The U21 Deans and Heads of Health Sciences network was established to provide Faculty within U21 member universities with a framework for exploring opportunities for collaborative research, information exchange, and sharing of resources.
Following a successful inaugural meeting of the U21 Deans and Heads of Medicine and Nursing in Singapore in 2000, membership expanded to include Dentistry and Rehabilitation Sciences at the group's second annual meeting in Vancouver in 2001.
In Hong Kong in 2002, members reaffirmed the many opportunities for collaboration and sharing within and across disciplines, and it was resolved that a Secretariat would be established to facilitate a range of projects and initiatives.
At the group's fourth annual meeting in Glasgow in 2003, the group's newly-formed Executive Committee was expanded to include representatives from all four disciplines. The U21 Health Sciences membership has continued to expand to include Pharmacy and, as part of the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences group, Audiology, and Speech Science / Pathology.
Each discipline is represented on the Executive Committee. Subsequent annual meetings have been hosted by The University of Queensland (2004), Lund University (2005), and The University of Nottingham (2006). In 2007, as part of the University of Hong Kong's celebration of 120 years of medical education, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong hosted another U21 Health Sciences annual meeting. Events included an e-health workshop with a practical 'hands-on' telehealth component, a nursing doctoral student forum involving students from around the U21 network, the U21 Health Sciences annual meeting, a Leadership in Health Sciences workshop, and a Forensic Odontology and disaster victim identification symposium.
More than 90 delegates from medicine and public health, dentistry, nursing, and health and rehabilitation sciences, attended the 2008 meeting and associated events [including a United Nations Millennium Development Goal (UN MDG) workshop] at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Major themes included the pandemic of obesity, the use of technology to augment clinical care, simulation programmes and outcomes, models of e-learning, and foreign credential recognition strategies.
Whilst the 2009 meeting at Korea University was canelled due to concerns about the H1N1 virus, U21 colleagues have continued to collaborate on projects and initiatives, and Tec de Monterrey hosted a meeting in September 2010 and the 2011 meeting was held at Korea University.
Details about the 2012 meeting to be held at the University of Auckland can be found on the group's external pages.
The Health Sciences group has an external website with further information about their activities: http://www.u21health.org