Editor’s Note: Center Director Christine Lubinski will be live blogging from a meeting at NIH today of university leaders hoping to seize on the surge in interest in global health studies.
The number of students enrolled in global health programs in the US and Canada has more than doubled in the last three years, according to a survey released today by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).
CUGH is a relatively new organization, formed in response to this surge in interest on college campuses in global health studies. CUGH leaders are meeting just outside Washington today, at the National Institutes of Health, to discuss how they can make the most of this trend by providing new and expanded opportunities for young people who want to help stave off disease in the developing world.
The Center’s Christine Lubinski will be live-blogging from the two-day CUGH meeting, which will feature presentations by five university presidents and several top Obama Administration officials, including Dr. Eric Goosby, Obama’s global AIDS coordinator, and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a special advisor to the White House on health policy.
“You cannot overstate the energy and enthusiasm on university campuses today with students who want to work on global health issues,” said University of Washington President Mark A. Emmert, according to today’s CUGH news release.
Other participants said the spike in interest should get university leaders thinking about fresh ways to approach—and to fund—global health education.
“We must think of health education in a different way,” said Tachi Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We need more research, more instruction and more ideas on how to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in global health.”
The CUGH survey shows that:
*the number of undergraduate students enrolled in global health programs increased from 1,286 to 2,687 over the last three years;
*the number of graduate students enrolled in such programs has increased from 949 in 2006 to 2,010 this year.
For more information, check back here for posts on the meeting, go to CUGH’s website, and read our earlier item on a July briefing on this topic by Michael Merson, director of the Duke Global Health Institute and one of CUGH’s founders.