Diversity amongst international pharmacy students


  • Douglas Ball Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait
  • Paulina Norris Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait
  • Hannes Enlund Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland
  • Dexter Tagwireyi Department of Pharmacy, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Abdelmoneim Awad Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 24923, Safat 13110, Kuwait


Career aspiration, curriculum harmonisation, health professional education, pharmacy education, motivation


Objective: To describe the diversity of international pharmacy students’ demographics, motivating factors in program choice and career aspirations.
Method: Cross-sectional survey of pharmacy students in Finland, Kuwait, New Zealand, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Results: Totally 1516 questionnaires were completed. Demographic variables varied. Only 56% of New Zealand students were local citizens. Females predominated except in Zimbabwe (67% male). Less than 10% of students in Kuwait considered pharmacy an easy program, compared to 39% Finnish MPharm students. Philanthropy was the main reason for choosing to study pharmacy, although lifestyle issues played a big role in Finland. Financial motives were important in Sudan and Zimbabwe. A larger proportion of students in these two countries also wanted to work in the private sector. Future career aspirations varied greatly between countries.
Conclusion: Pharmacy students show great diversity between countries which has important implications for academic orientation, course development and moves towards curriculum harmonisation.


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Research Article