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New health degree offered at University of Waikato

File photo.

The University of Waikato has announced a new Bachelor of Health degree and Certificate in Health and Wellbeing.

The university are aiming to put wellbeing and the needs of communities at the forefront.

Vice Chancellor professor Neil Quigley says the way healthcare is delivered in New Zealand is unsustainable because it has an insufficient focus on living and staying well.

“Our Bachelor of Health degree is unique in its vision to graduate health industry professionals who will enact hauora in practice, advocate for broader understanding of what constitutes health and work in multidisciplinary teams to address the health issues that matter to our communities.”

He says New Zealand’s health system is under increasing pressure to provide services to communities with the greatest health needs, including those with high numbers of Maori and Pacific residents.

“The challenges have been highlighted by The Waitangi Tribunal’s release last month of its stage one report from the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry which found serious inequities in Māori health,” he explains.

To assist in addressing these issues, the University of Waikato has embedded understandings of health and wellbeing drawn from Te Ao Maori in all aspects of the new Bachelor of Health, while ensuring the perspectives of Pasifika and other ethnic communities are recognised as important within the programme.

“We have developed this degree with and for our communities by consulting widely with iwi, primary and secondary health providers, local government, community groups, the health science community and private enterprise.

“Consequently, we have created a programme that will produce graduates who can contribute in innovative ways to the transformation of our health system to meet the needs of all communities, including our most vulnerable,” says Neil.  

The Waikato University Bachelor of Health degree will expose students to learning about health data, hauora, biomedical sciences, health communication, epidemiology, bioethics and the law, community engagement, theoretical and applied practices and more.

Students taking part in the degree will have the option to take a special programme in either Poutu-manahau population health, or poutu-maro biomedical sciences. There is also a level five certificate in health and wellbeing.

“Academics from across the university will teach into this innovative pan-university programme. This multidisciplinary academic approach reflects the complexity of the health issues that this degree and certificate programme aims to help solve,” says Neil.

“The Bachelor of Health provides an attractive option for school leavers and those already working across New Zealand’s health sector who are passionate about health, hauora and the wellbeing of others in their communities, as well as those who see value in a multidisciplinary approach to health.

“Our unique Bachelor of Health degree is for anyone who wants to be an innovative health leader equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to initiate impactful change.”

Enrolments are now open for the first semester of 2020.

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