Current influences on traditional Chinese medicine education in the UK: the experience of a collaborative programme between Middlesex University and Beijing University of chinese medicine.
Bell, Celia M.
Cheng, Ming Zhao
- Publisher: The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine
A long and successful collaboration has existed between Middlesex University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine in the delivery of high quality education and practitioner training in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the UK. A joint degree programme was validated by the two Universities in 1997 offering integrated training at undergraduate level in both Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture & Moxibustion. This programme was the first of its kind to be offered in Europe by a public sector higher education institute. Students on the programme undertake academic study at Middlesex University and gain clinical experience on placement in hospitals affiliated to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine in addition to practitioner training in the UK at the Asante Academy of Chinese Medicine.\ud \ud There have been several drivers for the relatively recent move towards degree status for TCM, along with other Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) professions in the UK. Concern over patient safety and the rising popularity of CAM led to an inquiry being held by a House of Lords select committee. Their report, published in 2000, made several recommendations, including that the acupuncture and herbal medicine professions seek statutory status. Following this recommendation, the UK Department of Health launched a public consultation in March 2004, seeking views on proposals for statutory professional self-regulation of these professions. In developing its proposals, the Department of Health considered and built on the recommendations of two independent regulatory working groups for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. The views expressed in the consultation will help frame the provisions to be included in an order to be laid before the UK Parliament prior to becoming law. The matters which concern a regulatory body include education, registration, continuing professional development and disciplinary and ethical matters.\ud \ud A pre-requisite for regulation is the establishment of a core curriculum and minimum standards for competent practice as well as an expert mechanism to assess educational qualifications. This paper considers the impact of the move towards statutory self-regulation on the development of TCM education in the UK and the implications of future regulatory frameworks for educational institutions.
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