Captains of Education Part 4: Nick Zwar
– Executive Dean, Health Sciences & Medicine
The future for Bond University has never looked healthier
CBDRobina is renowned for being home to a number of exceptional public and private primary and high schools. Did you know the area is also famous for laying claim to Australia’s first private, independent university, Bond University?
With Bond celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, insideR spoke with the University’s newly appointed Executive Dean of Health Sciences & Medicine, Professor Nick Zwar, about Bond’s vision for Health and its plans for the next 30 years.
In the same year Robina’s Bond University celebrates its 30th birthday, Professor Nick Zwar has been appointed to drive the leading university’s ambitious interdisciplinary education and research agenda in medicine, allied health and sports science.
With extensive experience in health and the tertiary sector as a leading educator, researcher and practitioner, Professor Zwar arrives at Bond after previous roles at some of Australia’s top universities, including Dean of Medicine at the University of Wollongong and Professor of General Practice and Deputy Dean (Education) at the University of New South Wales.
Not long after beginning at Bond, Professor Zwar told insideR one of the reasons he decided to take on his new role was the university’s unique ability to do things a little differently. By that, he means combining a personal approach to education with leading academic staff and state-of-the-art facilities and resources.
“What I love about Bond University is it prides itself on providing the highest quality teaching and educational experience with world-class facilities,” he said.
“What makes us a little different to other universities is our smaller class sizes, giving students a high level of contact, and making it easier for staff to form connections with each individual and understand their needs and interests.
“The Bond University campus itself is terrific and I’m proud to say it is getting even better – particularly with the upcoming completion of the Health Sciences & Medicine building extension and our impressive Aquatic Centre.”
The addition of Professor Zwar as Executive Dean was a strategic decision by Bond to bolster its already highly respected Health Sciences & Medicine faculty.
Professor Zwar’s research into the prevention and management of chronic illness – with a focus on respiratory and cardiovascular disease – is internationally renowned. His other clinical, teaching and research interests include tobacco control, sleep disorders, immunisation and travel health.
During his academic career, Professor Zwar has also maintained involvement in clinical practice, working part time as a general practitioner for over 30 years. He has contributed to, and led the development of, several sets of Australian and international clinical practice guidelines and has over 200 peer-reviewed publications.
Professor Zwar said he was confident Bond University’s vision would keep the Gold Coast – and CBDRobina – squarely in the international education spotlight.
And, as for Health Sciences & Medicine specifically, Professor Zwar said a highlight this year would be the cutting-edge extension of Bond’s Health Building, which will be officially opened during the 30th anniversary ‘Homecoming‘ celebrations from May 9-13.
After months of construction, the extension to the new building will add 4,500 square metres of extra space for the faculty and its students, including new teaching facilities, innovative learning areas and increased recreational space.
Professor Zwar said this year would also see Bond launch a specialist research institute, as well as a number of new postgraduate education programs, including Australia’s first Master of Healthcare Innovations.
Looking to the future, a focus for Professor Zwar will be maintaining and enhancing the quality of the student experience, and continuing to push the boundaries of the learning environment through interdisciplinary education, personalised learning, health simulation and technology-enhanced learning.
“Bond’s advanced health professional education programs in medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy and sports science are highly regarded, with an outstanding reputation for student experience,” he said.
“New and innovative post-graduate programs and undergraduate offerings will be an area of focus for us, as will the development of our research. As a small institution, we need to grow research through strategic partnerships – especially those that link closely to our expertise in evidence-based practice and other niche areas of research including stem cell research, urology and sports science.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing to get to know the Health Sciences & Medicine team and the hospitals and community-based health services in this region – many of which are right here in Robina – to understand how we can build on our relationship with them for mutual benefit.”
Professor Zwar said he was excited to see what was ahead for the next 30 years at Bond.
“There is increasing recognition of what the university has achieved in just 30 years,” he said.
“Bond has become a serious player in academia in this country and I’m looking forward to being part of the next chapter of the Bond University story.”
Earlier this year, Bond University purchased a site in the emerging Stadium Village precinct. The strategic acquisition takes Bond’s total Stadium Village landholding to 16,610 square metres, and a total investment of over $23.5M. The Promethean Way property adjoins the Bond Institute of Health and Sport (former home of the Titans NRL team’s Centre of Excellence), and is located on the doorstep of Robina’s Cbus Super Stadium and Robina’s Train Station and Transport Hub.
insideR’s Captains of Education Series
Be sure to check out our previous issues of insideR where we spoke to:
- Somerset College Headmaster of 10 years, Craig Bassingthwaighte
- All Saints Anglican College Headmaster of 17 years, Patrick Wallas
- Robina High Principal, Julie Warwick.
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