What is the U21 Health Sciences Global Learning Partnership?

The U21 Health Sciences Global Learning Partnership project presents the opportunity to develop a cooperative relationship and opportunity for students and academics from the Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group to interact with students and academics from other universities, including an invited university in a developing. The partnership will be founded on the building of a relationship between U21 HSG member universities and an invited partner.

The Model

The GLP model espouses an equal share international partnership between academic institutions. This model and the resulting partnership will create opportunity for U21 HS students and academics to interact with students and academics from other universities, including an invited university. It is felt that face-to-face interaction through global health placements will be an effective means to facilitate and catalyse the development of this ongoing relationship.

It is recognized that the concept of student global placements is not new, particularly with medical and healthcare professionals, and the strengths of these are acknowledged. However the GLP model suggests an extension of the current scope of such placements. One of the key features of the GLP model is to develop ongoing interaction rather than students having an isolated global health experience.


There is currently evidence to support the following principles underpinning the design of this model:

  • Global health experiences result in attitudinal change and increased cultural understanding;
  • Interprofessional education results in effective healthcare clinicians;
  • International partnerships result in capacity building, mutually beneficial educational gain and resource sharing


The vision of the U21 UNSDG initiative is to facilitate the training of health sciences students by developing strategies to be used by academic institutes to increase SDG awareness and skills. The U21 UNMDG student committee proposed the development of a collaborative student project for U21 HS member universities to work with an invited partner university. This approach is seen as enhancing the achievement of the U21 UNSDG initiative's mission to increase awareness and work towards the improvement of the UNSDGs.

This project development process began in 2011, when the U21 UNMDG Student Committee proposed that developing a shared UNMDG project would strengthen the Committee activity, in alignment with the governing U21 UNMDG Working Group mandate to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through education and partnership. The central concept of the project was to focus on capacity building through education, rather than service provision.


Health professional workforce education in the Asia Pacific
Lees, Jessica; Webb, Gillian; Coulston, Frances, Smart, Aidan; Remedios, Louisa. Journal of Public Health Research, 2016, Vol 5, No 1.

A review of the literature to inform the development of a new model of global placement: the Global Learning Partnership
Lees, Jessica; Webb, Gillian. Physical Therapy Reviews, 2017


In the news

Inaugural Universitas 21 Global Learning Partnership initiative in Nepal a success, University of Melbourne, 15 September 2016

GLP programs