A critical component of the accreditation was the recent completion of a five million dollar upgrade to what is now the new pharmacy precinct at UNE.
“The new facilities are world class and have been specifically designed to provide an optimal learning environment for our pharmacy students,” said Prof Jennie Shaw, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
“Our facilities offer students small class sizes and contact with academic staff that is unprecedented when compared to that of other universities.
“Priority was given to ensure that state-of-the-art technology was implemented. Some of the features include excellent Web connectivity, allowing interactive teaching methods which facilitate synchronous teaching to both on campus and distance education students.”
Prof Ieva Stupans, the convener of pharmacy at UNE, acknowledged the hard work that had been put into gaining accreditation for the course.
“Gaining accreditation is quite an involved process, which initially involved the university developing and implementing a detailed plan to meet the Australian Pharmacy Council standards. The plan first required the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree to be established and then for set criteria to be achieved successfully. The important milestone of gaining accreditation was a strategic objective of the school and is the culmination of three year’ s work by a number of staff across the university,” Prof Stupans said.
UNE is the only university in Australia that offers pharmacy via distance education. Student satisfaction has been quite evident, as Alyce Northey, a current Bachelor of Pharmacy student in the School of Science and Technology, revealed:
“Studying pharmacy at UNE has been an excellent experience. As an external student I get just as much support and guidance from my lecturers as the students that live on campus. When I visit the university I use the purpose built facilities for compounding and other specialised activities such as medication counselling. Having a family means that I cannot move and live on campus, so without this degree I could not be a pharmacist. I am grateful to have the opportunity that the university has provided.”
The first cohort of UNE pharmacy students will be graduating in 2013. Many of these students have expressed the strong desire to practice and contribute to quality health services in rural areas.
Media contact: Prof Ieva Stupans on (02) 6773 5392 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.