Victoria's Deakin University will deploy high-definition videoconferencing in its regional clinical schools, following a $336,120 Federal Government grant to improve mental health services.
Tandberg videoconferencing units will be deployed in Warrnambool, Ballarat and Box Hill, where students typically undertake clinical placements, and Geelong, where most teachers are based.
Facilities will also receive network connections, furniture and fittings from the grant, which was provided under the Government's $90 million Innovative Clinical Teaching and Training Grants program.
The devices will be used to enhance Deakin's existing remote teaching program, which currently includes multimedia lectures and live online tutorials.
The deal builds on an existing relationship between Deakin and Tandberg.
Deakin University will lead the project, with Victorian public health service Barwon Health providing in-kind and continuing on-site IT support.
Brendan Crotty, head of Deakin's Medical School, said the funding would "enhance that program by using high definition video and high capacity network links to create a true sense of being in the same room".
The project is expected to be completed in four months, and the technology will be introduced into Deakin courses in the 2011 academic year.