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President's Welcome 2020-2021

Prof. Ilze Akota, ADEE President 2020-2021

Prof Ilze Akota is Head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, former dean (1999-2003) of the faculty of Dentistry and former vice rector for education (2003-2013) in Riga Stradins University in Latvia

Dear ADEE members, Dental Educators and Friends

It is my honour and privilege to serve as the President of ADEE for 2020 and 2021.  Many of you will probably remember me from ADEE 2014 in Riga, Latvia however, in the interest of transparency it is prudent I provide you with some information on my background.

I am a full Professor of Oral surgery and currently Head of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery and former dean (1999-2003) of the faculty of Dentistry and former vice rector for education (2003-2013) in Riga Stradins University in Latvia. I have served as board member of IADR NOF division being past president of division in 2018-2019.

Coming from one of the Baltic States (Latvia) my background in Dental education is based on uniform core curriculum in stomatology. Historically for the most part in this model of dental education curriculum consisted of general medicine approach to training.  However, in recent years this has changed considerably and being part of this evolution I have some experience in developing and changing the Dental programme to create a modern and vibrant curriculum.

I am very proud to be selected by ADEE to be your president and to be able to showcase dental education in the Baltic regions and how it has evolved in recent years. My experiences have been enabled by many dental education experts I have met through the ADEE network and at our various meetings and taskforce groups. The value of ADEE to dental academics and the support it can bring is of great value.

Dental Education has entered a new stage of its evolution and ADEE must continue to drive and guide this direction forward. 

Modern and challenging changes to the curriculum are occurring and key words such as: sustainability, inter professional learning, increasing and emerging technologies, digitalization, and very important for Europe – gerontology, are currently in focus. As dental education comes to terms with these and embeds them in the curriculum we must continue to through consensus reach guidance and core documents to assist faculty.

At a wider and strategic level ADEE and indeed Riga Stradins University are both partners in the Erasmus + project O-Health-Edu. This three year project is led University Clermont-Auvergne in France and ADEE’s immediate past President Professor Stephanie Tubert-Jeannin and aims to shape a vision for Oral Health education for 2030. ADEE’s role as dissemination partner in this is central to widely distributing the knowledge and information attained through the project and we are confident it will play an important role in shaping further guidance for dental education.

Collaboration and working together across professional and geographical boundaries is a critical part in the success of any association in today’s highly mobile world.  Thus during my presidency I hope to help ADEE continue to collaborate with our key dental education partners throughout the world, ADEA, SEAADE, ABENO, JADE, etc. And I also look forward to engaging with our European colleagues in the FEDCAR (regulators), CED (professionals), CECDO (chief dental officers), EDHF (hygienists) and many others.  We all have at our core the best interests of our patients, students and the general public.  Working with EDSA will of course continue to be a priority for ADEE as it has been for many years. Hearing and understanding the student voice is one of the factors that is paramount to delivering a balanced and effective curriculum. It is only through working together regulator, professionals, student and educators that we can realise our individual and collective visions.

Coming as I do with an active membership of IADR a key element of my presidency will be to continue to grown and hopefully embed the ADEE/IADR-PER relationship. Those of you who attended ADEE Berlin will recall a workshop on dental education research was very well attended and we hope this will be just the start of formalising the concepts of dental education research with the wider dental curriculum.  Working together with IADR and supporting the work of my Executive and ADEE member colleagues I am confident the we can get dental educational research the recognition it deserves.

Much of ADEE’s work and in particular our annual meeting relies on the kind and generous support of our corporate partners.  I look forward to working with them to ensure the receive value and recognition for their contribution and to shape out new and innovative ways of working with them.

We are living in rapidly changing and at time fragile world. It can appear at times that everything is changing. Dental education is constantly trying to fit in and it is important we take control of shaping the destiny of dental education. My wish for future of European Dental Education during my presidency is based on development, proactive changes and collaboration with other organizations to shape our future. I look forward to you being along the journey with me.

In closing I want to acknowledge and give thanks to my predecessor Stephanie Tubert for her leadership of ADEE in 2018-2019.  Her vision and enthusiasm has been very beneficial for ADEE and I very much look forward to continuing to work with her on the O-Health-Edu project. I must also acknowledge our Executive colleague for their time, commitment and passion to dental education.

I wish you all a very happy new year and look forward to meeting and working with you all in the coming months.

Professor Ilze Akota
ADEE President 2020-2021

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