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China Daily

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 11:10
Working toward global promotion of TCM
By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai
Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 11:10 By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai

A traditional Chinese medicine college in Shanghai sparks passion

International students at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine take a massage course. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

The Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine has vowed to boost the development of TCM education around the world where more than 180 countries and regions have adopted this medical style, according to Xu Jianguang, president of the university.

Established in 1956, the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine is among the earliest four TCM colleges in China. Over the past few years, the university has made a series of contributions toward the development of TCM and talent cultivation.

"TCM is gaining wider recognition in the world as an increasing number of researchers have been winning global awards in recent years. This medical style is becoming more widely used across the world," says Xu.

He says the university has identified the globalization of TCM as the key to further developing the field.

As an important destination for international students to learn TCM, the university says the number of such students has been on the rise.

As of the end of 2016, there were more than 1,500 international students enrolled in long-term academic programs at the university, with 85 percent pursuing degree programs.

The number of international students who are studying for degree programs accounts for about 15 percent of the university's full-time students and more than 20 percent of its undergraduates are international students.

In 2016, the university conducted nearly 100 short-term training projects, such as international acupuncture training classes in Shanghai and summer schools for different language-speaking groups, including Chinese, English, French, Japanese and Korean. A total of 1,243 trainees took TCM-related training courses.

For the past four decades, the university has helped cultivate nearly 10,000 TCM doctors, acupuncturists and physical therapists for more than 100 countries and regions.

It has also established a global TCM center that aims to become an international platform for TCM consultation, research, international development by gathering high-level TCM talent from around the world.

With a serious interest in TCM, there are 1,500 foreign students at the university enrolled in long-term programs. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

In addition to opening courses such as "medical classics", "TCM Chinese writing" and "common Shanghai dialect for clinical use", the university holds various events related to Chinese culture to create a favorable environment for international students to practice their Chinese.

With regard to expanding its global network and establishing international cooperation, the university has established a number of TCM education centers and tai chi health centers through partnerships with well-known overseas universities and organizations.

To promote TCM culture, the university organizes activities and events each year and has even published an English magazine titled TCM Culture. In addition to establishing overseas education bases and Confucius Institutes, the university also cooperates with various universities to jointly develop TCM courses.

The lack of international regulations has long been a concern in the industry. Over the years, the university has worked with global organizations to create international standards and it established an institute to work on TCM's international standardization.

"The international development of TCM is one of China's national strategies, and the international standardization of TCM is the foundation upon which to implement this strategy. Our university now works as a practice platform to serve the strategy," Xu says.

According to the university, it has started a new round of studies of TCM development in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"We will carry out a series of studies on hot topics, such as how TCM can be involved in the construction of an economic corridor in countries and regions taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative, how to exert the soft cultural power of TCM, how to serve the country's national strategy through TCM diplomacy, and how to form the evaluation system of TCM centers," Xu says.

Last year, the university completed the research project on TCM as part of the Belt and Road Initiative with the country's TCM authorities, and it proposed a series of development strategies including how the medical style can be integrated with the internet and how its culture can be further developed.

The university also participated in the drafting of the TCM Belt and Road development plan for the 2016-2020 period.

In early 2016, a TCM international development center was officially established at the university.

The center aims to be a professional think tank that serves the development of TCM culture and promote its integration into the Belt and Road Initiative.


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