Stellenbosch University
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New unit offers logistical support for decentralised training
Author: Communications and Marketing
Published: 13/02/2018

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,” said Fish.

“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.