The Ministry of Education, represented by the Academic Accreditation Commission, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) in the United States of America, whereby the Commission agrees to accept ACPE as one of the preferred international bodies for granting international recognition to pharmacy education programs in the colleges and universities in the United Arab Emirates. Further, subject to this MoU, the ACPE agrees to enable the Academic Accreditation Commission at the Ministry of Education in the State to select and collect human resources from the qualified and skillful residents, who can evaluate the pharmacy educational programs applied in existing colleges and universities in the United Arab Emirates.
The MoU was signed by representatives of the Academic Accreditation Commission at the Ministry, HE Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Mualla, Undersecretary for Academic Affairs for Higher Education and Mike Raus, ACPE representative in USA.
The MoU, which is valid for three years, included the agreement of both parties to cooperate and participate during the evaluation field visits undertaken by the Council to the pharmacy educational programs applied in colleges and universities in the United Arab Emirates, where appropriate for both parties. This is in addition to the parties' agreement to develop cooperation protocols and guidelines to conduct field visits, so that each of them would select and appoint their representatives to draw up and develop these protocols, to constitute a part of this agreement, which will be subject to approval by the government agencies of the Academic Accreditation Commission at the UAE Ministry of Education and ACPE, each separately.
Both parties shall cooperate and work towards achieving the desired objectives of this MoU by exchanging information on the institutions and their pharmacy educational programs and increasing the range of expertise and knowledge that may be applied during the assessments, academic accreditation, documentation and exchange of information and resources of members of the assessment teams. This is in addition to the provision of information or advice to the institutions, which may consider them upon wishing to establish pharmacy education programs in the UAE and exchange information on the best practices therein.
The Ministry highlighted that signing the memorandum will benefit the institutions through the abolition of dual procedures by preparing to host simultaneous visits and enable institutions the to collect and integrate the observations and conclusions from feedbacks resulting from field visits to various assessment bodies, in addition to reducing the financial cost of collected date review, simplification and analysis.
The Ministry confirmed that signing the above MoU is part of the efforts exerted to achieve the national index on increasing the number of internationally recognized academic programs, where this program is added to several other international accreditation programs approved by the Ministry to grant international recognition for educational programs.
It should be noted that the Academic Accreditation Commission in the UAE Ministry of Education is the only federal agency recognized by the State to license all higher education institutions and the adoption of educational programs. The Academic Accreditation Commission has also been recognized by the International Quality Assurance Network for Higher Education to align it with the Guiding Principles of Good Practice.
ACPE is the only USD recognized national agency where the Council approves professional degree programs and continuing education providers in pharmacy.
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