A new organisational entity tasked with facilitating the
logistical aspects of decentralised training was recently established at the
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS).
Decentralised training – which offers clinical training at
primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities – prepares students to
work in the areas and facilities where they will be assigned in future. This type
of fit-for-purpose training is an important objective of the FMHS.
The new unit, called SUNLOC (Stellenbosch University
Logistics for the Clinical Training Platform), used to reside under the Ukwanda
Centre for Rural Health, but is now a stand-alone professional support service situated
under Dr Therese Fish, the Vice Dean: Clinical Services and Social Impact.
“Our vision is to ‘unlock’ the clinical training platform
for students, and our mission is to contribute to transformative learning
through optimal student logistical support,” Dr Guin Lourens, Clinical Training
Platform Manager, said at the unit’s official launch in November 2017.
SUNLOC’s offices are situated at Stellenbosch University’s
Tygerberg campus. It offers transport and accommodation solutions, as well as
IT support to undergraduate students receiving training at a number of urban
and rural regional hospitals, district hospitals and clinics in the Western,
Northern and Eastern Cape.
SUNLOC also supports a number of service learning centres at
these remote venues, to ensure that students have the same learning
opportunities as they would have had on campus.
“Over the last decade, our platforms have distributed
further and further away as the number of students increase and it is
strategically important in terms of partnerships. Today we offer training at
over 100 facilities around the country,”
“The establishment of SUNLOC is quite strategic in terms of
how we ensure that our students get the best training opportunities, whether
they are on campus or on the periphery,” she concluded.
Caption: The official launch of the SUNLOC unit.