July 11, 2008

School Has Degree of Recognition

STUDENTS WILL soon be able to gain a Bachelor of Health Science in acupuncture - which meets internationally recognised qualification standards - when the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine commences its four-year degree course in February 2009 at its Wellington and Auckland campuses.

The school is the only tertiary education organisation in New Zealand authorised to deliver a bachelor's degree in acupuncture.

It is a member of the New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers and is a New Zealand Qualifications Authority accredited provider.

Interest is high from prospective students and the school has already started compiling a waiting list for applicants following the announcement that the NZQA approved the degree in April this year.

Acupuncturists who have a diploma will also be able to convert to the bachelor's degree qualification by completing a short transition course.

The school intends to start running these short transition courses for diploma qualified practicing acupuncturists in July this year.

This decision was made because NZQA has announced that the National Diploma in Acupuncture was to be deregistered in 2009 and that the diploma training could no longer be offered after this year.

Acupuncture has been practiced as an alternative therapy in New Zealand since the mid 1970s.

The New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has been training acupuncture professionals since 1989 at its Wellington and Auckland campuses.

In 2007 the Ministry of Health approved the profession of acupuncture to be a regulated health profession under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. This meant that acupuncture has been classified as a recognised health profession along with other health professions like nursing and dentistry.

Many industry experts expect New Zealand to follow the example of other countries by requiring the minimum standard for acupuncture professionals to be a bachelor's degree by 2013.

The directors and staff of the school are delighted that several years of hard work has come to fruition.

They have received numerous messages of congratulations from within New Zealand and overseas.

Although it is a relatively small private training establishment, their achievement shows that quality education can be achieved in a niche market and at an internationally recognised standard.


(c) 2008 Sunday Star - Times; Wellington, New Zealand. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.