Fond memories and friendships

19 Apr 2016

Neil Cottrell fell in love with the place, the food and the people.

Now the University of Queensland School of Pharmacy lecturer says he will be “at a loose end” after finishing a four-year appointment as an external examiner at Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

“It was quite sad when I left this time, being the last occasion after four years,” Associate Professor Cottrell said.

“My role has been to assess the students’ final project oral presentations at our sister school.

“Each year I was extremely impressed with the high standard of the work the students submitted…very professional.

“Some of the goals they achieved with their projects in a short space of time was also quite remarkable.”

Dr Cottrell will now hand over to Professor Nick Shaw as the next assessor for UQ School of Pharmacy.

When it was time for parting at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, the feelings of goodwill were evident from both sides, as students and staff crammed their way in the frame for a group photograph.

“I think the relationship with the staff has developed from one of mutual respect to one of friendship,” Dr Cottrell said.

“My view of pharmacy in other countries has broadened, particularly in the Singaporean context.

“In saying that, it is clear from the projects the students presented that the challenges around safely using medicine are quite similar in different health systems.

“The hospitality of staff at Ngee Ann was exceptional and they always went out of their way to make sure their external examiners were looked after.”

Dr Cottrell admitted one of his guilty pleasures in Singapore was the food and that he delighted at the huge variety on offer.

He also described the Singaporean public as “always welcoming and helpful”.