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  • Writer's pictureMirey Alfarah

Embracing Sustainability in Pharmacy Education: Insights from EAFP Conference

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

The European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy (EAFP) recently held its annual conference, in Valencia (Spain), dedicated to the theme of sustainability in pharmacy, pharmacy practice, and pharmacy education. The conference aimed to explore the multifaceted aspects of sustainability within the field of pharmacy and how pharmacy educators can contribute to addressing global challenges. Attendees gained valuable insights into the evolving role of pharmacy in promoting sustainability and the importance of aligning pharmacy education with the changing world. In this blog post, we will highlight key takeaways from interviews with participants, shedding light on their perspectives on sustainability and the future of pharmacy education. The FREMFARM team was there of course.


Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta
FREMFARM Team in front of the EAFP 2023 Conference Poster

The Centre for pharmacy participation

Poster on the debate as a pedagogy and the audio reflective note
Mirey Alfarah, postdoctoral researcher.

The group presented two orals presentation and one poster. Mirey Alfarah discussed "Collaborative Scholarship: Enhancing Faculty Development and Research in Pharmacy Education" at the Centre for Pharmacy. The collaborative scholarship model engages faculty in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), equipping them with tools to explore alternative pedagogical approaches.

Aase Raddun and Quynh Le addressed student stress in the laboratory course on non-sterile medicines. They introduced problem-based learning (PBL) to improve student confidence, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills while reducing stress. Students reported increased enjoyment, collaboration, and the importance of teacher feedback.

Reidun Kjome presented "Sustainable Workplace-based Interprofessional Education," describing a model for offering interprofessional learning experiences. Pharmacy students gained professional confidence, reflected on their roles, and recognized other professions' capabilities. The activity received positive feedback, fostering collaboration among participating institutions' faculty.


Lone Holst Oral presentation: What is TBL and how do we use it?
Raddum and Le while presenting their research.

Insights from Conference Participants:

The theme for this year was ‘Sustainability in Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Education.’ We asked some of the participants about their take-aways from the conference and how they see the future of the pharmacy education and profession.


Patrizia Santi - General Secretary of EAFP expressed her appreciation for the numerous universities actively working toward sustainability. The conference provided her with fresh ideas on how everyone can contribute to sustainability goals, even if they are not aware of it.

Mia Sivén, Vice-dean of the faculty in Pharmacy at the University of Helsinki
Professor Patrizia Santi - General Secretary of EAFP.

Santi emphasized the crucial role of pharmacy educators in raising student awareness about sustainability-related issues and preparing them for the evolving pharmacy landscape. She also underscored the significance of leadership in driving faculty members to adapt to changing roles, educate patients, and set examples of sustainability within the pharmacy profession.


"Pharmacy educators play a crucial role in raising student awareness and aligning pharmacy education with sustainability goals." - Patrizia Santi, General Secretary of EAFP

Mirari Ayerbe Diaz, dean of the faculty of pharmacy at the University of the Basque Country
Dr. Dorine Bonte, Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Paris Saclay

Dorine Bonte and Eric Bernard Morel, representatives from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Paris Saclay, shared their reflections on the conference. Initially unsure about their own faculty's contributions to sustainability, they found the event to be eye-opening. The pedagogical approach of learning by projects presented at the conference resonated with them, highlighting the need to incorporate such strategies into their curriculum. They acknowledged that students were often more advanced in their understanding of sustainability than professors, suggesting the importance of ongoing dialogue and collaboration between students and faculty members. Bonte and Morel emphasized the necessity of involving students in discussions and committees to ensure their ideas contribute to sustainable practices within pharmacy education.


Insights from Student Representatives:

Catarina Silva and Rahaf Alsayeed, student representatives, offered their perspectives on the conference. They were encouraged by the genuine interest shown by deans from various European universities in considering student needs and curriculum improvements. However, they stressed the need for more student involvement in such conferences and platforms, fostering direct conversations between students and teachers.

Tamara Koehler, educational researcher at Utrecht University
Catarina Silva and Rahaf Alsayeed

Silva and Alsayeed highlighted the importance of bridging the communication gap between students and faculty, suggesting that active teaching methods and interactive discussions can lead to improved engagement and open communication. They also emphasized the value of interprofessional collaboration and the integration of artificial intelligence to enhance patient care and keep pace with advancements in healthcare.






Next year is in Bergen!

We are thrilled to announce that The Centre for Pharmacy at the University of Bergen will be hosting the EAFP2024 (European Association of Pharmacy Faculties) conference on 14-16 May 2024 in Bergen. We are truly honored to have been selected as the host for this prestigious event, and we eagerly look forward to welcoming pharmacy professionals, researchers, and educators from around the world to our beautiful city. We are excited to showcase our state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge research, and the breathtaking natural surroundings of Bergen. Stay tuned for more updates as we prepare to make EAFP2024 an exceptional and memorable experience for all attendees.




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