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UNITWIN Global Pharmacy Education Development (GPhEd) Network

The University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) Global Pharmacy Education Development (GPhEd) Network is a groundbreaking initiative launched by FIP and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy in 2010.

As pioneers in the field of higher education for health professionals and global pharmaceutical education, this network aims to foster an integrated system of research, teaching, training, community engagement and communication. By facilitating collaboration among esteemed researchers, educators and institutions worldwide, the network strives to develop pharmacy on national, regional and international levels.


The GPhEd Network serves as a platform and an enabler of FIP strategic and priority programmes of work for the advancement of the pharmacy profession globally. Through this network, participating pharmacy schools have emerged as centres of excellence and innovation, actively driving progress. These efforts have led to synchronised and impactful advances in undergraduate training, continuing education for pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, enhanced communication for scientific innovation, improved healthcare outcomes, and the achievement of FIP's Development Goals.


First FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence

        In 2014, the GPhED Network established a pioneer Centre for Excellence in Africa. This centre serves as a think-tank, dedicated to enhancing academic capacity, ensuring quality assurance in educational systems, and promoting workforce competency in the region. This centre is now transitioning to set up the Africa-wide association of schools of pharmacy which will lead needs-based educational transformation in the region.


Commitments and resources

Following renewal of FIP’s agreement with UNESCO in June 2023, the network is committed to:

  • Strengthening the integrated system of research, training, information and documentation in global pharmacy education, with a focus on academic capacity, quality assurance and workforce competency.
  • Leading educational and scientific transformations, fostering global collaboration to address sustainability, equity and technology in education, including establishing new centres for excellence in the Southeast Asia, Western Pacific, European, Americas and Eastern Mediterranean regions.
  • Contributing to the improvement of global health.
  • Collaborating closely with UNESCO, and other UNESCO chairs and UNITWIN networks on relevant programmes and activities

The UNITWIN GPhEd Network facilitates education transformation and provides a platform for collaboration, sharing best practices, mapping needs and expertise, in alignment with FIP regional forums, academic institutional membership schools, the FIP Development Goals, our advisory groups, and the FIP Foundation Pharmabridge Programme.

Through the network, FIP has produced needs-based resources for pharmaceutical education transformation and workforce development including the FIP pharmacy education in sub-Saharan Africa report, the FIP UNITWIN pathfinder toolkit, FIP’s global call to action for advancing pharmaceutical education, the FIP toolkit for addressing inequities in pharmaceutical education, Transforming pharmaceutical education: A needs-based global analysis for policy development and the FIP Education transformation toolkit.

Second FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence

The FIP-UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) UNITWIN centre for excellence in South East Asia was established in 20 October, 2023 under the auspices of FIP’s partnership with UNESCO concerning the UNITWIN Network on Global Pharmacy Education Development.

This second FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN centre for excellence leverages on the achievements and expertise gained from the pioneering FIP UNESCO UNITWIN Centre for Excellence in Africa. The centre aims to:

  • Enhance the integrated system of research, training, information, and documentation activities in pharmacy education within the South-East Asian region.
  • Lead educational and scientific transformations, and promote interregional collaboration to address sustainability, inequities, and technology in education in the region.
  • Cooperate closely with existing FIP-UNESCO UNITWIN regional centres for excellence as well as UNESCO UNITWIN Networks on relevant programmes and activities.
  • Implement the FIP regional roadmap for transforming pharmaceutical education specifically:

           - Adapt FIP’s global competency framework into the South-East Asian regional context “in line with FIP Development Goal (DG) 5 (Competency development).
           - Provide young faculty members with opportunities to build academic capacity (DG1) by developing a Train the Trainer series for all levels of academics, linking to the FIP competency framework for educators.
           - Build continuing professional development (DG9) by leveraging FIP’s existing CPD strategies and resources to develop a CPD toolkit, supported by the Provision Programme and the FIP seal for quality.
           - Facilitate the implementation of actions from the FIP call to action on pharmaceutical education as relevant to the South-East Asian region’s needs and context.

Seven universities from five of the 11 countries in the World Health Organization South-East Asia region (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand) are founding members.

“This prestigious partnership not only affirms FIP’s commitment to advancing pharmacy education worldwide but also grants us enhanced opportunities for collaboration and advocacy. It supports us in continuing our work to help pharmaceutical education institutions deliver a pharmaceutical workforce able to meet healthcare needs.” — Catherine Duggan, CEO, FIP

If you have any questions about the network, please email us at For more about UNESCO click here.

Last update 26 October 2023

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