Students’ views about a pharmacy franchise programmes in Malaysia: A qualitative study
Keywords:Pharmacy Education, Quality Assessment, Content Analysis, Franchised Programme, Malaysia
Objectives: Globally, the transitions in pharmacy education are acting as a major challenge to stimulate better outcomes in pharmacy professional programmes. To meet these challenges, some universities in Malaysia and overseas have authorised franchised programmes at various private colleges. This research explored the views of students regarding such franchised pharmacy programmes in Malaysia.
Methods: A theme-based analysis of qualitative data from internet narratives of students' views about franchised programmes in Malaysia was used. The ethical considerations of using internet narratives were approved. Narratives for analysis were obtained by using open-ended questions related to the themes to document the respondents' responses. Narratives were included if they were written in English, Malay or Chinese, they described the students’ views and experiences of franchised pharmacy programmes, and they were publicly accessible. Exclusion criteria included narratives given by non-pharmacy students or students’ parents. Students’ written words were analysed in an iterative analytical process following the principles of narrative analysis, and data collection was stopped when no new information was generated, denoting data saturation. NVivo Version 10 was used to apply three stages of coding – open, axial and selective – in order to identify principal characteristics and themes.
Results: Ten students fulfilled the inclusion criteria and shared their views about the posted statements. The majority mentioned that institutions starting a franchised pharmacy programme must adopt a quality approach rather than being purely profit-driven. The institutions approving such programmes should ensure that an equal standard of quality of teaching is applied by the franchisee as the franchisor so as to maintain the desired learning outcomes.
Conclusion: Students’ overall perceptions of franchised pharmacy programmes were mixed. They had strong opinions on measures to ensure the quality of teaching and underpin the achievement of programme educational outcomes.
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