University College Dublin (UCD) and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) launched the first accredited medical school in Malaysia, last week.
The RCSI and UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC), formerly known as Penang Medical College (PMC), was launched on September 18th, after PMC was upgraded to a Foreign University Branch Campus by the Malaysian government last March.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton said that he hopes this new campus will broaden what is already “a long standing relationship in medical education” between Ireland and Malaysia.
PMC has been providing high quality medical education since 1996 and now RUMC is one of only 10 universities with International University Branch status in Malaysia. RUMC will provide students with an internationally recognised National University of Ireland (NUI) degree at Foundation, Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral level.
It is essential to maintain Ireland’s strong relationship with Malaysia and to “look for further opportunities to work together on the science and business side,” according to Bruton.
“Increasing international cooperation is a key objective under my Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe within a decade,” said Bruton before he left for a five day Enterprise Ireland education mission to Indonesia and Malaysia.
The launch of RUMC will allow Ireland to push to the forefront of education in the EU, since Britain’s departure from the EU Ireland is now the only EU nation with an International University Branch status in Malaysia. The university will also keep Malaysia on the cutting edge of medical development through the Cochrane Malaysia network.
The Irish ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Eamon Hickey attended the launch as well as representatives from RCSI and UCD, the President of RCSI, Kenneth Mealy and Deputy President of UCD, Mark Rogers.
Hickey spoke of Ireland expanding “its ties with Malaysia in many areas, from stem cell research to information technology”.
Professor Stephen Doughty, President and CEO of RUMC said that the university is “building upon more than 20 years of PMC’S high quality Irish education delivery.”
According to Doughty, the university continues to support Malaysian healthcare and they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health focused on Family Medicine training.
Students at PUMC will spend the first part of their medical degree studying in Dublin and then complete their clinical training in RUMC and its training hospitals in Penang.
By Aoibhín Meghen
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