A pathfinder toolkit to aid the global expansion of centres of excellence for pharmaceutical education institutions is now available from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). The toolkit builds on successes achieved through the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, said the FIP.

The FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme seeks to advance pharmaceutical education research, training and curriculum development by establishing university networks and encouraging inter-university co-operation worldwide. It has acted as a platform for FIP’s work to tackle challenges of academic capacity, quality assurance of educational systems, and workforce competency in both high- and low-resource pharmacy education institutions. This has enabled developments in undergraduate training and continuing education, and improved communication of scientific innovation and healthcare outcomes. 

“Under the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme, the first UNITWIN Global Pharmacy Education Development Network — the Centre of Excellence for Africa (CfEA) — was launched in 2009. Over a decade, the CfEA has enhanced institutional capacities through co-operation and knowledge-sharing. CfEA member institutions pooled their resources to address pressing health challenges and contribute to the development of their societies through advancing pharmaceutical education.

Advancing our profession through advances in pharmaceutical education is FIP’s mission and now FIP seeks to expand FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centres for excellence across all regions of the world, building on the success and learnings of the CfEA. We are currently in the process of renewing our partnership with UNESCO,” said Ms Nilhan Uzman, FIP lead for education policy and implementation and for the FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN programme.

The new pathfinder toolkit provides guidance for establishing further networks in regions around the world. It contains case studies from CfEA experts, partners and founders. Their experiences on topics including legislative steps, strategic planning, decision-making, leadership, membership and marketing are shared. 

“With this toolkit, the founders and members of the CfEA encourage academic institutions in other regions to engage in FIP UNITWIN programmes to deliver education that addresses national, regional and international needs in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. With the leadership of the African Pharmaceutical Forum, this toolkit will also facilitate the establishment of an Africa-wide pharmacy schools association to expand the successes of the CfEA across the continent,” Ms Uzman added.