I first attended the U21 HSG meeting in China in 2014, the year in which the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), took the membership. During that meeting I joined the International Managers group, and have been active within this group since that time and have stemmed life changing experiences. Participating in the U21 HSG has given me enormous international exposure which has yielded positive results in terms of establishing personal, Department and Faculty associations. As the UJ FHS, we have fully embraced the U21 HSG activities and we have experienced significant positive spin offs. We are pleased that in 2017 we will be hosting the U21 HSG Annual Meeting, which promises to be a ‘not to be missed’ event.
— Sibusiso Mdletshe, Head, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg

I have been fortunate to be a member of the U21 HSG group since its inception. It has provided wonderful opportunities for me to work with an amazing number of academics and students from different international universities and different health professions. I have recently been part of the Global Learning Partnership, a U21 UN SDG student learning activity, which took place in Nepal in April-May 2016. This was one of the most inspirational experiences I have been involved in based on work done by the UN SDG group of the U21 HSG. The U21 students were exceptional ambassadors for their Universities. This demonstrated to me the strength of the U21 HSG as an inter-professional health science group engaging in discussions and debates regarding health related curricula and research with the aim of enhancing both local and global health outcomes.
— Gillian Webb, Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne

This year, the HSG meeting was held at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. We were very warmly welcomed by our friends and colleagues from the Faculty of Medicine who not only put together an excellent scientific programme but also a wonderful social programme. Engaging with the annual scientific meeting in Santiago, and in many other countries before Chile, has been a truly academically worthwhile experience. The HSG enables interdisciplinary learning, sharing of best practice and multidisciplinary research within a global platform. Delegates attending the Chile meeting inspired our Social Media group with further ideas for international presentation and peer reviewed publication, none of which would be possible without the unique collaboration that U21 provides.
— Jason Last, Associate Dean for Programmes & Educational Innovation, UCD School of Medicine. Jason is the Co-Chair of the U21 HS Social Media for Education in Health project.

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The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and its Faculty of Medicine were very pleased to host the U21 HSG annual meeting in September 2015. Personally, it was a pleasure to collaborate in the organization of this event, allowing me to witness the great commitment, enthusiasm and relationships of members in the HSG. The HSG enables interdisciplinary interaction among different universities and countries, offering the possibility of gaining new perspectives on topics of mutual interest. During the planning of the annual meeting, it became clear to me that this network had built strong and stimulating working teams, creating great opportunities for collaboration among universities, their faculty members and students. Looking ahead, I am very excited about the HSG Summer School to be held next year in Santiago as it presents another great opportunity to work with members of the HSG.
— Marcela Grez, Academic Coordinator & International Affairs, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Universitas 21 provides unparalleled opportunities for interaction at every University level. The highlight of our association with U21 Health Sciences is the longstanding contacts that we have made over the years. The friendship and camaraderie with like-minded teachers and researchers enrich our academic activities. It is the only meeting which is truly interprofessional allowing us to network with colleagues from different Health Science disciplines. Our health science students have benefited from the many different projects that are available. All this activity makes the University of Birmingham proud to be involved with U21.
— Damien Wamsley, Professor of Restorative Dentistry, University of Birmingham

The Faculty of Medicine at PUC has been participating in the U21 HSG for the past 3 years and this has been a very positive experience. There is an atmosphere of cooperation between universities that is very stimulating to share positive experiences and learn information about how each faculty deals with topics of common interest such as curriculum reform, use of social media in health education, training and retention of early career faculty members, etc. We hope that the U21 HS annual meeting in Santiago in September 2015 will be an opportunity to strengthen relationships and share more experiences, in addition to getting to know Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
— Luis Ibañez, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Being part of the U21 HSG is an important part of our University’s wider engagement with the U21 network. Our students have been able to benefit from many of the opportunities offered, such as the U21 HS summer schools. The annual meeting, which I attended for the first time last year, was an excellent opportunity to learn of global developments in health science research and education. As part of the U21 HS Executive Committee, we are continuing to work at initiatives to benefit members – for example, we will soon give details of a teaching award offered to staff from member institutions of the U21 HSG. And by no means least, I have enjoyed making new friends across the network, a refreshing and essential part of University life.
— Tom Evans, Professor, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow

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It was a great privilege for me to attend the U21 HSG meetings in Dublin in 2013 and Shanghai in 2014 as a delegate of Korea University College of Nursing (KUCON). Not only did I enjoy the core meeting, but also the UN MDG workshop, Doctoral Student Forum and discipline meeting. I was impressed that the discussions around issues in global health, education or research were not just desk theory, but rather processes and outcomes of true worries, enthusiasms and collaborative efforts of member universities. In our school, students and faculty members have been participating in many U21 HS initiatives, projects and programs. The value of these tangible outcomes is doubled with intangible outcomes such as extraordinary friendships.
— Jun-Ah Song, Associate Professor, Korea University College of Nursing

The one project I have been most impressed with in my time in the U21 HSG is the UN Millennium Development Goals initiative. The level of student engagement and student leadership in this group has been very impressive and has resulted in some durable and profitable partnerships among U21 member universities. The University of Connecticut is a relatively new member of U21 and finding ways to engage our health-related disciplines in the work of the U21 HSG has been challenging. However, the upcoming Global Learning Partnership with Kathmandu University is creating a healthy buzz among our students and providing opportunities for us to engage the community in U21. We are very excited to be a part of this important work.
— Robert Aseltine, Professor and Community Health Deputy Director, Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut
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I am delighted to have the opportunity to share the invaluable experience of collaborating with the U21 HSG. As an active member since 2005, I have countless fond memories of the group, and many benefits were obtained by our institution, professors and students while participating in projects. We had the chance to expand our horizons, share information, ideas and work in an interdisciplinary and international fashion to generate a local and global impact. We are honored to host the next HSG Summer School in July 2015, and are working hard to make sure this is an unforgettable experience for your students. I look forward to meeting them all in Monterrey!
— Manuel Perez, Undergraduate Medical Program Director, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Tecnológico de Monterrey

I first attended the U21 HSG meeting in 2001 in Vancouver. Although it was a small group at that time, collegial links were established and led to student exchanges, research collaborations, PhD student forums and an international benchmarking project in nursing. Student exchange continues to be fostered in the U21 HSG group. With the assistance of the international managers, the nursing group has set up not only semester long exchange opportunities, but will also offer short-term elective clinical experiences for students which will commence in 2015. Meeting each year with colleagues encourages the progress and refinement in these initiatives.
— Heather Baker, Bachelor of Nursing Director, School of Nursing, The University of Auckland

I attended my first U21 HSG meeting in 2010 at Tec de Monterrey. At that time I was one of the few international managers in attendance. I was struck by the enthusiastic and family atmosphere between senior academics from around the world gathered to discuss and share challenges within the field of health sciences, and to bring ideas to strengthen collaborations between U21 members. I was immediately convinced that this was a very valuable network in many ways, and for me in particular working with internationalization. We are today a strong group of international managers and our primarily goal is to pick up all the great ideas from the annual meetings and help turning them into practice. I look forward to continuing our creative discussions.
— Karin Frydenlund, Head of International Office, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University

My first exposure to the U21 HSG was at the Glasgow meeting in 2003 but it wasn’t until the meeting in Virginia in 2008 that I became fully engaged in the group. The changes in that time have been truly remarkable; whilst the discipline specific needs have been retained, a much stronger interprofessional ethos now exists and this is bearing very positive fruit. The UNMDG project, HSG summer school, and student electives project to name but a few are all demonstrable outcomes that enhance our student’s experience, and support them to become not just competent healthcare professionals but more engaged global citizens.
— Grahame Pope, Head of Division, Physiotherapy Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

I first attended the U21 HSG meeting in 2011 and was struck by the potential of this group to make real change to health sciences in clinical care, education and research. The idea that a group of prestigious universities would devote the time of many of their senior leadership to: developing education strategies around the UNMDGs; fostering the next generation of researchers through the Doctoral Student Forum; student mobility; disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, research and networking, speaks volumes for the strategic potential of U21. Each year I have seen the demonstrable outcomes of the HSG increase incrementally, and the annual meeting provides a fantastic forum to ‘think big’ and beyond one’s own discipline and university. I am honoured to represent nursing in the HSG Executive.
— Fiona Bogossian, Director of Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Queensland

I have known about the U21 HSG for a long time and admired the vision and people I knew to be involved. In 2013, I was offered the opportunity to go to the annual meeting in Dublin and had one of the most enriching conference experiences of my life. I met colleagues committed to priorities I value: equity and justice in health and education; research informed and led change to health education and collaboration that listens to all voices and views. Since joining, I have become involved in two international research projects and worked closely on a truly innovative student-led international, interprofessional global placement program. Joining this group has provided me with rich learning and research opportunities, exposure to wonderful colleagues and a deep sense of excitement that I am collaborating for the greater good.
— Louisa Remedios, Deputy Head, Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne

Global citizenship means a lot to me. As a dentist, while completing my Masters of Education, I became intrigued about differences in dental treatment and training in different parts of the world. Through the International Peer Review Project sponsored by the U21 HSG, I worked with colleagues from the University of Hong Kong, Tec de Monterrey, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Melbourne, and now have an understanding of the high quality of dental education at these universities which adds another facet to my sense of global citizenship. It is my desire to allow our dental students the opportunity to develop a similar facet in their global citizenship.
— Karen Gardner, Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia

I became an active member of the U21 HSG when I was asked to chair the Pharmacy Group. Since then I have enjoyed the collegiality, friendship and enthusiasm of colleagues from pharmacy and the wider HSG group. The highlight was being able to meet so many colleagues at the U21 HSG meeting in my hometown – Auckland. At that meeting a germ of an idea emerged and, a year later, we were thrilled to be able to present our plans for a Summer School in Substance Misuse Studies. The Summer School will have a focus on the issue of substance misuse and its consequences from a public health perspective. I presented the outcome of this innovative project in Shanghai in 2014.
— Janie Sheridan, Research Director and Deputy Head of School, School of Pharmacy, The University of Auckland

I am delighted to talk about the value of the U21 HSG and its future. As an active member of the U21 HSG, Fudan University has witnessed the rapid development of the group. New ideas and guideline initiatives related to the design of workshops, forums and projects spring every year, making the group a wonderful platform for information sharing and international cooperation. It is a great honor for Fudan University to have hosted the U21 HSG annual meeting in 2014.
— Chouwen Zhu, Director, Foreign Affairs Office, Fudan University

The U21 HSG has provided an active forum for UBC to advance key strategies across disciplines in the health sciences. Specifically, the focus on incorporation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals into curriculum, the application of e-Health, and the use of social media in supporting and enabling health professional education have been key examples of the value created within U21. This has included Nursing, Dentistry, Medicine and the Rehabilitation Sciences. The U21 HSG has provided a framework for productive international collaborations and a forum for faculty and students to contribute.
— Gavin Stuart, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia & Chair of the U21 HSG Secretariat

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I am delighted to be the Chair of the U21 Health Sciences United Nations Millennium Development Goal (UNMDG) Group. Using case study pedagogy the group has brought U21 health care students together to discuss their role as health care professionals in achieving the MDGs . The work of the group is an excellent example of the uniqueness of the U21 network. Student feedback has been excellent and the group is now focusing on how it can continue working with the UN by making an effective contribution to the post-2015 MDG agenda.
— Derek Chambers, University of Nottingham, Student Mobility Coordinator, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences and Chair of the U21 UNMDG Strategy Working Group