June 26, 2015 | Partners In Health

Partners In Health is launching a new initiative in Rwanda—the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE). A different kind of university, UGHE will harness the best ideas in higher education and integrate cutting-edge technology platforms with immersion in complex health care delivery systems.

Owned and operated by PIH, UGHE is a private institution that will leverage expertise and resources from the government of Rwanda, Harvard Medical School, and key partners to create a forum for delivery-focused teaching, research, clinical care, and implementation. Classes will be taught by local and international experts including Harvard Medical School faculty. Students will learn from a broad network of global policymakers, leading research scientists, community health workers, and social entrepreneurs. UGHE’s academic programs aim to cultivate global health leaders with the vision to tackle consequential challenges and the pragmatic leadership skills to effect transformational change.

“UGHE will train the next generation of Rwandan and global leaders in health care delivery, making Rwanda an international hub for delivery science,” said UGHE Executive Director Dr. Peter Drobac. Drobac will teach an innovative course this September that explores key principles of global health.

PIH has focused on delivering high-quality health care and social services in some of the world’s poorest communities for nearly 30 years. For the past decade, PIH has worked in close partnership with the government of Rwanda, helping to strengthen a health care system that has achieved record improvements in health. This new university is an exciting next step for PIH in Rwanda.

UGHE is actively recruiting students to participate in the inaugural Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD) degree, which begins in September 2015. The MGHD will be the university’s flagship program, providing a one-of-a-kind learning experience rooted in the principles of global health delivery and One Health, and incorporating policy, management, finance, and leadership. Students with professional experience in health care management and administration, veterinary science, policy, and research will have opportunities to connect and collaborate with global health colleagues and peers throughout the program. Over the coming years, UGHE will add programs in undergraduate medicine, nursing, and dentistry, and graduate programs in veterinary medicine and health management.

Rwanda’s Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, a Harvard Medical School senior lecturer and UGHE professor, is passionate about the university’s launch. She looks forward to teaching biological and social determinants of health.

“I have always dreamed that putting academic rigor into health sector management at all levels—local, national, regional, and beyond—would greatly improve the health of the population,” said Binagwaho. “This is exactly what UGHE will do for Rwanda and for the world. I am so excited to be part of this outstanding initiative.”

The two-year, part-time program is designed to complement students’ full-time jobs and scheduled so that students can remain employed. Beginning with a week in residence in Rwinkwavu, the course will meet one night per week in Kigali and one weekend a month in Rwinkwavu, while the first of two state-of-the-art permanent UGHE campuses is under development in Butaro.

Those who wish to apply can visit www.ughe.org.

This article was originally published on Partners In Health