As the first non-public university in Poland, the University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw (UEHS) was authorized by the Minister of Education and Science to provide education in the field of pharmacy.
Pharmacy is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious fields of study in Poland, available only at the top public medical universities. It is considered a demanding but rewarding pursuit. Wherever the health of another person is at stake, the highest standards of education are required. The University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw adheres to these standards and is the first non-public university in Poland authorized to offer a degree in pharmacy. It will be, along with the Medical University of Warsaw, the only university in Warsaw educating future pharmacists.
“Launching such an ambitious program has been in the works for quite some time” – says Prof. Konrad Janowski, the Rector of UEHS – “We have met all the necessary requirements for this, related to the concept, curriculum, personnel, and infrastructure. Our application has been thoroughly analyzed by the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Health and the Polish Accreditation Committee, and all these institutions have given a positive opinion of our proposed program and the conditions of education in the field of pharmacy.”
The curriculum, developed in cooperation with experts, includes 11 semesters of education, during which students will participate in typical pharmacy-related classes, such as pharmaceutical botany, organic chemistry, bromatology, pharmacokinetics, molecular biology, drug form technology, toxicology, clinical pharmacy, and pharmaceutical law. In addition, graduates will receive knowledge of evidence-based medicine and drug categorization, pharmacotherapy and drug information, pharmaceutical care, or self-administered medical orthopedic and diagnostic devices that are important in the work of a pharmacist. The studies will be conducted in two available paths, depending on the language of study: Polish and English. The English-language path will be designed for foreigners, but also for those Poles who, through English-language studies, will want to improve their chances on the international job market, such as in foreign pharmaceutical companies. Those students who express interest will also be able to take up German classes and go through additional course modules to prepare them for work in German-speaking countries, such as Switzerland, where pharmacists are in short supply and where salaries and working conditions are very alluring.
A distinguishing feature of pharmacy at the University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw will also be a strong emphasis on business education for future pharmacists, so that they are better prepared for managerial positions – in the pharmaceutical industry, in research laboratories, and as pharmacy managers. As stressed by prof. Aleksander Mazurek, the Rector’s plenipotentiary for pharmaceutical studies:
“A modern pharmacist cannot limit themself to the role of a drug seller in a pharmacy. In addition to pharmaceutical knowledge, they must also have a solid background in running their own business in the field and functioning professionally in the dynamically developing market of the pharmaceutical industry and R&D, especially concerning the design and testing of new drugs and new active substances. Our university will educate exactly those kinds of pharmacists. Graduates will be able to pursue a variety of career paths – in addition to the typical work at a pharmacy, they will also be prepared to take on jobs as drug registration specialists or new product research and development specialists at pharmaceutical companies.”
The curriculum has been designed so that most of the courses are practice-oriented. According to prof. Magdalena Makarewicz-Wujec, head of the newly established Institute of Pharmacy at the UEHS:
“Future pharmacists should intensively hone their practical skills and activities, as the current practice of educating pharmacists has placed too much emphasis on theoretical knowledge. Among other things, we want future pharmacists to be able to provide pharmaceutical care services, and we introduce a significant number of practice-oriented courses to the curriculum. This academic year we will also launch practice-oriented postgraduate studies for masters of pharmacy – specifically concerning pharmaceutical care.”
UEHS pharmacy students, from the very beginning, will have the opportunity to meet future employers with whom the University has entered into cooperation agreements and who are among the university’s business partners. These include, for example, the “Dbam o zdrowie” pharmacy chain, Trade Marketing 360, the prof. Wacław Dąbrowski Institute of Agricultural and Food Industry Biotechnology, and the Transfer of Science Institute.
Moreover – UEHS has entered into an agreement to cooperate in conducting pharmaceutical studies with the Military University of Technology (WAT). As the Rector, prof. Konrad Janowski elaborates: “It is at the Department of New Technologies and Chemistry at WAT that our pharmacy students will complete some of the specialist lab courses. WAT is interested in jointly educating medical personnel with us, and those students who are willing will also be able to obtain additional preparation to take up work in the military. Our university also establishes partnerships with a number of companies and pharmacies to ensure that students are guaranteed enticing placements for student internships, giving them a chance to better acquaint themselves with future employers from the get-go. At UEHS, we want the education of future pharmacists to effectively combine scientific orientation, business orientation and practical preparation for the profession.”
The university’s enrollment procedures are already available on the website, and the first year of pharmacy students will begin their education in October 2023.