FURTHER proof that Scottish educational know-how is much in demand in Europe came yesterday when Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen announced that it is to set up the first formal link between Scotland and pharmacists in Austria.

The new arrangement will see German-speaking staff at Robert Gordon University (RGU) teaching pharmacists from Austria, the first time that the EU member country has forged such a link.

RGU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Apotheker Fortbildungs Akademie (AFA), the postgraduate education arm of the Austrian Association of Employed Pharmacists (VAAÖ).

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In a statement, RGU announced: “The agreement will see the two organisations work on a collaborative project, with AFA arranging for all of their registered pharmacists to study towards an MSc Clinical Pharmacy Practice at RGU, while the university provides a supporting workshop structure in Austria.”

These workshops will be uniquely tailored to the Austrian pharmacy sector and will be delivered by German speaking RGU staff, as well as qualified Austrian clinical pharmacists.

Dr Anita Weidmann, senior lecturer at RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, worked with European colleagues to develop the arrangement, which is the first of its kind within Austria.

She said: “I am delighted that RGU will collaborating with AFA and on this educational programme and improving the standards of clinical pharmacy in Austria.

“Clinical pharmacy is a fast-growing specialist sector in the country and I believe that it speaks volumes about RGU’s ever-growing reputation for world class pharmacy education that AFA chose to partner with us. International relations are very important for universities and my colleagues and I look forward to strengthening our relationships within Austria, which will benefit RGU academically while we support the development of Austrian pharmacists.”

Established in 2011 by the Austrian Association of Employed Pharmacists and the Austrian Association of Hospital Pharmacists, AFA is the national body that represents all pharmacists in employment in Austria and supports their continuous professional development.

The first cohort of Austrian pharmacists to study at RGU though this agreement will begin in January 2018.