Sydney’s newest school of pharmacy, UTS: Pharmacy, was officially launched by Vice Chancellor Ross Milbourne on Tuesday 29 November at an on campus event.
The launch followed the inaugural meeting of the UTS: Pharmacy National Academic Advisory Committee. The committee is chaired by Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Past President Warwick Plunkett and has been established to provide high level strategic advice on the needs of industry, government, the profession and the community. It includes pharmacy leaders from a variety of disciplines:
- Peter Barclay, Director of Pharmacy, Westmead Children’s Hospital
- Kim Bessell, Assistant Secretary and Principal Pharmacy Advisor, Department of Health and Aging
- Catherine Bronger, General Manager, ChemistWorks
- Stephen Greenwood, Principal Consultant, Greenwood Government Relations and Political Correspondent, Australian Journal of Pharmacy
- Martin Cross, CEO, Alphapharm and Chairman of the Generics Medicines Industry Association
- Margaret Duguid, Pharmaceutical Advisor, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
- Mark Fladrich, Managing Director, Astra Zeneca Australia and New Zealand
- Brendan O’Loughlin, Owner, O’Loughlin’s Medical Pharmacy
- George Savvides, CEO, Medibank
In his address to launch the school, Vice Chancellor Ross Milbourne said that the graduate-entry Master of Pharmacy program had experienced strong demand.
“Applications for the Master of Pharmacy program have outnumbered places available by 3 to 1. It is a testament to the quality of the UTS offering and the market need for practice-based education in pharmacy.”
Professor Shalom Benrimoj also gave an address, explaining that the service orientation and practice-based nature of the program was key to attracting students.
“We’ve been inundated with applications and the best thing is they’re high quality applications.” Professor Benrimoj said. “When we’ve spoken to the applicants, they tell us that they like that we’re practical and that we’re looking to the future of pharmacy and the expanded roles that are emerging. Our positioning as practice-based and producing graduates who are fit for purpose and service provision was the thing that really attracted them.”
Professor Benrimoj went on to say that the success of the school’s launch has been boosted by the positive response from the profession and practitioners and the recruitment of talented academics who are passionate about both research and teaching.
“The support we’ve received from practitioners and the profession has been fantastic. There has been a lot of buzz and positive feedback from across the profession and we’re looking forward to working closely with the profession as we become more established.”
“Central to this process has been my team of extremely talented academics. They have international reputations in both their areas of research and in teaching and learning and they have already developed a research intensive culture where the focus is on high impact research and making sure the curriculum is research led. They’re producing programs of research and coursework that are of the highest quality and will be instrumental in our continued success.”
The School’s first cohort of graduate entry Master of Pharmacy students will commence in 2012.