A new $1.5 million education and research centre being developed by the University in Invercargill will support the many students and teaching staff at Southland Hospital, enable more local research, and enhance relationships with the community.
The 443 square metre Health Sciences Southland Study Hub will contain flexible spaces for:
- Student study
- Research/consultations with research participants
- Modern video conference facilities
- A kitchenette
The centre will be on the ground floor of the education building on the hospital campus, directly below the Southern District Health Board’s $2.5 million Clinical Education and Skills Centre. The two facilities together will become the joint health board and University Learning and Research Centre.
Every year, the University trains and teaches more than 250 students in Invercargill and two programmes want to increase the numbers of students they place there.
Programmes currently place up to 28 medical students in the hospital at a time, up to 50 other students simultaneously (such as allied health, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dental, radiology and medical laboratory science students).
The University also has 19 staff from the Division of Health Sciences based in Invercargill, including 17 at Southland Hospital.
Currently, only one room is available for all those staff and students’ learning, teaching, research and administration activities.
Both staff and students need to stay on site at Southland Hospital when learning or doing research because of their work commitments, so the centre needed to be on site.
Having the centre should encourage more collaboration between the various health disciplines, and the University and health board, in training and research.
The new centre could be used by Southland community groups as well, for a range of purposes that include video links to public lectures in Dunedin, falls prevention exercise classes, information evenings for potential Otago students and public meetings.
Having a centre in Invercargill embodies the University’s strategic imperatives, which include excellence in research and teaching, outstanding student experiences and campus environments, and strong external engagement.