The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) programme in 1992. Its main goal is to advance research, training and development of the academic programme through building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through the transfer of knowledge across borders. The UNESCO UNITWIN programme promotes international cooperation and networking among universities. It contributes to the strengthening of higher education institutions around the world, bridging the knowledge gap, mobilising university expertise and collaborating with the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
In 2010, FIP and UNESCO launched a unique global programme, entitled the University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) Global Pharmacy Education Development (GPhEd) Network, together with University College London Schools of Pharmacy as the host institution. This FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme was the first in the field of higher education for any health profession and the first for global pharmaceutical education.
The programme seeks to advance research, training and curriculum development in pharmaceutical education by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation worldwide. It has been a platform for FIP Education (FIPEd) to implement its global pharmaceutical education and workforce strategies. Pharmacy schools in the GPhEd Network have been positioned as centres for excellence and innovation that actively contribute to the development of their respective fields at national, regional and international levels.
The FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme acted as a platform for the work of the emerging FIPEd, where tools and resources were developed to help tackle challenges of academic capacity, quality assurance of educational systems and workforce competency in both high- and low-resource pharmacy education institutions. The programme enabled synchronised and powerful development in undergraduate training and continuing pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education, as well as improved communication for scientific innovation, healthcare outcomes and, ultimately, the attainment of FIP’s Development Goals. More details can be found at the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN webpage.
The Centre for Excellence in Africa (CfEA) has been the active GPhEd Network. Its founding partners, who are the leaders of the sub-Saharan African schools of pharmacy, participate to facilitate the development of academic capacity, quality assurance of educational systems and workforce competency.
Now, looking back on a decade of experience of pharmacy education and innovation across Africa, through the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN CfEA, FIP seeks to renew its partnership with UNESCO to strengthen the CfEA and roll out adapted centres across other regions globally.
‘’Setting up new FIP UNITWIN centres for excellence and establishing pharmacy schools’ associations: a pathfinder toolkit’’ (the FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit) builds on the work of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme in sub-Saharan Africa and the decade of history of its CfEA, which is driven by the demands and needs of educational stakeholders around the world. The toolkit supports the planned global expansion of the UNITWIN programme to bring the work of the CfEA and ONE FIPEd-ONE FIP together to provide a step-wise guidance to academic institutions to establish UNITWIN networks in regions across the world. It also serves to support African academic institutions establish an Africa-wide association of schools of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences.
This toolkit is comprised of three chapters:
- The first chapter is the introduction to and background of the toolkit, in which the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme and value for educational partnerships is explained.
- The second chapter provides information, case studies from the experts/partners/founders about the CfEA and operational resources on transforming pharmacy education through educational networks using the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme’s CfEA approach.
- The third chapter is designed to provide details on existing pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences school associations from around the world. In this chapter, case studies on how to establish an association of schools of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences as well as on shared experiences about mission, vision, legislative steps, strategic plans and priorities, decision-making, leadership, membership, marketing, partner engagement of associations from other regions, opinions on success and benefits of pharmacy school associations can be found. The final part provides conclusions and learning-as-you-go-forward messages to ensure dynamics, relevance and future actions.
The toolkit concludes with “Conclusions’’ and ‘’Learning as we go” parts which describe key findings and way forward areas, and areas where future research is required, respectively.
The founders and members of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN CfEA encourage other regions around the world to engage in FIP-UNITWIN programmes to facilitate mobilisation of training and increase collaboration among institutions to deliver pharmaceutical education addressing national, regional and international needs in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. The UNITWIN networks engage their members in a wider community of practice. They are platforms to share experiences, best practices and resources, and learn from other academic institutions across their regions and from around the world. A successful UNITWIN network will be built on a needs-based strategy, supported with appropriate funding, and all stakeholders in education and health care must be engaged, including academics, pharmaceutical societies/ associations, regulators/policy makers and pharmacy school networks across the region (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Steps for establishing new FIP UNITWIN centre for excellence
Leaders of the existing pharmacy school associations recommend that any future similar association ensures its activities are sustainable at the time of establishment. Collaboration with other associations alongside networking opportunities in all pharmacy-related fields and policy and advocacy development regrading pharmacy-related issues are important components for the future of a pharmacy school network or association. See Figure 2 for key success factors for pharmacy school associations.
Figure 2. Key success factors for pharmacy school associations
Nilhan Uzman, FIP Lead for Education Policy and Implementation, FIP Programme Lead for FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Programme, The Netherlands
Dr Aysu Selcuk, FIP Educational Partnership Coordinator, Turkey
Alison Ubong Etukakpan, FIP Educational Partnership Coordinator, Nigeria
Dr Khalid Garba Mohammed, FIP UNITWIN Pathfinder Toolkit Coordinator, Nigeria
Prof Ralph J. Altiere, Chair of FIP Education, Director of FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Programme, United States of America
Dominique Jordan, President of FIP, Switzerland
It is my privilege to introduce the FIP UNITWIN Pathfinder toolkit for setting up new FIP UNITWIN centres for excellence and establishing pharmacy schools’ associations.
Through platforms of best-practice and knowledge sharing, academic institutions, educational stakeholders, and partners play significant roles in transforming healthcare and our societies. In our noble profession, we can see evidence of educational transformations from national and regional associations of pharmacy schools and the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centre for excellence.
The world has set 2030 as the deadline to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and strategies and tactics for the years ahead to be able to meet that deadline. FIP has aligned strategic delivery through the FIP Development goals to advance pharmacy profession. We believe, and have seen, there is no pharmacy practice without education and scientific foundations. Therefore, FIP supports educational and scientific transformations that build and consolidate these foundations. FIP cannot do transformations alone, and we need to partner with educators, scientists, relevant stakeholders and as our mission is global advancement of our profession, we partner with a major United Nations agency, UNESCO – the Unites Nations organizations for education, science and culture.
FIP-UNESCO partnership will position UNITWIN centres for excellence as a fundamental pathway to advance pharmacy profession globally through educational and scientific partnerships, leadership of academic institutions, educational stakeholders and partners. So far, for a decade, we have done this through FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence in Africa. The FIP UNITWIN Pathfinder toolkit takes learnings from a decade of partnership through the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre of Excellence in Africa and provides guidance and tips for others to benefit.
I extend my sincere gratitude to the founders of the Centre a decade ago, and its members for their vision, expertise, and most importantly their efforts for sustaining the success for a decade. We are proud of our African Colleagues who have paved the way for the global expansion of FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centre of excellence across all regions of the world. We know we can build on the learnings to provide guidance and provisions to other regions to meet educational and scientific needs at their countries, institutions, and regions. FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme will facilitate educational and scientific transformations across regions and countries, to improve pharmacy as a profession while promoting good health and well-being. I am confident that FIP UNITWIN Pathfinder toolkit provides necessary direction and resources to realize this mission.
Similarly, the partnership with pharmacy schools’ associations from around the world has shown the importance of working in collaboration and solidarity to put trust in action. Major professional progress has been achieved through these associations in the areas of scientific research and educational policy transformation. We will support the members of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre of Excellence in Africa, and the entire community of the African pharmaceutical education with this toolkit, so an Africa-wide association of pharmacy schools can be established in the region. This will ensure the activities of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre of Excellence in Africa will be sustained and the entire region will act in solidarity for advancing pharmaceutical education. I thank the African Pharmaceutical Forum for their leadership for facilitating the establishment of the Africa-wide association of pharmacy schools.
During my presidency, FIP will host a Health Ministers’ Summit where we will report progress against the FIP Development Goals, to demonstrate not only the impact of our commitment to Astana in 2018, but also our commitment to deliver FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme and prepare the path ahead of the pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists we will see in future through educational reform. With FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme and our partner Africa-wide pharmacy schools’ association, I am confident that we will report progress on global health by advancing pharmacy practice and science to enable better discovery, development, access to and safe use of appropriate, cost-effective, quality medicines worldwide for good health and well-being through educational and scientific transformations.
Long live pharmaceutical education! Long live FIP!
Author: Nilhan Uzman, FIP Lead for Education Policy and Implementation, The Netherlands
The FIP UNITWIN Pathfinder toolkit builds on the way forward areas from the “FIP pharmacy education in sub-Saharan Africa report: The FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Programme: A decade of education partnership across Africa”. The report describes the most pressing healthcare, health workforce and pharmaceutical education needs in sub-Saharan Africa and provides recommendations towards achieving universal health coverage. This first-of-its-kind report in FIP’s and African history documents a decade of evidence, experience and impact from the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence in Africa (Figure 3) and provides an overview of pharmacy education in sub-Saharan Africa, including national profiles of pharmacy education, educational trends and best practices.
Figure 3. About the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Programme and Centre for Excellence in Africa
The report resulted in a set of purposeful way-forward areas to consolidate the impact and build on the findings. The way-forward areas of the report are:
- Addressing inequities in education;
- Establishing educational partnerships;
- Establishing an Africa-wide association of pharmacy schools for academic networking and sharing of ideas, innovations, expertise to advance pharmacy education and health care; and
- Expanding the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme to other regions across the globe to achieve its original mandate as a global pharmacy education development programme.
To achieve these way-forward areas, there is an immediate need to provide clear and practical guidance for pharmacy education and workforce stakeholders not only across Africa but also around the world, including faculty members, academic pharmacy leaders, academic institutions, students, policy makers, and pharmacy education and practice regulators. The FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit is building on a decade of experiences developed by the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN CfEA. It is driven by the demands and needs of educational stakeholders around the world. Its purpose and how to use the toolkit are described below.
Authors: Alison Etukakpan, FIP Educational Partnership Coordinator, Nigeria; Dr. Aysu Selcuk, FIP Educational Partnership Coordinator, Ankara University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Turkey
The FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit serves as a compilation of tools, resources and information for the following purposes:
- To provide step-wise guidance to academic institutions across the globe for setting up such FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centres for excellence in their region;
- To support African academic institutions and partners for setting up intra-regional associations of schools of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, by sharing experiences from other regions; and
- To provide recognition of the founders and leaders who ensured the success of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence in Africa.
By using the FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit, faculty members, academics pharmacy leaders and academic institutions will be able to understand:
- How they can establish a regional FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centre for excellence in collaboration with other academic institutions; and
- How they can establish intra-regional or country level associations of schools of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences building on good practices and expert opinions from other associations across the world.
How to use the FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit
The toolkit consists of three chapters designed to help users navigate the development of pharmacy educational partnerships with specific focus on regional FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centres for excellence and intra-regional/country level associations of pharmacy schools:
- Chapter 1: Provides a brief introduction to the toolkit including the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme and value for educational partnerships. This part aims to build a foundation and bridge for any existing gaps in knowledge and partnership for intending users.
- Chapter 2: Provides information, case studies and operational resources on transforming pharmacy education through educational networks using the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme’s centre for excellence approach. Case studies in Chapter 2 are accessible by FIP members only. If you would like to access to this content, register to become a member here.
- Chapter 3: Provides case studies on establishing an association of schools of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences with shared experiences on mission, vision, legislative steps, strategic plans and priorities, decision-making, leadership, membership, marketing and partner engagement of associations from other regions. This part also includes opinions on successes and benefits of pharmacy school associations. If you would like to access to this content, register to become a member here.
The toolkit concludes with “Conclusions’’ and ‘’Learning as we go” parts which describe key findings and way forward areas, and areas where future research is required, respectively.
1.3 ONE FIP global pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences agenda and the value of FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme
Author: Prof. Ralph J. Altiere, Chair of FIP Education, United States of America
The FIP vision is a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and health technologies, as well as from pharmaceutical care services provided by pharmacists, in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. The FIP mission is to support global health by enabling the advancement of pharmaceutical practice, sciences and education. In order to deliver on the FIP vision and mission and the health for all agenda, FIP and the pharmacy profession must be united. In support of this approach, the ONE FIP programme was born to unite pharmacy education, practice and science to act in concert to meet the health needs of populations across the globe.
FIP recognises that education and training form the foundation that can deliver on ONE FIP by developing the future workforce and upskilling the current workforce to meet today’s and tomorrow’s healthcare challenges to help achieve the broader goal of universal health coverage. We accomplish these goals through ONE FIP Education (FIPEd) in which the elements that comprise FIPEd, the Academic Pharmacy Section (AcPS), the Academic Institutional Membership (AIM), the Workforce Development Hub (WDH), the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Programme in collaboration with the Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS) and the Board of Pharmaceutical Practice (BPP) along with our Young Pharmacists Group (YPG) and International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) partners, work together to achieve the FIP mission.
The AcPS focuses on development of faculty, curriculum and assessment measures. AIM’s focus is on leadership development and models for guiding the future of pharmacy education. The WDH provides research and resources that can be used to assist in the transformation of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education and the FIP Global Pharmacy Observatory provides pharmaceutical intelligence that guides the work of all FIP units in advancing pharmacy globally. The integrated work of these FIPEd elements embody the ONE FIPEd approach to addressing education and training needs of current and future practitioners and scientists. The BPP and the BPS provide expertise in practice and science to assure education transformation meets societal needs and the envisioned future of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences. The YPG and the IPSF give us the vision of pharmacy’s future and their futures as pharmacy practitioners and scientists that keeps us focused on the most important goals. A major objective of the UNESCO UNITWIN programme is to advance equity within academia. The FIPWiSE (Women in Science and Education) programme was initiated to promote equity within the pharmacy education workforce.
The work of ONE FIPEd together with the BPP, the BPS, the YPG, the IPSF and FIPWiSE embodies the ONE FIP vision of working in concert through its provider and partner model to advance pharmacy education, training, workforce development, practice, science and equity in academia.
The FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme, a global programme to create networks of universities to advance pharmacy education, plays a central role for implementation of the many resources of FIP and FIPEd for the purpose of transforming pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education to meet the current and future needs of our communities and the envisioned future of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences to improve health and wellness.
FIP, through the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme, has an ambitious and exciting agenda to continue its work across Africa and expand its scope to other regions of the world which will increase the reach of FIPEd in effecting education change. UNITWIN serves as the network and platform for the AcPS and AIM to establish education partnerships by working directly with individual schools or regional networks of schools to meet their goals and the goal of FIPEd to facilitate faculty, curriculum, assessment and leadership development to advance pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education.
The FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit is built on the work of the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme in sub-Saharan Africa and the 10-year history of its CfEA. The work of this programme is described in the recent “FIP pharmacy education in sub-Saharan Africa” report launched in October 2020. By design, the toolkit supports the planned global expansion of the UNITWIN programme to bring the work of the CfEA and ONE FIPEd-ONE FIP together to provide a step-wise guidance to academic institutions to establish UNITWIN Centres for Excellence in regions across the world. It also serves to support African academic institutions establish an African association of schools of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences and other regions to establish or strengthen existing associations of pharmacy schools to assure pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education programmes support and shape the future of pharmacy.
1.4 The value of educational partnership and networks of academic institutions and relevant partners to education and pharmacy profession
Author: Dr. Khalid Garba Mohammed, PhD, FIP UNITWIN Pathfinder Toolkit Coordinator, Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
Educational partnership refers to the design, decision, action and cooperation among educational institutions, research institutions, government and policymakers, not-for-profit organisations, industries, philanthropists, faith and religious organisations, families and community members with influence on educational growth, and increasing access to quality education. An educational partnership is a form of communication and collaborative support for the educational process which also implies commitments and fulfilling requirements towards educational activities.1
In a broader term, an educational partnership can bring about innovation, diversification, socio-economic growth and development in a multitude of ways. On the global scale, one of the strongest educational partnerships is the UNESCO UNITWIN programme introduced in 1992. Its main goal is to advance research, training and development of the academic programme through building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through the transfer of knowledge across borders.2 The UNESCO UNITWIN programme promotes international cooperation and networking between universities. It helps reinforce higher education institutions worldwide, bridge the knowledge gap, mobilise university expertise and helps collaboration on the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.2
Six factors must be taken into consideration when assessing organisational fit for partnership including those in the educational sector:3
- Active participation by all the parties involved;
- Organisational structure centred towards communication and coordination;
- Management through the identification of active coordinators for the partnership programme or projects;
- Goals, both short-term and long-term;
- Responsibilities (sharing of responsibilities by all partners); and
- Funding (from multiple sources proved useful).
Therefore, institutional leaderships are required to understand these factors in order to develop a partnership arrangement, both prior to the relationship on a formal basis and during the partnership arrangement. Moreover, educational partnership arrangement is most likely to be successful if it involves stakeholders that are both knowledgeable and influential, as they formulate and implement policies that cater for the needs of a divergent population both locally and internationally.3
The value of educational partnership
- Capacity building: One of the fundamental values of educational partnership is in capacity building, and this can be seen in many forms such as knowledge transfer, a partnership to develop a particular innovation, research collaboration, human resource training, student exchange programmes and exchange of resources.4
- Job opportunities: Another important principle of educational partnership is to provide job opportunities that can be beneficial to the multiple parties involved. Typically, this is among the fundamental values of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) providing its members with services including job and postdoctoral opportunities, meetings and events, webinars, continuing education, publications, reports, and searchable directories for faculty, speakers and grants opportunities.5
- Business potential partnerships: University collaboration with business is beneficial. A university is a catalyst for growth in that once a centre of technological expertise has been created: students will be attracted to the university city; joint research projects will lead to mutual development especially from the point of view of greater professional expertise; universities will attract funding from the industry; businesses may be inclined to provide donations (sponsorship of students and various endowments); various research findings can be exploited (patents); the possibility for securing work placements for students; consultancy services; and experienced managers from business can become members of the governing board of the university and their knowledge facilitates the development of the university.3 One area which is receiving increased attention, is the area of entrepreneurship and a number of universities have established centres of entrepreneurship to foster an interest and active participation of educational institutions in business.
- Providing transformational leadership: Leadership and management play a pivotal role in partnership development and its sustainability. For a partnership to be successful, there must be effective leadership to develop the mission statements of each of the partner institutions. Therefore, transformational leadership in educational partnership can bring about several benefits, including increased access to external funds, mutual exchanges and formal agreements.3
Relevant partners to the education and pharmacy profession
There are several models of educational partnership. The most common types are:3
- Pairing or twinning (single company and a single educational establishment);
- A single educational institution with multiple business partners;
- A single company with multiple educational partners; and
- Multiple partnerships (with not-for-profit entities, government agencies, faith-based organisations, etc).
Hence, courses and programmes of study should be designed towards satisfying such societal needs as healthcare needs, business needs and socio-economic growth, which should result in opportunities for funded research, and this, in turn, may result in partnership arrangements being established with other relevant partners. Furthermore, spin-offs may result in the form of mini start-up manufacturing companies, new business models, and new teaching methodologies being developed.
For the pharmacy profession, potential partners both in terms of education and practice could be from one of the following:
- Country-based pharmacy associations: These associations can help international organisations such as FIP and the World Health Organization (WHO) by identifying pharmacy trends in their country, sharing best practices and pharmacy successes that have been achieved across the country, informing pharmacists and other healthcare stakeholders about current laws that empower or limit pharmacists’ ability to provide patient care services, and outlining how pharmacist training programmes or continuing education is delivered.6
- Pharmacy boards, councils or regulatory agencies: These can provide information on the current and prospective laws, regulations, and pharmacy practices in each country. These boards also have the most complete list of pharmacists who are licensed to practise in their countries. They can be important partners for education and international health organisations.6
- Schools and colleges of pharmacy: These can provide experts and advanced level of knowledge, which can be helpful in the planning, partner identification, networking and implementation phases of an initiative. Academic faculty members in the pharmacy schools/colleges can be useful by serving on advisory panels to guide plan development for the establishment of new pharmacy schools or expanding existing ones, identifying innovative models of care that are being used by faculties, delivering pharmacist training programmes or continuing education, and overseeing students to help implement public health initiatives.6
- Hospitals and community pharmacies: These serve as active collaborators for experiential training for pharmacy students, and centres for implementing innovative approaches to pharmacy education and practice.
- Pharmaceutical industries: These can serve as innovation hubs, research and training partners, and placement centres for experiential training for early career pharmacist and pharmaceutical scientists.
In conclusion, educational partnership is vital for educational growth and development and is an indispensable tool for ensuring accessibility, equity and quality education for all. The partners can be from many sources depending on the priority needs of the various partners involved. The partnership can be aimed at solving societal or institutional needs, and it can take different dimensions such as science and innovation, information and communication technologies, or business-oriented partnerships. The partnership can also help towards the dissemination of knowledge, infrastructure and expertise to resource-limited educational institutions across the world.
1. Gurlui I. Educational Partnership in Primary Education. Procedia - Soc. Behav. Sci. [Internet]. 2015;180:606–611. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.02.167 (Accessed 14 March 2021).
2. University Twinning and Networking, UNESCO. Available at: https://en.unesco.org/themes/higher-education/unitwin (Accessed 14 March 2021).
3. Trim P. A review of educational partnership arrangements in further and higher education: Pointers for managers in further education. Res. Post-Compulsory Educ. 2001;6:187–203.
4. Uzman N, Williams AE, Altiere RJ, et al. Implementing FIP’s global pharmaceutical education transformation vision in Sub-Saharan African Countries. Res. Soc. Adm. Pharm. [Internet]. 2019;0–1. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.12.011 (Accessed 14 March 2021).
5. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Available at: https://www.aacp.org/about-aacp (Accessed 14 March 2021).
6. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Methods and Resources for Engaging Pharmacy Partners. Atlanta, GA: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/pubs/docs/engaging-pharmacy-partners-guide.pdf (Accessed 15 March 2021).
The FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme created a network of universities to advance pharmacy education in the African region (the Centre for Excellence in Africa; CfEA) and expected such networks to be expanded in other regions. The CfEA founding partners and members identified areas to address within the region in order to build academic capacity, increase quality assurance in education, and establish needs-based education to advance pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. To establish new centres in other regions, it is important to identify interested founding institutions and have an understanding of the priority needs of the regions.
Based on the reflections from the programme founders of the CfEA, new centres in other regions should provide:
- Mobilisation and collaboration for training pharmacists;
- Motivation to relate the local training environment to the international level;
- An opportunity to take part in a wider community of practice while also learning from established institutions;
- Interprofessional training and recognition of the pharmacy profession;
- A platform to share experiences and resources from other academic institutions;
- Transition in the pharmacy curriculum beyond the BPharm degree; and
- Networking and constant interaction for exchanges of best practices and knowledge.
To establish regional UNITWIN networks a robust strategy is needed that requires an understanding of regional needs and priorities that would add value to institutions and countries. This needs assessment and prioritisation should be done in partnership with key stakeholders, including academics, pharmaceutical societies and associations, and regulators and policy makers.
This toolkit provides the necessary resources to successfully develop new centres for excellence in the world’s regions.
Region-wide pharmacy schools associations establish educational partnerships and provide platforms for sharing of ideas, and institutional collaboration increases the impact on pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education. Such associations can negotiate from a favourable position with health authorities and education boards on pharmacy education. It helps faculties to meet the accreditation requirements to continually evaluate and evolve their programmes, and share resources and best practices across the region and world. The shared experiences from associations highlighted in this toolkit will encourage faculty members, academics pharmacy leaders and academic institutions, and show a clear path for how to establish a successful association within a region or in countries.
Let us now examine the factors we explored as we developed this toolkit and outline areas that require further research.
Establishing regional UNITWIN networks:
- Each success story of UNITWIN regional networks must be recorded and shared with others so that it will be useful for sustainability and longevity, getting more funding for projects, financial support for exchange programmes, engagement of young and early career academics and networking.
- Although the FIP-UNITWIN Needs Assessment Framework was developed based on five domains including educational standards, curriculum, curriculum mapping, workforce needs-assessment and scope of practice/needs analysis, the results should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, institution by institution and country by country in order to achieve the desired goal of the programme.
- Establishing a global, transparent and official exchange system of qualified learning resource is necessary to harmonise and maintain the required standards of training outcomes at the regional level so as to escalate the same to the global level.
Establishing an association of schools of pharmacy:
- There is a great opportunity to establish collaboration between existing associations to provide assistance and advice to new and younger associations.
- Such collaborations between associations with different levels of experience could boast academic and practice innovations. Moreover, they could provide the platform for global faculty development programmes, exchanging faculties and experiences, external expertise, and examiners for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
- Pharmacy schools’ associations can significantly add value to policy and advocacy development on education, assessment of educational performance outcomes, health workforce planning, pharmacy school accreditation, transforming pharmacy curricula and obtaining funding for research grants and scholarships.
FIP would like to thank all the chapter and case study authors for their collaboration and generosity in contributing to this toolkit.
The content of this toolkit has been produced independently by the authors, editors and case-study contributors, and reviewed and approved by the FIP Education Executive Committee members and FIP Chief Executive Officer Dr Catherine Duggan.