In Australia nearly all tertiary education is funded through the Federal Government. With reductions in government spending tertiary education has had to accommodate its share of the cuts. Under such a climate dental schools in Australia face serious financial difficulties, in addition to many other diverse threats, as they head towards the 21st century. Most seriously, and almost uniformly felt, is the diminution of Federal Government funding to a point where the operation of some dental schools remains viable only by way of supplementary funding (direct or in-kind) from State Governments. in this report the authors have developed one possible model of academic, clinical and financial structures of a dental school, based on sound educational and economic grounds, that can overcome some of the short-comings of the paradigm that exists in some Schools in Australia. The two key factors underlying the principles of this model for a new style of dental school are flexibility and professional responsibility. Based on the existing academic and economic realities it would be much more appropriate to out-source a significant proportion of the educational and clinical component of a dental school. Highly trained individuals from the dental profession would be invited to provide training in their area of expertise. The role of the dental school would evolve to be like a facilitation centre, organizing the various courses. It would mean that the 'core' curriculum would be the responsibility of the school's academic staff and the outsourced professional members would contribute within the bounds of the basic framework. On the basis of this model a dental school of approximately 225 full-time undergraduate students (50 per year, less some student loss) in a five year programme is planned, and annual staffing costs are estimated at $1.4 million.
|Journal||Australian Dental Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|