The Higher Education Ministry of Malaysia awarded the foreign university branch status to the Penang Medical College (PMC) in April 2018. PMC is the tenth higher education institution in Malaysia to receive this award.

Penang Medical College (PMC) is now called the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD) Malaysia Campus (RUMC).

PMC was established in 1996 as the provider of the nation's first registrable medical degree from a Malaysian private higher education institution. Fully owned by RCSI and UCD, the degrees are awarded by the National University of Ireland (NUI). It was estimated that about 1,600 medical doctors have graduated from PMC with globally recognized degrees.

The President of RCSI, Professor John Hyland, said that this approval of foreign university branch campus status for PMC is a testament to the quality of the medical programme delivered in Dublin and Malaysia. It is also a proof of the excellence of its talented academic staff and graduates.

Developing well-rounded house officers

The CEO and President of RUMC, Professor Stephen Doughty explained that students spend two-and-a-half-years at RCSI or UCD for the pre-clinical years and another two-and-a-half-years in PMC and its teaching hospitals in and around Penang for their clinical training years before graduation.

He elaborated that this arrangement proves very successful as it allows students to have both clinical exposure in Malaysia and overseas exposure to medical education. These students are thus much better prepared for house officer roles after graduation.

"The upgraded university is in the midst of developing a suite of programmes to accommodate the human capital needs of the medical sector in Malaysia. Having developed high-quality Irish education over more than 20 years and contributed to the demand for Irish-trained doctors in Malaysia, now is an ideal time to offer other programmes at degree, masters and doctoral levels," added Doughty.

The only foreign branch campus linking Malaysia and post-Brexit EU

The Irish Ambassador to Malaysia, Eamon Hickey, said that this collaboration is evidence of the growing relationship between Ireland and Malaysia. He hoped to see many more students moving between Ireland and Malaysia as RUMC grows and develops.

“Once the Brexit process is completed in 2019, it is noted that RUMC will be the only foreign branch campus in Malaysia linking the Euro-pean Union with Malaysia,” added Hickey. MIMS 

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