First cycle professional higher education degree in dietetics: A comparison of Saudi programme with the European standards

Elham Aljaaly
The Clinical Nutrition Department, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: To compare the King Abdulaziz University (KAU)  rst cycle Clinical Nutrition (CLN) study programme with the European standards.
Design/methods: The current study plan for KAU CLN programme was compared with European programmes. Comparison carried out using the 2005 European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD) Benchmark statement.
Findings: In comparison to European countries, the KAU CLN programme qualify for BSc in CLN and delivered in English language. It required for European countries to deliver dietetic programmes under the faculties for health programmes, which also applied for KAU CLN programme where it is in the curricula of Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences. CLN students has to complete 120 weeks (theoretical) and to practice (fieldwork) for 30 weeks (60 day = 480 hr/academic year while doing the programme. This is comparable with the European countries. Correspondingly to the European countries, CLN senior students are required to submit a final report for their graduation research projects and to conduct a one-year internship programme. In most European dietetics programmes, qualification is connected with registration, which is the same for Saudi CLN graduates. The programme does not use European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and use a GPA Credit System and a total of 137 Credit hours  342.5 ECTS should be completed in order to be accredit for the qualification.
Practical implications: For Saudi CLN students to internationally approve the practise of their qualifications, competences and skills, particularly throughout the European Higher Education Area.
Originality/value: The first Saudi study to compare a national dietetic programme with European countries based of EFAD EDBS.
Keywords: European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians; EFAD; King Abdulaziz University; KAU; European; Saudi; Clinical Nutrition; CLN; dietetics; higher education; competencies; 1st cycle degree.

Elham IJFNPH V8N2 2016.pdf
Elham IJFNPH V8N2 2016.pdf
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