According to the World Health Organization, vulnerability can be defined as “…the degree to which a population, individual or organization is unable to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impacts of disasters”. A vulnerable condition requires the organized cooperation of every member of a multidisciplinary healthcare team to withstand the effects of a hostile environment.

The U21 HS Summer School was designed in three modules, so students could understand and apply concepts of vulnerability at three different levels: first, analyzing healthcare systems; second, focusing on processes of a specific healthcare organization and finally, at the level of vulnerable patients.


  • Focus on the issue of vulnerability, low budget health care.
  • Students assigned to multiprofessional teams, in which they will work for the duration of the Summer School.
  • Each team will develop an intervention which they will present to a group of experts in the different topics reviewed in the conferences and classes. This will have a percentage in the final grades in order to evaluate the student’s knowledge


15 students from 9 U21 HS institutions attended the 2015 summer school. An overview of the program and events can be reviewed in the following report.

Student Testimonials

I was very fortunate to have been chosen to attend the U21 HS Summer School hosted by Tecnologico De Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico in July 2015. The theme of our Summer School was Vulnerability and Low Budget Health Care. The Dean and his staff as well as Tec students were so friendly and welcoming and made my 2 week stay in Monterrey a memorable one. I can honestly say that this has been an interesting, rewarding and eye opening experience for me. At the time, working in the health field as a student radiographer it was exciting to talk and interact with other students in the field who were from several countries including China, Sweden, America, United Kingdom, New Zealand and of course Mexico. It was insightful to hear the different views and how all the different Health Systems of each country works. Tec lecturers who ran the Summer School really made us think and expand our minds in how we approached certain issues and problem solved. In addition, interacting with the elderly folks at INAPAM really made me aware of the meaning of being classed as a “vulnerable group” and how health care impacts people’s daily lives and what it means if they can’t get access to basic medical services, which is a problem worldwide. I would encourage any student to participate in this wonderful experience, I can promise that it will be unforgettable!
— Liezel Janse van Rensburg, * Diagnostic Student Radiographer, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg. * 2016 working as a Diagnostic Community Service Radiographer, Vryheid District Hospital, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Sean Quay, a 4th year undergraduate student at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham wrote the following blog