No regulation, no CAM revival, Uclan decides

July 23, 2009

Degrees in homoeopathy, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will not be revived by the University of Central Lancashire unless the Government uses its statutory powers to regulate the subjects.

The university suspended its BSc degrees in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in April, blaming lack of student interest for the move.

Now an internal report into the subjects recommends that the institution "refrains from offering any practitioner-qualifying courses" in the disciplines until they achieve "statutory regulation status".

At present, the Government regulates only the fields of osteopathy and chiropractics within CAM, although acupuncture, herbal and Chinese medicine have been mooted for regulation in the past.

The Report of the Working Party on the Review of Issues Associated with Homoeopathy, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, which was published last week, says: "In the worst-case scenario, all three disciplines lead to waste of resources, as payments are made for ineffective treatments."

It also advocates postgraduate research training for staff and students in these disciplines, and questions the use of the pure BSc title.

A spokesman for Uclan said: "The university continues to keep an open mind and, after a careful review, it has now determined that it will re-evaluate these subjects again as and when they come under statutory regulation."

He added that "until they have completed their programmes, the university will ensure that there is full support for all students enrolled and involved in such courses".

The news comes as the University of Westminster announced that it is seeking redundancies among staff on its homoeopathy course, which it axed earlier this year.

In a statement, it says: "The university has put in place a voluntary redundancy scheme for staff affected by its decision to halt student recruitment in homoeopathy, remedial massage and neuromuscular therapy undergraduate courses earlier this year, with a closing date of July."

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