The current nine faculties of Masaryk University (MU) will welcome the Faculty of Pharmacy into their midst when it transfers from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UVPS). The rectors of both universities signed all the required agreements on Tuesday, 5 May under which the pharmacy at MU will continue to be taught at the current UVPS premises, which will be leased to MU. The MU Academic Senate approved the expansion of the university on Monday, 4 May.
“Both universities have completed all the steps that will closely tie pharmaceutical research and education to the medical and scientific disciplines studied at Masaryk University. This close connection is necessary for the development of personalised medicine to improve the health and wellbeing of our society in light of the impending challenges as the age structure of our population changes,” says MU Rector Martin Bareš, who started the negotiations with Alois Nečas, his counterpart at the UVPS, as soon as he took office last September.
“The new faculty will be a big step forward for all of us and for the whole region,” says the rector, adding that it is an investment into the future: “It is not too much of an overstatement to say that the only thing that changes right now for students and employees is the sign on the door. However, there will be significant changes in the future, including new cutting-edge study programmes such as clinical pharmacology and pharmacoeconomics. Students will have new opportunities to travel abroad, there will be new interdisciplinary research teams and so on.”
It is the first time in recent history that a faculty has been transferred from one university to another. As the current legislation does not provide for this situation, the UVPS Academic Senate voted to dissolve the UVPS Faculty of Pharmacy as of 30 June while the MU Academic Senate established a new MU Faculty of Pharmacy to be created on 1 July. Masaryk University has already submitted a request to the National Accreditation Bureau to create two master-level pharmacy programmes, one in Czech and one in English, and eight PhD study programmes. Under the existing agreements, the UVPS will waive its accreditations to offer study programmes in pharmacy as soon as the MU request is approved by the Bureau.
“I greatly appreciate the attitude of both rectors who understand the need for close cooperation between pharmacy, medicine and other disciplines developed at MU, both in teaching and in research. The steps they have taken respond to the public interest to offer top-level pharmaceutical education in the Czech Republic,” says Radka Opatřilová, the dean of the UVPS Faculty of Pharmacy.
Transfer of students, employees and applicants
The proposed process means that all current employees and students will continue with their work and studies at the new MU faculty. The classes will continue to be held on the current UVPS premises on Palackého třída, which will be leased to Masaryk University for a five-year term. The long-term plan is for the faculty to become part of the University Campus Bohunice to support the synergy with the MU Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine, the CEITEC research institute and the University Hospital Brno. The agreements between the universities also provide for the sale of all necessary research equipment to MU.
There will be little disruption to this year’s applicants and future first-year students of the Faculty of Pharmacy. This year’s admission procedure will be organised by the UVPS Faculty of Pharmacy and successful applicants will be admitted to the MU Faculty of Pharmacy. Students currently studying at the faculty will become students of MU as if their study programme never changed, which means that the transfer will not affect any accommodation and other grants and that students will not incur any fees for prolonged studies.
The transfer will provide the current MU students and employees with the opportunity for closer collaboration with their new colleagues and fellow students specialising in pharmacy. As the Faculty of Pharmacy was previously part of Masaryk University between 1952 and 1960, it will officially become the sixth oldest faculty of the university.
The previous MU Faculty of Pharmacy, which existed between 1952 and 1960, was closed down by the Communist government and merged with the Faculty of Pharmacy in Bratislava. The faculty was only re-established in 1991 as part of the Veterinary University, now called the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno.