RMIT University students from Australia and Vietnam will this week report on the outcomes of activities they have undertaken over recent months to support three important community projects in Vietnam.
More than 60 students from the two countries have been working together over the past three months to support:
The Children's Hospital No.1 (Ho Chi Minh City), assisting the hospital to develop new and better information materials to support families of children suffering chronic and acute medical conditions. This will help inform and reassure families about procedures and processes. The student hospital team has also been helping to redesign the hospital playground, to give young in-patients a safe place to play while receiving medical treatment. The Da Nang Hospital's Paediatric Department, planning and designing features to incorporate in a new building. The students have helped research issues such as relative placement of departments, equipment needs, and aspects of infection control. A project called the "Water Pouch" project, which has been examining the feasibility of producing low-cost, environmental-friendly 'water pouches' which could offer safe but low-cost clean water supplies for people on low incomes. Students have been working with Business for the Millennium Development, an Australian organisation, to develop the concept.
Hospital directors and managers of key organisations will attend a presentation on Thursday 4 February at RMIT's Saigon South campus.
RMIT Vietnam President Professor Merilyn Liddell today described the student community projects as excellent examples of the concept of 'Work Integrated Learning' – a concept which seeks to combine academic learning with direct industry and community involvement as part of a student's academic studies.
"These kinds of projects offer a unique learning experience for our students, in an international context," Professor Liddell said.
"Just as importantly, they create the opportunity to help in the achievement of worthwhile projects to benefit Vietnam and its people."
The RMIT students involved in the three latest projects come from a range of different academic fields: architecture, industrial design, communication, medical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, international studies, nursing, social sciences, social work, and multimedia design, as well as accountancy and other areas of business study.
"Regardless of their discipline areas, all of the Vietnamese and Australian students have been united by a belief in their ability to work together to make a positive difference in the community," Prof. Liddell added.