The state-of-the-art facility is equipped with dispensing and compounding areas, laboratories, teaching spaces and tutorial areas.
UNE’s Chancellor, Richard Torbay, said today that it was a great pleasure to officially open the facility, which was another example of UNE rising to meet the needs of the community.
“In 2008 the Australian Pharmacy Council noted that there was a demand for pharmacy courses by distance education,” Mr Torbay said. “At the time, all courses Australia-wide were run face-to-face. UNE seized that opportunity and began offering both an on-campus and distance program in 2010, and plans for upgrading the Pharmacy Facility began in earnest.
“Three years later we have a new facility equipped with the latest technology – including cameras that enable external students to be part of the learning experience and join in classes remotely.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, said the $4.6 million project had been made possible by a $3.8 million injection from the Commonwealth Government under the Teaching and Learning Capital Fund (Higher Education).
“We have welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s support of this project and UNE’s vision to be the first university in Australia to offer the undergraduate Pharmacy degree both internally and via distance education,” Professor Barber said. “As with other health professions, there is currently a shortage of rural pharmacists. Offering our course via distance education is one way of addressing this issue.”
“The completion of our new facility is also the final step in gaining Australian Pharmacy Council accreditation for our Bachelor of Pharmacy degree,” he said. “The first cohort of our students will graduate from this degree program next year.”