from our College Principal, Richard Blackwell
This year the NCA celebrated our thirtieth anniversary with a full day of fascinating talks followed by a great party, to which all our staff, students and graduates were invited. It was great to see so many NCA people come together, with graduates from our first ever student group mingling with current students. An inspiring and enjoyable time was had by all, and the day was a great reminder of the wonderful community of graduates, staff and students associated with the College. It was a particular pleasure to hear about how our graduates are doing, and about their successful practices. I like to think of all the patients our graduates have helped over the years, and it’s good to hear that our graduates’ work as practitioners is good for them too. Many of them talked about the value of being in command of their own working lives, and achieving a better work-life balance. For our recent graduates, the good news was that many of them had already built up busy clinics soon after qualifying - you can read more about them on page 10, and you can also follow the NCA blog to keep up with our news and with the stories of our graduates and how they are doing.
Reflecting on the last thirty years, a key point for me is the College’s steady commitment to high standards, built on listening to and learning from our students. Last year we participated for the first time in the National Student Survey (NSS), and we were very pleased to receive a score of 95% for overall student satisfaction, which was better than the score for any UK University. So we were delighted this year to receive an even better score of 100% for overall student satisfaction! I’m proud of the many ways we support our students to succeed, and I’m pleased that this is so well appreciated. Visitors to our introductory days frequently comment on the welcoming and friendly atmosphere here – do come along and experience this for yourself.
Despite this great result from the NSS we know we can still improve, and we introduce further developments to the course every year. A recent example is the use of actors who come in to class to simulate clinical interactions with patients. Many students find this a little daunting at first, but they soon relax into it and find great value in the opportunity to practise their skills before using them in clinic. Another example is the videos of bodywork massage techniques to use in preparation for an acupuncture treatment, which are now available to students on our online learning environment.
This thirtieth year is also a year of change for the College, with our successful transition to a new partnership with London South Bank University. The University validate our BSc in Acupuncture, which means that successful graduates receive their degree from the University, and we are looking forward to collaborating with them on education and research.
I hope you will be inspired by the information on our website and in our prospectus to join the College community and train to become a successful acupuncturist. You could be there to celebrate our fortieth anniversary with us!
Richard Blackwell, College Principal