ACCESS AND PARTICIPATION STATEMENT

The College is committed to making our courses as accessible as possible to people of all types. We are a registered charity and our charitable objectives include:

  • To provide education and promote high standards of practice in the science and art of acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and nutrition for the protection and benefit of the public, to be available to any suitably qualified person regardless of age, race, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation or disability provided such disability is compatible with the provision of safe and effective treatment.

This objective is reinforced in our Equal Opportunities policy, which can be viewed here. The principles of our Equal Opportunities policy and the associated Code of Conduct apply to our admissions procedures in these ways:

  • Any discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, religion, ethnicity, age, pregnancy and maternity or class would be in breach of our equal opportunities policy.
  • In the case of physical disability, the College will make reasonable adjustments such as provision of additional physical resources and adaptations to the College premises.  These adjustments will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  The College will attempt to overcome such obstacles as much as possible, but some admissions may prove impossible due to the limitations of the premises or of our resources as a small, private, non-profit-making College.  Admissions which have significant cost implications for the College will be referred to the Board of Directors.
  • When reaching a decision on an application for admission to the College, the admissions tutors must consider the interests of patients, staff, students and the profession as a whole, as well as the interests of the applicant.  Therefore, in the case of physical or mental disability or illness the admissions tutors will have to be satisfied that the disability or illness could not jeopardise:
    • The applicants' ability to practise safely, effectively and ethically;
    • The applicants' ability to relate to and communicate with patients, staff, students and colleagues in a safe, ethical and professional manner

Applicants may be required to provide evidence of this in the form of assessments by specialists, additional references, etc.

Since the founding of the College in 1988 we have accumulated many years of experience of supporting individual students and staff from a very wide range of backgrounds, including diversity of sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion, ethnicity and class, as well as those with disabilities and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

 

Gender and sexual orientation

More than half of the members of our professions are female, and women are strongly represented at every level of the professions. For example, the professionally accredited courses across the UK have more women as heads of courses than men.

Similarly, the majority of the College’s students and teaching staff are women. Over the last three years 79% of both our undergraduate and our postgraduate students were women.

The College is a tolerant and open community and there is no bias in our recruitment or treatment of staff or students with regard to sexual orientation or gender attribution.

 

Nationality, ethnicity and religion

The College specialises in core subject areas which include acupuncture and Chinese medicine. These subjects represent a transfer of knowledge and understanding between different countries, languages and cultures and we are enthusiastic advocates of the benefits they have to offer to all people around the world. We see this valuing of different cultures and appreciation of global interchange as part of the reason the College is a welcoming and friendly place for people from all backgrounds.

Our students come from a variety of countries and religious and ethnic backgrounds.

In recent years students attending the College have come from a variety of European countries including Spain, Portugal, Poland and Slovenia as well as the UK. Our current online MSc students come from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Israel and Oman as well as the UK.

Religious backgrounds include Christian, Buddhist and Muslim among others, as well as those with no religion.

Ethnicities of our students include Asian and Chinese, among others.  However, the overall numbers of non-white students are currently quite small (2% of undergraduates and 13% of postgraduates over the last three years). These proportions are not dissimilar to the population in our surrounding area, but nonetheless we would welcome a greater ethnic diversity among both our students and our staff teams. We are keen to welcome people from all backgrounds, and we are working to reach out to different communities.

 

Age

The age range of our students is unusual in the Higher Education sector, with the majority being mature students. Our students vary in age all the way from late teens to mid-sixties. Our subject areas are popular options for those wishing for a change of career, but they are also increasingly popular with younger people making their first foray into professional life. The diversity of ages in our student groups lends them a unique quality and there is a great deal of mutual support and learning from one another.

TABLE OF AGES OF BSc STUDENTS ON ADMISSION, 2013-15

% Under 21 % 21-24 % 25-29 % 30 & Over
1 7 11 81

 

TABLE OF AGES OF MSc STUDENTS ON ADMISSION, 2013-15

% Under 21 % 21-24 % 25-29 % 30 & Over
0 1 9 90

 

The youngest student enrolled (on the BSc in Acupuncture) was 18.  The oldest student enrolled (on the MSc in Nutritional Therapy) was 67.

 

Disability

We have supported students with a variety of physical difficulties, including among others a wheelchair user and people living with chronic pain. Our building has good disabled access. We are keen to work with students to make adaptations as necessary and we find that maintaining a good dialogue with students helps us together to identify helpful changes to matters such as furniture and aspects of practical classes and assessments.

Over the last three years 20% of our undergraduate students and 12% of our postgraduate students have declared a disability at the point of registration (this statistic includes learning difficulties – see below).

 

Learning difficulties (including dyslexia and dyspraxia)

Success as a practitioner comes from having a wide range of personal and professional skills and we find that people with specific learning difficulties can really thrive and succeed with the right support. We have accumulated much experience of supporting students with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties over many years, and we provide staff training in this area. The support we provide to our students is individualised and may include one-to-one sessions with one of our learning support tutors, as well as adjustments to written assessments.

12-15% of our undergraduate students have declared dyslexia over the last three years, either at the point of registration or during the course of their studies. Some people find that it is when they enter higher education, and particularly in a supportive environment such as the College, that their dyslexia finally comes to light. For students who have not previously, or recently, had a professional dyslexia assessment the College will help students who suspect they are dyslexic with the cost of the assessment.  The College will fund up to £200 or 50% of the cost of a dyslexia assessment. This covers most of the cost if arranged via the College’s SPLD assessor, Dyslexia Solutions. Once an assessment is in place we make adjustments as recommended. For example, markers will make allowances for grammar and spelling, extra time can be allowed for exams, and extra support is available from our learning support tutors.

 

Qualifications on entry

With a large percentage of our students being mature students, we take work experience into account on entry as well as qualifications. We assess each applicant carefully as an individual, looking both at their prior qualifications and at their experience of life and work. Our aim is to be open to as many applicants as possible, while being careful not to admit students who we think are unlikely to succeed.

TABLE OF QUALIFICATIONS OF BSc STUDENTS ON ADMISSION, 2013-15

% A-level Equivalent % GNVQ / BTEC / ADV Nat Dip % Access / DIP HE / HND % UG Qual % EU / Non UK Qual % PG Qual % Prof Quals % Uni Credit % Mature / no formal qual % Other % Not Known
 11 23 13 14 2 6 19 1 5 5 0

 

This table is an indication of the diversity of our undergraduate intake. We are keen to encourage applications from people with a variety of prior educational experience and we aim to help applicants to demonstrate their ability to thrive as students here.

TABLE OF QUALIFICATIONS OF MSc STUDENTS ON ADMISSION, 2013-15

% A-level Equivalent % GNVQ / BTEC / ADV Nat Dip % Access / DIP HE / HND % UG Qual % EU / Non UK Qual % PG Qual % Prof Quals % Uni Credit % Mature / no formal qual % Other % Not Known
 0 1 4 43 6 26 19 0 0 0 0

 

Most postgraduate students already have an undergraduate degree or equivalent, and some already have a postgraduate degree in a different subject. A small number of postgraduate students are admitted on the basis of other qualifications, often professional qualifications, combined with their prior learning from work and other activities.

 

Applications, offers and acceptances

For our undergraduate course (BSc in Acupuncture) over the last three years 94% of applications led to an offer of a place, and 84% of applicants accepted their place.

For our postgraduate MSc courses over the last three years 92% of applications led to an offer of a place, and 85% of applicants accepted their place.

 

Progression and Completion

We are very committed to ensuring that our students succeed. The application process, which always includes an interview, is designed to ensure that we admit students on to our courses who will be able to succeed, and once they have been admitted we work hard to support every student to succeed.

Progression and graduation rates – BSc Acupuncture

Year of course 2014-15 2015-16
Year 1 96% progressed 87.5% progressed
Year 2 92% progressed 96% progressed
Year 3 90% progressed to dissertation 89% progressed to dissertation

 

None of the BSc students who left the course before completion did so due to failing assessments or modules. 9% of students withdrew during their course due to changes in their personal circumstances, and 2% had to retake one or more modules the next year.

Progression and graduation rates – MSc Acupuncture

Year of course 2014-15 2015-16
Year 1 100% progressed 100% progressed
Year 2 66% progressed 66% progressed
Year 3 100% progressed to dissertation 66% progressed to dissertation

 

Third year students on the MSc in Acupuncture who did not progress to the dissertation exited with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture, which is a qualification to practise.

Progression and graduation rates – MSc Nutritional Therapy

Year of course 2014-15 2015-16
Year 1 94% progressed 100% progressed
Year 2 92% progressed to dissertation 90% progressed to dissertation

 

Second year students on the MSc in Nutritional Therapy who did not progress to the dissertation exited with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Nutritional Therapy, which is a qualification to practise.

Progression and graduation rates – MSc Chinese Herbal Medicine

Year of course 2014-15 2015-16
Year 1 83% progressed 80% progressed

 

Second year students on the MSc in Chinese Herbal Medicine who did not progress to the dissertation exited with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine, which is a qualification to practise.

Progression and graduation rates – MSc Oriental Medicine (Research and Practice)

Year of course 2014-15 2015-16
Year 1 100% progressed 85% progressed
Year 2   80% progressed to dissertation

 

2014 was the first intake to this course. Second year students on the MSc in Oriental Medicine (Research and Practice) who did not progress to the dissertation re-took one or more modules or exited with a Postgraduate Diploma in Oriental Medicine (Research and Practice).

Progression and graduation rates – MSc Complementary Medicine (Research and Practice)

Year of course 2014-15 2015-16
Year 1 66% progressed 100% progressed
Year 2   100% progressed to dissertation

 

2014 was the first intake to this course.

None of the postgraduate MSc students who left their course before completion did so due to failing assessments or modules. 14% of postgraduate students withdrew during the taught part of their course due to changes in their personal circumstances.

 

Our work to extend access and participation

The College is currently building links with local secondary schools and sixth form/FE Colleges with the intention of involvement in their careers fairs and similar. Other forms of outreach are being explored and discussed.

 

Conclusion

Our commitment to making our courses accessible and to supporting a wide variety of students is enshrined in our charitable objectives, and we are true to our word in our recruitment practices and our support for our students. The College is a welcoming, tolerant and encouraging learning community. What we are interested in is our students’ ability to succeed in their studies and our enabling them to thrive here as they work to become the best practitioners they can be.