Graduate development focus at 6th Pharmacy Education Workshop


In learning and teaching, important to develop the skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity, emphasizes MSU President

MSU 19th Convo
MSU President presenting the Shukri Distinguished Keynote Lecture Award to Associate Professor Dr Keokitichai Singchai

Gathering academics, professionals, and students directly or indirectly involved with the pharmaceutical industry, the Asia Pacific Pharmacy Education Workshop series is a joint effort by collaborators the School of Pharmacy (SPH) of Management & Science University (MSU), Malaysia; Josai University, Japan; Chulalongkorn University and Burapha University, Thailand; Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia; and the University of the Immaculate Conception, the Philippines. The 6th edition is the second time the workshop series is hosted by MSU since its 2010 launch.

The 2016 theme of the Asia Pacific Pharmacy Education Workshop is apt, given rapid new opportunities arising from the shrinking borders of a globalizing world and changes that demand urgent address by the 21st-century workforce. MSU President Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid elaborates on ‘Pharmacy Education in AFTA Era’. “Pharmacy education and the pharmaceutical profession will go through many more changes and challenges, and three major changes affecting not only pharmacy education but also higher education are 21st-century learning, flexible education, and open borders.”

Emphasizing 21st-century learning, the President spoke about the 4C skills: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Communication skills are necessary to sharing thoughts and ideas, and collaborative abilities allow sharing to cross forums, borders, nations, and cultures. A global reach is important for the future of collaborations. Critical thinking for new ways of looking at a problem, as well as creativity for new approaches to getting things done, should be developed by encouraging multi- and inter-disciplinary learning.

Education in the 21st century is moving towards flexibility. With massive open online courses (MOOC) and blended open online courses (BOOC) joining the fray, universities should be ready to adapt. At MSU, the holistic route is taken, where the teaching of core knowledge is supplemented by the learning of soft skills to develop a well-rounded competency. The latest employability figure for MSU graduates as tracked by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is 98.6%, which, being a nationwide high, speaks for the effectiveness of this approach.

Trans-border education presents the opportunity of nurturing kindred spirit in global citizenship. The MSU President thanked Josai University and Burapha University, especially, for their support of the MSU Global Mobility Programme (GMP). His hopes for students’ global mobility were echoed by the Director of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency of the Ministry of Health, Dr Salmah Bahri, who opened the two-day 6th Asia Pacific Pharmacy Education Workshop. She spoke about “developing multi-talented pharmacists engaged in their profession and moving in the world”.

The 2016 Shukri Distinguished Keynote Lecture Award was presented by the MSU President himself to Associate Professor Dr Keokitichai Singchai of Burapha University. Expressing his pleasure that MSU has been a part of the Asia Pacific Pharmacy Education Workshop series from Day 1 by being the initiator of its establishment, the MSU President assured continuity of the workshop series in ensuring enriched perspectives and views along with development of pharmaceutical graduates and professionals now and into the future.

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Director of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency, Dr Salmah Bahri, opening the 6th Asia Pacific Pharmacy Education Workshop