25 February 2019 • HNTB, Arie Verhoef
Australian guest lecturer at the Skin Therapy programme
She came and stayed for three months, then went back. However, Jeannie Devereaux left a deep impression on third-year students of the Skin Therapy programme. This was not just down to her Australian accent. As a true story teller, she managed to impart her enthusiasm about the subject to her students.
There are only three Skin Therapy degree programmes in the world – two in the Netherlands and one in Australia. Our relatively small degree programme at THUAS is proud to be working with a partner on the other side of the world. The Skin Therapy degree programme illustrates that you do not have to be a large programme to implement internationalisation, global citizenship and being a networking university of Applied Sciences.
Jeannie Devereaux is a dermal clinician at Victoria University in Melbourne. She teaches doctors and medical specialists. She had just passed her final Biomedical Science exam in November when she heard that the Skin Therapy degree programme at THUAS had a vacancy for a guest lecturer for three months. She thought this would be a great challenge between her final exams and her PhD in Biomedical Science. A PhD, or doctor of philosophy degree, is the Anglo-American variant of the Dutch academic title ‘doctor’. A PhD is the highest academic degree in many countries.
“My PhD will be about regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine uses material in the body, blood plasm (which is rich in blood platelets), and perhaps also the patient’s stem cells. For instance, take someone with a skin abnormality. This is not a dermal disease, but rather a dermal disorder. When you inject the blood plasm into the skin abnormality, you see a considerable reduction of the symptoms. There is a high chance that the skin abnormality will not develop into a skin disease.”
“This abnormality is a sign of an imbalance in the body. If we identify it at an early stage, then we will probably prevent auto-immune diseases or skin cancer. Often, people underestimate the importance of their skin. It has to be beautiful. But that is not all. If people with skin abnormalities went to a skin therapist earlier, it would be beneficial for their entire body and it would reduce the need for a more expensive dermatologist.”
Beating the drum
Jeannie believes that her time as a guest lecture has made a small contribution to the global citizenship and internationalisation of the students. “They find it fascinating that I am a native English speaker from faraway. We had a really great time together. Just as in Melbourne, I met extremely dedicated lecturers here who are constantly seeking to improve the curriculum. That’s amazing. There are only three Skin Therapy degree programmes around the world. That is why we should bang the drum for more of them. We should meet together at conferences. Alternatively, if the distance is too great, we should record these conferences so that other degree programmes can follow the footage afterwards.”
Together with Australia
The Skin Therapy degree programme will be working with Jeannie to create internships for students in Australia. Lecturers would also like to attend the conference of the Australian Society of Dermal Clinicians. At any rate, the degree programme will look at the extent to which it can further flesh out the collaboration with the degree programme in Australia. This is based on the conviction that it is valuable that students and lecturers look further, beyond the limits of their degree programme and their country.
Jeannie Devereaux: “I met extremely dedicated lecturers here who are constantly seeking to improve the curriculum.”