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International educational partnerships to develop the healthcare workforce


International educational partnerships create global links between organisations in different countries. They aim to share knowledge and skills, raise cross-cultural awareness, and expand career opportunities in participating countries through different types of learning, including skill sharing, exchange programmes, and mentorship schemes. Some examples of international educational partnerships are very well known, such as the work of Health Volunteers Overseas. However, many partnerships are not formally evaluated outside the organisations in which they take place, creating a gap in what we know about how many partnerships exist, who is involved, and what benefits and challenges they face.

This is a short-term study which builds on an earlier review of ethical international recruitment.


This research is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme, through the Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, PR-PRU-1217-21002. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).


This is a multi-method study based on a literature review, survey of NHS trusts and semi structured interviews with experience of being involved in international partnerships.


This is project being undertaken at the request of DHSC customers who are involved in international recruitment. The study remit was developed in collaboration with them and is aimed at maximising the policy relevance of the end product.

Related work

Moriarty, J., Manthorpe, J., Lipman, V., Martineau, S., Norrie, C., & Samsi, K. (2022) Rapid review on the ethical international recruitment of healthcare workers, London: NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, The Policy Institute, King's College London.

    Project status: Ongoing
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    Principal Investigator