UNSW to be fully solar powered


The University of NSW, alma mater of many ophthalmologists and optometrists, is to become fully solar powered, having just signed a 15-year solar purchase agreement agreement with solar company Maoneng Australia and energy company Origin.

The agreement will see solar energy from Maoneng’s under-construction Sunraysia (near Balranald, NSW) solar farm provide all the energy for the UNSW campus at Kensington, a Sydney’s south-eastern suburb.

Sunraysia will be the largest solar farm in Australia, generating at leastm 530,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually. UNSW will buy 124,000 megawatt hours.

By | January 21st, 2018|Universities|

Flinders University wins $9.4m for glaucoma-blindness research

The federal government on 24 November announced a $9.46 million grant to Flinders University’s College of Medicine and Public Health for genetics research aimed at preventing glaucoma blindness, through personalised treatments.

The Minister for Aged Care, Mr Ken Wyatt, said the grant would help tackle the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness.

Personalised treatment through genetics

“The potential to personalised treatment through genetics is exciting because glaucoma already affects approximately 300,000 Australians, with up to 80 million predicted to suffer from the disease worldwide by 2020,” Mr Wyatt said.

“It’s long been known that a family history of glaucoma means increased risk but there are no symptoms or warning signs in the early stages.

Glaucoma can be controlled

“Testing is vital and, although there is no cure, with treatment glaucoma can be controlled and further loss of sight either prevented or slowed.”

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve is slowly destroyed. In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye as a result of a build-up of fluid.

Sight loss is usually gradual and a considerable amount of peripheral vision may be gone before people are aware of any problem.

The research grant will support the work of Flinders University Professor Jamie Craig along with three other key

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By | November 28th, 2017|Universities|

Pre-registration final assessment passes for optometrists in UK drop to 66% this year

Pre-registration final assessments for optometrists in UK drop to 66% this year

Pre-registration of all optometrists in the United Kingdom who passed their final assessment has dropped from 77 per cent in 2012 to 66 per cent this year, Optometry Today reports.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination pass rates of optometry students has fallen each year over the six-year period, except for in 2014 when it briefly spiked at 81%.

Looking to other fields for comparison, trainee pharmacists had an average pass rate of 84 per cent for their registration assessment in 2016, while GP trainees had a pass rate of 80 per cent in their clinical skills assessment in 2014.

College of Optometrists director of education, Ms Jackie Martin, is reported as telling Optometry Today that it is impossible to attribute one particular factor to the fall in the average OSCE pass rate.

“The OSCE is continually reviewed, developed and mapped against assessments in other [health-care] professions across the world to ensure that it remains at the forefront of best practice,” Ms Martin said.

Ms Martin said the OSCE is designed to assess General Optical Council Stage 2 elements of competence.

“Station content is continually reviewed and new content developed to ensure a broad coverage of the curriculum and to ensure examination content remains up-to-date and

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By | October 23rd, 2017|Universities|

WA’s Curtin University taking in 20 Yr 1 optometry students

Western Australia’s Curtin University will take in 20 students to study the first year of a course in the new optometry stream in the Faculty of Health Sciences at its Bentley campus in Perth, from next year onwards.

On completion of first year at Curtin, the students will then apply to Flinders University in Adelaide for admission to years two to five of the course leading to Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science) and Master of Optometry.

During their first year, students will not undertake study of optometry subjects, instead will study anatomy, physiology, biomedicine and human biology, along with students from other health-science degree courses.

The offer of 20 student placements for WA means 20 fewer offers will be made for students from South Australia – at present the total Flinders intake ranges between 54 and 63 each year.


By | August 9th, 2017|Universities|

Colleges seek injunction against online retailer in Canada

TWO optometrical colleges in Ontario, Canada, have turned to the courts to seek an injunction that would prohibit the Essilor Canada-owned online retail portal Clearly from dispensing prescription glasses and contact lenses to the public without complying with local legislation, Optician reports.

The College of Opticians of Ontario and the College of Optometrists of Ontario regulate dispensing and optometry in the province, where it is illegal for anyone other than an optometrist, optiician or physician to dispense prescription eyewear to a patient except under appropriate supervision or delegation.

Under section 87 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, the colleges have applied to a judge of the Ontario Superior Court to bring an injunction to stop any individual, or organisation from dispensing in a manner that violates state law.

‘Patient choice and convenience is important, but this can’t come at the expense of patient safety,’ Dr Paula Garshowitz, registrar of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, said.

‘This action isn’t about stopping online dispensing. This is about ensuring that Ontarians have full protection under Ontario laws.’

Patients in Ontario are presently able to purchase eyewear online that is lawfully dispensed by authorised eye-care practitioners through a strict validation process developed by the colleges.

By | February 6th, 2017|Business, Overseas, Universities|