Great things happen when students and academics come together

Erasmus+ is a fantastic exchange programme where here at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science in partnership with the Dental Academy we have recently been hosted by Caen University, France. The third oldest British (you heard right) university, behind Oxford and Cambridge.

Founded in 1432 by the Duke of Bedford and unfortunately destroyed in 1944 during the second world war, the University was rebuilt across 5 campuses, spreading across the beautiful city of Caen.

Staff and students from the University of Portsmouth were hosted by the Pharmacy school at Caen University for 5 days, taking in the culture of France and experiencing how Pharmacists in Normandy are educated. Meanwhile, Portsmouth staff and students shared how we train our future practitioners in the UK.

During the trip students worked with a selection of year groups across different workshops, discussion groups and lectures. Topics included a debate on vaccinations, due to a growing anti-vac movement in France and the (hopeful) impending launch of a vaccination programme by pharmacists in France. Simon Archer shared his knowledge and experience about the role of pharmacists in delivering vaccinations in the UK and clinical skill workshops that are taught to UoP MPharm final year students.

Our students and staff were also treated to a behind the scenes look at all the research labs seeing some of the amazing work they are doing in Caen and developing exciting new research collaborations and outreach programmes on foreign soil. There was even the creation of some new research and education opportunities for inter-professional learning between the UoP Pharmacy school and Dental academy!

The students had a fantastic opportunity to visit both a hospital and community pharmacy while in Caen and could see how even only being 190km apart the practices in the different countries are so different. French pharmacists were fascinated by the role of UK pharmacists, especially the interaction UK pharmacists have as part of a multi-disciplinary team and the future for the profession, e.g. Independent Prescribers.

This should be the start of a fantastic exchange programme with Caen visiting the University in June.

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