Leading New Zealand academics visit RGU

A pair of senior academics from Auckland have strengthened their links with Robert Gordon University (RGU) after visiting the North East last week.

Image Courtesy of The Gatehouse – (L to R): Prof Jean Rankin UWS, Dr Andrea Gilkison AUT, Prof Ruth Deery UWS, Prof Susan Crowther RGU, Associate Prof Judith McAra-Couper AUTThe visit was part of a developing partnership between RGU and Auckland University of Technology (AUT), which has involved working together on numerous projects and publications.

The international relationship has been in place since November 2015, when Professor Susan Crowther left AUT to become Professor of Midwifery at RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Her links with AUT led to this visit, which saw Associate Professor Judith McAra-Couper – Head of Midwifery at AUT and Chair of the New Zealand Midwifery Council – and Dr Andrea Gilkison – Associate Head of Post Graduate Studies at AUT – spend three days at the university.

The team were also joined by Professors Jean Rankin and Ruth Deery from the University of West Scotland (UWS).

RGU, AUT and UWS are currently working on a study of rural and remote midwifery across New Zealand and recently presented their preliminary findings at the European Midwifery Association Conference in London.

The study aims to provide insights into how midwifery service works across different models of care and focuses on sustainability and resilience over time.

Professor Susan Crowther said: “New Zealand and Scotland have very different systems of maternity care.

“The new Maternity and Neonatal Review for Scotland, which is shortly to be published, will potentially contain elements of the New Zealand system, which makes collaborations with professionals and academics in the country absolutely crucial.

“I was delighted to welcome my colleagues from AUT and UWS to RGU, as it gave us the opportunity to conduct face-to-face writing and data analysis. It also allowed the team from AUT to tour the School of Nursing and Midwifery and get an idea of our approach at RGU.”

The AUT team was similarly pleased to make the trip to RGU. Associate Professor McAra-Couper said: “We are delighted to continue our work with Susan and to further our partnership and research collaborations with Robert Gordon University.

“While Scotland and New Zealand are very different countries, there is much we can learn from each other and there are many benefits to us researching in conjunction with RGU and out other partners, such as UWS.

“The visit has cemented our strong partnership – we’ve had very productive research meetings and experienced first-hand the wonderfully warm Aberdeen hospitality we had heard so much about.

Ruth Deery of University of the West of Scotland’s School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, said: “It was great to be able to meet with colleagues from AUT and RGU to discuss our research of rural and remote midwifery across New Zealand. This collaborative study will greatly improve our understanding of different systems of midwifery care across Scotland and New Zealand.”

Professor Ian Murray, Head of RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “We are keen to develop our relationship with AUT University in Auckland in the area of midwifery and women’s health.

“The links between our universities and further cultural exchange between Scotland and New Zealand can only benefit our staff and students, whether through research collaborations or potential exchanges.”

Release by Jonathon Milne
Communications Officer | Health and Sport
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