Restructuring an undergraduate dental curriculum to global standards – a case study in an Indian dental school
ABSTRACT Globalisation has affected all aspects of life and dentistry is no exception. In the context of today's dentist being a global citizen, undergraduate training in dentistry is set to ensure converging standards so that international recognition of dental qualifications can move forward. The decision of the Dental Council of India to expand the undergraduate dental program to five years provides an opportunity to be part of the endeavor of the Global Dental Congress to achieve converging standards which was initially for the European Union, and now spreading out globally. Economic emergence in Indian subcontinent has resulted in growing oral health care needs both in quality and quantity. To address this issue, the graduating dentist needs to be trained following a competency based curricular model.
Access to Internet facilitated the goal of achieving converging standards of dental schools to be feasible because of the instant communication and capacity to share information about training strategies via technology across the globe. Upgrading the undergraduate training to global standards by dental schools in India could be a wise and strategic move both for attracting students to study in India, as well as retaining the graduates after their training. The following is a case study of an Indian dental school set to restructure the undergraduate curriculum to global standards using the 8 steps of Kotter's transformational change. Change in curriculum and the subsequent accreditation of the school in global platform not only attracts prospective students but also results in producing competent dentists. Dental education provided by the institution can result in quality assurance, benchmarking the assessment system to achieve international recognition. This paper highlights the need and importance of facilitation of international convergence with long term aspirations for mutual recognition of international degrees.