The University of Tasmania does great work in educating the world about dementia via its Wicking Centre. And now it has another $3.7m from the Wicking Trust to get the word out even further.
It’s first dementia MOOC hit 70 000 participants around the world in 2016, with a 45 per cent completion rate and a second MOOC on preventing the disease followed, which was launched in China in 2017.
The university also launched a degree on dealing with dementia in 2016, which it gave away to local students (there were 1200 starters). That’s gave away as in did not charge course fees direct or via HECs.
UniTas says with the new money Wicking “is taking on the challenge of reaching 400,000 Australians and a further one million people through its online education over the next five years.” It will run both MOOCs twice a year, invest in extending research and analyse the MOOCs’ impact. With further funding in the longer-term they hope to extend their reach into more non-English speaking countries.
Wicking supporters suggest it is already the biggest dementia educator in the world but is yet to reach big new audiences in low to middle wealth nations.