What is IDEAL?

IDEAL (Infectious Diseases European/African Learning) is an international Erasmus-funded teaching program running since September 2016 as a part of a strategic partnership. It is a unique intercultural pedagogical program aiming to enhance medical students’ Infectious Diseases knowledge in Europe and Africa.

The project was born in 2014 when Paris Descartes University, Sacred Heart University in Rome and University of Edinburgh first developed an international common course in Infectious Diseases as a part of the European MED-MOTION initiative that aimed at removing barriers between different medical curricula in European countries. This comprehensive course, built on teachers’ mobility, was referred to as the International Intensive Infectious Diseases Course (I3DC) and implemented in each university.

The program, now called IDEAL, enlarged in September 2016 to two new European partners: the University of Antwerp and NHS Lothian in Edinburgh, and to two new Ugandan partners: Mother Kevin Postgraduate Medical School in Kampala and Saint Mary’s Lacor Hospital in Gulu.

IDEAL aims to:

  • develop a common strong knowledge among medical students from different countries;
  • overcome barriers and local language, culture, and academic discrepancies between medical curricula. The project could extend to other fields and to new countries or institutions interested in this aim and approach;
  • promote international teaching collaboration in the field of Infectious Diseases;
  • enhance international exchanges within Europe and between Europe and Uganda.


Partner institutions

IDEAL is carried out by six institutions:

  • Paris Descartes University in Paris, France, the coordinator of the program;
  • Sacred Heart University in Rome, Italy;
  • University of Antwerp in Antwerp, Belgium;
  • NHS Lothian Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland;
  • Mother Kevin Postgraduate Medical School in Nsambya, Kampala, Uganda;
  • Saint Mary’s Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Uganda.

Learn more about each institution.


3 complementary teaching approaches

Intensive course (I3DC: International Intensive Infectious Diseases Course)

The course is a complete international undergraduate Infectious Diseases course. Since its first implementation in 2014, we have redefined its content annually by consensus among all partners to build up a core common knowledge overcoming discrepancies in local curriculum and pedagogical approaches. Each partner’s point of view is critical to make the teaching more international, complete, relevant and pedagogically sensitive for students.

The intensive course is built on teachers’ mobility and provided in English every year in each European university by a team of medical educators from all European Universities involved in the project. It is delivered to groups of 20-30 volunteer undergraduate medical students. Partner institutions officially recognize the course as substitutive of/or additive to the regular curriculum.

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Summer school

The program has developed an annual summer school to offer advanced undergraduate Infectious Diseases teaching with a global health perspective. Lectures are based on the same practical approach with simulation games, clinical cases and round-tables. They are animated by an international team of teachers from all university partners. Students benefit from the involvement of Ugandan academic physicians from University hospitals in Gulu and Nsambya who share their unique field-experience of Infectious Diseases.

The summer school aims to foster exchanges among European students, between students and teachers, and between Europe and Africa.

The first session took place in Paris at the end of August 2017. It was focused on Emergencies in Infectious Diseases and involved 23 students from 6 European countries.

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Over the 3-year-program, the video recordings and teaching materials developed during the intensive courses and summer schools will be uploaded on a dedicated open-source web interface that aims to cover the main topics of Infectious Diseases and will regularly be updated. Specific online lectures will also be added by experts from all areas.

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