International partnership sees Swansea University launch new course for Italian students

A pioneering international collaboration has seen Swansea University team up with an osteopathic college in Italy to offer a new degree.

Beginning in October, the Accademia per lo Sviluppo dell'Osteopatia e della Medicina Integrativa (ASOMI) in Turin will have primarily responsibility for delivering a one-year BSc (Hons) Osteopathy ‘top-up’ programme.

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Lecturers from the University’s M.Ost Osteopathy programme and the College of Human and Health Sciences student support section will have responsibility for the overall management, teaching input and quality assurance of the course.

Bob Davies, Senior Lecturer on the M.Ost Osteopathy programme and Programme Director/Lead for the ASOMI course, was delighted about securing the partnership.

He said: “This agreement is the first of its kind for the University. As well as developing students’ knowledge around the issues relating to the osteopathic profession, the successful completion of the programme in Turin and the issue of a degree by Swansea University – an accredited UK teaching institution for the delivery of an undergraduate osteopathic programme - will also develop an enhanced student pedigree as graduates put into practice their newly acquired skills and enhanced professionalism.”‌

Around 40 students are expected to enrol in September in the first cohort. They will study in Turin for one academic year and undertake four Level 6 modules, including one delivered by Swansea University staff in Italy.

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It is also hoped that over the next couple of years, students on osteopathy programmes at both institutions will visit and work in respective clinics to widen and promote student experience. The collaboration also offers the potential for research into areas of osteopathy not yet studied.

The development of this new collaboration has been supported by the University’s Academic Partnerships Directorate which facilitates overseas collaborations with education and commercial organisations across the world.

This collaboration is based on a validation arrangement where the partner has lead responsibility in proposing, delivering and assessing the academic content while Swansea University quality assures that content, moderates the assessment and awards the final qualification of a BSc (Hons) Osteopathy.

Bob (pictured) said: “I have worked closely with Mark Narusberg from the University’s Academic Partnership team to secure this project. Mark has been very supportive from its initial inception and has provided important guidance and support over the past 18 months.”

Director of Academic Partnerships Huw Morris said his team was proud to have been able to employ its expertise to help develop the innovative programme and to have set the foundations for a successful and sustainable partnership.

He added: “Our aim is ensure that any student or learner, wherever they study and at whichever level of award, will have a rewarding and excellent learning experience.”