats and challenges to health care provision, while sustaining business as usual functionality. COVID-19 has also highlighted the necessity for countries to work together to find solutions to these problems.

Dr Fiona Gillison, Head of the Department for Health at Bath:

We are very excited to be starting off a new relationship with Western University, Canada, which we hope will lead to an increasing series of student and staff exchanges to exchange ideas and provide a more international perspective in research and teaching related to health, including health and social care, health promotion and prevention and sport & exercise science. Our aspiration is for this partnership to enhance our ability to tackle some of the key global health challenges of our time. We are kick-starting the process with student exchanges, for students to receive shared supervision from both institutions at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, before hosting some virtual seminars to introduce researchers to one another ahead of establishing some in-person research visits later on. We hope the relationship will spread across departments in both institutions, and lead to some fruitful cultural exchanges to enhance both our teaching and research.

Dr Rachel Forrester-Jones, Professor and Director of the School of Health Studies at Western:

I am delighted with this new MoU between our respective Faculties and Schools. It marks a first step in trying to share knowledge about health and wellbeing through both research and teaching. By leveraging our assets working together and learning from each other, Bath and Western professors, researchers and students will equip health care providers and professionals with the skills they need in such challenging times.

The first joint event Health Equity Issues - soundbites from across the world will be hosted by Bath’s Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy (CASP) and the Middle East and North Africa Social Policy Network (MENASP Network) and Western’s School of Health Studies. Academics from around the globe will talk for 3 minutes each about the major health equity issues affecting their respective countries. We will finish by suggesting common research topics for the future. This event will take place on 1 February 2022 at 1pm (GMT).

Western University ranks as one of Canada’s top research universities, being a member of the U15 Group of Canadian research-intensive universities. From fundamental to applied knowledge, Western discoveries benefit economic, social, health and cultural development in Canada and around the world. Western is home to world-renowned research centres such as the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, the Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment Research Institute, the Brain and Mind Institute, Robarts Research Institute, the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research, and the Bone and Joint Institute. Based in London, Ontario, Western has one of Canada’s most beautiful campuses.