Globalisation: the educational challenges of human diversity

Posted on 01 November 2010

Professor Val Wass, Medicine at Keele, will deliver the third lecture in the University's programme of Inaugural Lectures for 2010/11, on Tuesday, 16 November, 2010, in the Westminster Theatre on the Keele University campus. The title of the lecture is “Globalisation:  the educational challenges of human diversity”.

Globalisation:  the educational challenges of human diversity –

“Schools should do more to encourage integration to stop the UK sleepwalking its way to racial segregation” - Trevor Phillips.

Globalisation is impacting significantly on society. Is education keeping abreast this change? Professor Wass argues no. Patients come from increasingly diverse cultures. Yet widening access to medical education across all social classes and ethnic groups remains a challenge. Disease no longer remains confined. Yet our curricula remain locked in Western frameworks. Long standing evidence confirms that ethnic minority students and graduates, whether UK or overseas trained, tend to do less well in examinations. There is a paucity of research into why. This lecture explores her work on understanding how ethnicity impacts on student learning and achievement in the context of undergraduate medical education and socio-cultural learning theory. The answer may well lie in understanding integration; an issue pertinent to all areas of education.

Val Wass was appointed as Head of the School of Medicine at Keele in December 2009. Her career in health care started in renal medicine at Guy’s Hospital London with research into the impact of kidney failure on patients’. This work stressed the importance of holistic care and valuing cultural diversity which led her to retrain in General Practice. After eleven years as a GP she moved back into Academic Primary Care at Guy’s, Kings and St Thomas’ Medical school. She undertook the International Masters in Health Profession Education (MHPE) at Maastricht University and subsequently a PhD on methods used for final medical school examinations.

She became the Chair in Community Based Medical Education in Manchester University in 2003. In 2008 she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the UK Higher Education Academy in recognition of her work in medical education. Her research now focuses on gaining a better understanding of how students’ increasingly diverse backgrounds impact on achievement.
Keele's programme of Inaugural Lectures are given by newly established professors within the University and aim to give an illuminating account of the speaker's own subject specialism. The lectures, which start at 6 pm in the Westminster Theatre, are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Foskett. Admission is free; no ticket is required. ]

The other lectures in the series are:

Tuesday, 7 December 2010, Professor David Shepherd, Cultural Theory, “The Theory of Culture and the Culture of Theory"; Tuesday 18 January 2011, Professor Nadine Foster, Primary Care Health Sciences, “Challenges and Choices: Musculoskeletal Health in Primary Care”; Tuesday, 22 February 2011, Professor Gordon Ferns, Medicine, "A fire that burns within: the impact of free radicals in health and disease"; Tuesday, 15 March 2011, Professor Clare Holdsworth, Social Geography, "’A degree isn’t enough anymore’: Student experiences and orientation to HE”; Tuesday, 10 May 2011 Professor Krysia Dziedzic, Primary Care Health Sciences, “Best evidence for best therapies in osteoarthritis”.

Chris Stone,
Press Office,
Keele University.
Tel.: 01782 733375