INTERACTION. The University of Gothenburg and the Västra Götaland Regional Council have agreed to a new regional agreement governing first-cycle dentistry programs, clinically-focused dental research, and the promotion of advances in the field of dentistry. The agreement, often referred to informally as the TUA agreement, provides the framework for the joint undertaking of promoting the field of dentistry through research, education, and development.
The agreement replaces the previous regional and local TUA agreements, which regulated the collaborative efforts of the Västra Götaland division of the Swedish Public Dental Service and the University of Gothenburg’s Institute of Odontology. The new agreement is an offshoot of the new Regional Agreement on Medical Education and Research (ALF) recently entered into by the University of Gothenburg and the Västra Götaland Regional Council, which regulates the two parties’ cooperation as concerns first-cycle medical programs and clinical research.
“There was also a need to update our agreement regarding the dentistry program and our joint research undertakings with the regional division of the Swedish Public Dental Service. The new agreement is consistent the ALF, but has been adapted for dental education opportunities,” explains Annika Ekestubbe, the Head of Department at the University of Gothenburg’s Institute of Odontology.
The most significant development presented in the agreement is the new concept of “University Dental Care,” which covers the part of the dentistry program that is designed with special attention to research and educational needs.
“It’s important to remember that this agreement falls under the purview of the national TUA agreement. We’ve now agreed upon some clarifications to that parent agreement. That’s where the term ‘University Dental Care’ comes in. Within the Swedish Public Dental Service, we already use the term ‘University Dental Clinics’ to refer to Odontologen’s various dental clinics. Now, on the basis of the regional agreement, we’re beginning to work together to define ‘University Dental Care,’” says Gunnar Eriksson, the Director of Dental Care for the Västra Götaland division of the Swedish Public Dental Service.
The agreement stipulates that the regional council and the university must strive for greater coordination and endeavor to concentrate their available resources. The Institute of Odontology and the Västra Götaland division of the Swedish Public Dental Service currently share a location at the Odontologen dental care center, easily recognizable as the large, bronze-colored building at the top of the Medical Hill. Odontologen houses specialist clinics, teaching clinics, lecture halls and research laboratories.
“The regional TUA agreement will play a significant role in discussions between our organizations about how the University Dental Care program should be developed,” elaborates Annika Ekestubbe.
”We are already good, but if we work together, within a few years we can offer an even stronger, more attractive program,” adds Gunnar Eriksson.
SEK 80 million per year
The annual budget for the cooperative efforts to be carried out in conjunction with the TUA is more that SEK 80 million, of which 70 million is earmarked for the education and training of dentists. The majority of the financial resources allotted for education will be put toward the operational costs of Odontologen’s teaching clinics.
According to the TUA agreement, more than SEK 10 million is allocated for clinical dental research. In addition, the Västra Götaland Regional Council has opted to provide an investment of SEK 8 million per year, to be used to fund research.
The dental research conducted in Gothenburg is truly world-class, and in international rankings of the best programs, the university usually places in the top tier.
Click here to read Regionalt avtal mellan Göteborgs universitet och Västra Götalandsregionen om samarbete kring utbildning inom det odontologiska området, odontologisk forskning och utveckling av tandvård (The Regional Agreement between the University of Gothenburg and the Västra Götaland Regional Council Concerning Educational Collaboration in the Field of Odontology, Dental Research, and Advancement of the Field of Dentistry); note that the agreement is only available in Swedish: https://gubox.box.com/s/uabwc5snakdi2uws7s2573bagrjjc560