Leading dental schools unite
LONDON, UK: Four of the world’s top dental colleges have entered into an alliance that aims to advance dental education and pursue new research initiatives. The new partnership—named DentAlliance—connects leading dental faculties on four continents, and its launch has been hailed as a transformative step for dental education.
Many readers will be familiar with King’s College London’s Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences in the UK, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry in the US, the National University of Singapore Faculty of Dentistry and the Melbourne Dental School in Australia. Through DentAlliance, these four schools will work together over the next five years towards the creation of an agreement for global collaboration in both their curricula and their research initiatives.
The new alliance was launched on 23 October through a virtual event, which included presentations by Prof. Jenny Gallagher, dean for international affairs at King’s dental faculty, and a number of her colleagues and counterparts from the freshly partnered educational institutions. The virtual launch was a sign of the times, but it also highlighted the extent to which digital technologies have created new forums for interaction within dental education.
DentAlliance partners will collaborate to transform dental education and the development of dental curricula
In her opening comments, Gallagher said: “Whilst we would love to be in a room together, socially networking and not distancing, we are delighted that current technology means that it is possible for many more of us to connect virtually today.”
Prof. Mike Curtis, executive dean of King’s dental faculty, concurred with Gallagher in a subsequently released press release, stating: “Our experiences over the last year have demonstrated how it is entirely possible to conduct truly meaningful and productive collaboration and teaching in a virtual format and we are therefore really well placed to make rapid progress in achieving the goals of this unique partnership.”
King’s College London said in the press release that the DentAlliance partners will collaborate to transform dental education and the development of dental curricula and to pursue new, transformative research initiatives. Each of the four dental schools will bring their expertise to the collaboration, through which the partners will work to enhance dental practice and the oral and craniofacial health sciences.
DentAlliance was developed by the four deans of the participating dental schools, and the partnership aims to create new and transformative training and exchange opportunities for students and employees and to inspire and train future leaders within the dental profession.
Anusha Chopra, chair of the King’s College London Dental Student Council, and Nima Kazempour, student president of King’s College London Dental Society, said that DentAlliance was a unique opportunity for collaboration between dental students on a global scale. “We are excited to compare our experience in patient care, dental education, and careers beyond,” they enthused.
Three of the four DentAlliance partners were ranked in the 2020 list of the top 50 dental schools in the world compiled by the higher education think tank Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Released in March, the QS World University Rankings for the subject of dentistry rated King’s College London’s Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences as the leading dental college internationally. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry was ranked 18th and the Melbourne Dental School 26th.