From Mbale (Eastern Uganda) to Newport (South Wales): A Case Study


  • Maria Teresa Filipponi University of South Wales
  • Kath Elley
  • Anthony Harris
  • John Faith Magolo



curriculum internationalization, higher education employability, community development, field course



The need to equip students with the theoretical knowledge and applied skills is an essential requirement for professional practice; even more in an increasingly competitive job market. The opportunity to travel to Mbale, Eastern Uganda, as part of a field course, identified areas of professional development which were then transferred and extended to students who were not able to make the travel commitment.


As part of the ongoing collaboration between the University of South Wales (USW) and the charity Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust (PONT), the nutrition and geography students took part in a range of community development and research projects. Of particular focus here, the nutrition students designed and delivered a training course aimed at volunteer community health workers on nutrition and food combining. The same approach was taken for students who were not able to travel to Africa. In partnership with the Communities First Health Team of Newport West Cluster, a nutrition course was also developed. The students took part in all the stages of the projects and gained a variety of skills; from developing, planning, implementing and evaluating a ‘real’ project to working with an interpreter.


The increasing competitive and challenging employment market requires the need to equip students with appropriate skills for their working lives and to play a constructive role in a world that is ‘shrinking’. Increased geographical and social mobility supports multicultural living and working and demands certain cultural competencies. Such learning opportunities bring with them challenges along with opportunities from the perspective of the learner. Therefore, the teacher has a role in supporting the student in this process that enhances the potential of the opportunities while making those challenges enjoyable and fun to manage. Furthermore, collaborations, such as those described, benefit everyone providing a ‘win-win’ experience.

Author Biography

Maria Teresa Filipponi, University of South Wales

Teresa Filipponi is a Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition, currently based at the University of South Wales. Qualifying originally as a dietitian in Rome, Teresa worked as a dietitian and moved to Britain to continue her studies. She completed a Master’s degree in Nutrition and worked in the education field until she discovered health promotion and public health. Since 2004 Teresa has had the opportunity to develop her skills in public health; she has completed a Master’s in Public Health and worked at strategic and local level with a range of partners with the objective of planning, implementing and evaluating a range of programmes as a response to local need. Teresa was then appointed as National Food in Schools Coordinator leading the implementation of the Welsh Assembly Government’s strategy ‘Appetite for Life’. Teresa’s main remits were to provide practical support to local authorities, caterers and schools on implementing the nutritional standards recommended and to develop and implement a marketing and communication strategy.

Her present position as Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition at the University of South Wales is allowing Teresa to further develop research and teaching in the disciplines of nutrition and public health and to apply knowledge and skills in practice. Teresa is completing her PhD thesis on the role of modifiable risk factors on individuals that genetically or environmentally carry an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases e.g. older adult or specific ethnic groups; specifically chronic mountain sickness or ‘Monge’s disease’ patients from the Andean countries.


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Case Studies