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University gains highest UK marks by UNICEF

3 August, 2015

University gains highest UK marks by UNICEF

The University of Salford’s midwifery directorate has been awarded highest marks in the UK by UNICEF. 

It retained its UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation with flying colours by receiving the UK’s highest ever mark.

Salford was first accredited by UNICEF in 2012 for the Baby Friendly Initiative University Standards programme. This programme is designed to support breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care.

However, UNICEF is now seeking to ensure that midwives across the world can help improve communication and interaction between parents and their children.

Consequently, the organisation has developed a new set of standards that universities have to meet to retain their baby-friendly accreditation.

Since last September, Salford’s final-year midwifery students have been given extensive training for the upcoming one-to-one examinations on the new standards. 

Despite their initial nerves, the students excelled in their assessments and collectively achieved an overall grade of 93%.

The assessment took place in July and consisted of one-to-one interviews whereby the student had to answer a set of questions, regarding their understanding of responsive mothering, communication, breastfeeding values and other topics they had learnt on the midwifery course.

Salford has now become the UK’s first higher education institution to pass the new standards first time around, and with the highest ever mark.

UNICEF was highly complementary of the midwifery staff and students, praising their knowledge, skill and enthusiasm in promoting breastfeeding as a public health requirement for all mothers and babies.

Midwifery lecturer Anne Leyland said the university was ‘incredibly proud’ of its achievement. 

‘We now have other universities, who are also seeking the same accolade, coming to us for advice on how we conduct our teaching, so that they can transfer our skills to their own. That speaks volumes, as it shows the qualities of our course are being recognised by our peers,’ she said.

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