The Bachelor of Pharmacy programme at Quest International University Perak (QIU) has been fully accredited for the maximum five-year period by the Pharmacy Board of Malaysia and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, achieving an official status of ‘Excellent’ in the process.
The Excellent status indicates that the programme scored more than 90 percent in the evaluation of its good practices in quality development standards.
The accreditation saw QIU excel in 10 areas of good practice, including Vision, mission and goals; Curriculum design and delivery; Educational programme; Student selection and student support services; Teaching and academic staff; Educational resources; Programme monitoring and review; Leadership; Governance and administration; Total continuous quality improvement; and Self-critique and outcome measures.
The accreditation process was carried out by an audit panel comprising of Pharmacy academicians from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Pharmacy practitioners from the Ministry of Health and a representative from the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society.
Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. Datuk Dr Allan Mathews said the accreditation recognised how the QIU Pharmacy programme had been developed to give undergraduates a real-world experience from the outset.
He explained that the innovative programme infused real world experience from year 1 of the programme unlike traditional programmes where exposure to practice aspects is in the later years of the programme.
This, he noted, covered the three main tenets of pharmacy practice – clinical pharmacy, industrial pharmacy, and community pharmacy.
For their clinical pharmacy practice, Dr. Allan said each student was assigned to carry out monthly medication management on a patient, under the supervision of their lecturer.
“Students learn proper communication skills and confidence when they handle patients. These two aspects are something that today’s graduates lack. From Year 1, students are exposed to practice areas when they have completed a particular course.
“For the industrial pharmacy aspect, the university has established a Pharmaceutical Production Pilot Plant so that students get the exposure to real production and quality control environment to prepare them for the industry.
“The university has also set up a real Community Pharmacy within the campus where students are placed on rotation from Year 1 to learn all about Community Pharmacy Practice,” he added.
Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Goh congratulated the Faculty for their achievement, stressing that the programme was designed to ensure that the graduates were well prepared to excel when they entered the working world.
“The Pharmacy Board only requires students to undergo two weeks of training in clinical, industrial, and community pharmacy practice areas.
“However, our programme offers 20 weeks of attachment training, because we want to make sure that our graduates are prepared to excel when they start their careers.
Student-centred learning is highly-emphasised throughout QIU’s Pharmacy programme. One delivery method developed and carried out involves process-based problem-based learning from Year 1.
This is where students master communication skills, team work, leadership skills, presentation skills, confidence building, time management and evidence-based learning.
Pharmacists working in hospital and clinical environments interact with medical doctors and see the same patients as their medical counterparts.
In line with this, Pharmacy students in QIU take basic medical science courses i.e. anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology conducted by experts from the Faculty of Medicine– which are the same courses taken by QIU’s medical students.
Goh also underlined the importance of seamlessly blending research with real-world experience.
“During their third and fourth years, Pharmacy students spent 20 percent equivalent of an academic year carrying out research. Research and continuous learning is the hallmark of pharmacy practice,” he added.
QIU would like to congratulate the Faculty of Pharmacy for their impressive achievement, built on a foundation of innovative and groundbreaking approaches to quality education.
These approaches allow the University’s Pharmacy students to receive a unique learning experience, while also helping to create top-quality pharmacists of the future.