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Beyond Brexit: Cross-border collaborations in pre-registration midwifery education

02 January 2018
7 min read
Volume 26 · Issue 1

Abstract

In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), which will have wide ranging social, legal and constitutional implications. Although the International Confederation of Midwives has established international standards for midwifery education, education and practice are regulated through an EU directive that includes the recognition of professional qualifications that is necessary for midwives to practise anywhere within the EU. While there is uncertainty around the future political landscape post-Brexit, it is important that pre-existing professional links are protected and strengthened, providing a platform for international collaboration for professional discourse, dissemination of research findings and sharing of best practice. At the University of Northampton, this is happening through partnership with The Florence Network, which connects nurses and midwives.

In June 2016, the UK's European Union (EU) referendum resulted in 51.9% of the electorate voting to leave. Leaving the EU will have wide ranging social, legal and constitutional implications including (but not limited to) trade, business and financial services, employment, transport, immigration, police and justice, health, higher education (Miller, 2016). In relation to health, the EU has a significant role in supplementing national policies, and while the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has established the international standards for midwifery education; teaching and practice are regulated through the European Directive 2005/36/EC (European Parliament and Council, 2005), which includes the recognition of professional qualifications and free movement to practise anywhere within the EU.

When it comes to higher education, the UK is a full member of the European Higher Education Area (European Ministers of Education, 1999), whereby members aim to increase compatibility between education and training systems across the EU to promote high quality learning and teaching and to facilitate the free movement of students, researchers and teachers.

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