Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Japanese visitors welcomed

Monday, 21 February 2011

The School of Health and Social Care recently hosted a visit of lecturing staff and postgraduate students from the Occupational Therapy Department at Tokyo Metropolitan University.

The visit follows on from the establishment of a scholarly relationship between the School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University and Tokyo Metropolitan University in Japan in December 2010. At that time Professor Jenny Butler was given an honorary professorship by Tokyo Metropolitan University and delivered a professorial lecture to master’s students and staff of the Occupational Therapy programme.

The aims of the Japanese visit to Oxford Brookes University were to observe educational practice in the UK, and to participate in workshops and seminars relating to current occupational therapy practice. The visitors were impressed by the equipment and facilities of the school, that were not part of their previous experience in Japan. They also expressed enthusiasm at the different educational techniques used, and Professor Ito said “I am going to try some of these things with my students when I get back”.

Visitors from Tokyo Metropolitan University (seated) pictured with staff from the Oxford Brookes University Occupational Therapy team.
The visitors (left to right) are: Ryoko Tomizawa (OT Master's student), Professor Satomura, Professor Ito, Asako Yamamoto (OT Master's student).

The visitors attended lectures, seminars and workshops and met with both staff and students to discuss aspects of education and practice. They also visited the Oxford Centre for Enablement (OCE) at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust, to observe contemporary occupational therapy practice in the UK in a neurological setting. This included assessment for an electric wheelchair, motor imagery interventions for a woman with a stroke, and specialist dynamic splinting for a young man with a brain injury. During their visit our Japanese colleagues took the opportunity to explore some of the cultural richness of Oxford and the surrounding area.

This visit will be complemented by a visit of lecturing staff from the nursing programme at Tokyo Metropolitan University in March 2011, as part of the developing collaboration and exchange between the two institutions. This development of an international community of practice, as demonstrated by these exchanges, is in keeping with the aims of the MSc Contemporary Occupational Therapy course, a recent addition to the school’s postgraduate portfolio. The programme is taught by distance learning, providing a flexible and modern learning method in keeping with the expectations of professionals in the 21st Century and accessible throughout the world.

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