Across Switzerland, this week marks the start of the autumn semester. Students also resume classes at Swiss TPH in Basel, Switzerland, at a moment of heightened awareness for global health due to the pandemic. "I've seen how COVID-19 has very different effects globally," notes Cornelia Hässig, one of nearly 30 students attending the first day of classes in International Cooperation and Global Health (Internationale Zusammenarbeit und Globale Gesundheit - IZGG) at Swiss TPH. She took the "Global Health" module of the course two years ago and has returned to finish the IZGG this autumn.
The course has evolved considerably since it was introduced in 1944 and embraces topics from travel medicine to social determinants of health. The curriculum is being updated annually to reflect the latest developments in international cooperation and global health. According to course coordinator Mirko Winkler, however, the greatest asset the course has is its participants. "Every year I fall in love with the group. They bring such an impressive body of experience. The spirit of mutual learning is what makes this course so special to me."
From bachelor to postgraduate
The IZGG is one of many courses that begin this week. Swiss TPH also welcomes 12 students from the Master in Public Health (MPH), 18 students in Insurance Medicine, 24 students attending the MBA in International Health Management short course "Strategic Planning for Health Interventions", 27 new master students from 15 different countries and 17 PhD students from 17 different nations.
Hybrid teaching in COVID-19 times
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Swiss TPH has adapted its course offerings considerably. A stringent set of precautionary measures ("Schutzkonzept") has been developed and is being adapted and implemented for each course. Some courses are taught in the classroom, some virtually and some through a blended approach.
About the IZGG course
The International Cooperation and Global Health course is an 8-week course, taught in German. It is aimed at professionals from all health sectors and interested parties from other professions who are preparing for working abroad or who are confronted with intercultural communication, migration and health in a global context. The course is divided into two modules ("International Cooperation" and "Global Health"), which can be attended independently.