UTech to offer pharmacy courses in central Jamaica

Sunday, August 07, 2016

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Residents of Clarendon and Manchester will have easier access to careers in the lucrative pharmaceutical industry starting January 2017.

The development is a result of a franchising agreement between the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica) and Knox Community College as well as Church Teachers’ College, which will allow the colleges to offer the first year of the university’s pharmaceutical technology bachelor’s degree programme and the one-year pharmacy technician certificate course.

Head of UTech’s School of Pharmacy, Dr Sean Moncrieffe explained that students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Technology will undertake year one of the course at the respective college and transfer to UTech, Jamaica’s Papine campus, to complete years two to four; while the entire one-year Technician Certificate programme will be offered at the respective colleges.

Knox is based in Cobbla, Clarendon, while Church is located in Mandeville, Manchester.

In his welcome at the signing ceremony on Tuesday, August 1, acting president of UTech Prof Colin Gyles noted that "as Jamaica’s national university, one of the things we seek to do is to further national development objectives by responding to needs for training," adding that there has been an increasing need for pharmaceutical industry professionals to take advantage of the growing niche in the development of pharmaceutical products.

Ronald Graham, chairman, Knox Community College and The Very Rev Barrington Soares, chairman, Church Teachers’ College signed the franchise agreement on behalf of their respective institutions.

Associate professor and dean, College of Health Sciences at UTech, Dr Ellen Campbell-Grizzle, shared that opportunities abound for students to enter the pharmacy profession either as technicians or as entrepreneurs, given the lucrative growth in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmoceutical industries. The dean noted further that there is added value to the pharmacy courses of study as they will provide training in the Spanish language, making graduates more marketable in both English- and Spanish-speaking markets.

UTech, Jamaica also has franchise agreements with the College of Bahamas at which the first two years of the Bachelor of Pharmacy course of study are offered.

UTech’s School of Pharmacy offers certificate, degree, masters and doctoral programmes, including the pharmacy technician programme, Bachelor of Pharmacy, Post-Diploma Bachelor of Pharmacy (online), Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Doctor of Pharmacy. A pharmacy assistant short course is also offered.

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