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  • Visiting Fellow Dr Margot Skinner

         

    21/03/2014 - Dr. Margot Skinner: Contributing to the Sino-New Zealand Relationship Through Innovations in Health Science

    Dr. Margot Skinner (pictured, alongside Centre Director Professor Liu Shusen, on her left, and Centre Secretary Liu Hongzhong) of the University of Otago School of Physiotherapy, visited Peking University as part of the New Zealand Centre Visiting Fellowship initiative, hosted by the Peking University First Hospital Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Skinner is recognised by the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (CARM) as an international expert in physiotherapy education, and as an advisor for university entry-level physiotherapy professional programmes. Dr Skinner's visiting fellowship is exemplary of the diverse potential provided by the fellowship initiative for all partner institutions.

    “My primary reason for applying for the fellowship is to contribute to the Sino-New Zealand relationship through innovations in health science. Physiotherapy services align strategically with the Chinese Government’s plan for rehabilitation as an area for “focused development” yet physiotherapy is just emerging as a specialized health profession and few universities in China currently offer level-entry education… …the fellowship enables exploration of opportunities for students and faculties in the Division of Health Sciences as a starting point for a nexus of future research collaborations" - Dr. Margot Skinner

    As part of the fellowship arrangement, Dr. Skinner held a seminar in her host department on the theme of "Best practice guidelines: the physiotherapist's role in improving physical function following stroke" - an area of priority according to Dr. Skinner who explains "for People in China the traditional approach to health and rehabilitation is "passive" and is at odds with the concept of the patient being actively engaged in their physical rehabilitation." In her presentation, the physiotherapist's approach to improving physical function following stroke was discussed with fellow health professionals. Dr. Skinner also delivered open lectures at the Peking University First Hospital on the themes of "How can the Sino-New Zealand relationship help turn the tide on the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases?" and "Physiotherapy: a late starter in the context of rehabilitation medicine in China"

    However, Dr. Skinner's visit was also important for establishing deeper connections with China, between the University of Otago and Peking University in particular, building on her already broad experience in China. Dr. Skinner sees potential for widened cooperation between China and New Zealand in furthering the development of university entry-level physiotherapy programmes in China. The model used at the University of Otago School of Physiotherapy, which itself has a long history having recently celebrated its centenary and 100 years of providing physiotherapy education could be shared. As part of this movement, Dr. Skinner has said there is potential for a student exchange for Chinese students to attend the School of Physiotherapy as part of their professional development, fitting with the University of Otago's "Strategic Direction to 2020" plan, which seeks vibrant partnerships with international universities as a move to meaningful internationalisation of the university.

    Are you interested in a Visiting Fellowship with the New Zealand Centre? Contact our liaison officers for more information (contact details are here). Academics from the five partner universities are welcome to apply across a broad range of disciplines, with New Zealand Centre services and resources made available to all visiting fellows.

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