Happy Malaysia Day!
We first welcomed students from Malaysia and Singapore into our Medicine programmes twenty five years ago when an Irish Universities & Medical Schools Consortium joined an Irish Government trade delegation to South East Asia. This trip established an international recruitment into all Irish Universities which continues to this day. In 1996, UCD and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland established the Penang Medical College to allow students undertake their preclinical studies in Ireland before completing clinical training in Malaysia. Over 1,200 students have graduated from this twinning programme since the first conferring in 2001.
There are currently 328 Malaysian and Singaporean students studying Medicine at UCD comprising 208 in our PMC twinning programme and 120 in our direct or graduate entry group. The average age of this student cohort is 22 years and with a gender split of 60% female : 40% male, it mirrors the age and gender balance of our undergraduate student cohort. The Malaysian students engage enthusiastically in student life in Dublin and the UCD Malaysian Society is particularly active.
With their gentle, positive and enthusiastic disposition, our Malaysian students greatly enrich the UCD Medicine character. They help us to recognise the distinguishing features of Irish society and integrate with other international students including our North American students to create a unique cultural blend. Each year, Malaysian night is a highlight in our social calendar as the rich cultural diversity of this proud nation is celebrated through music, dance and tasty cuisine. They have inspired many journeys by Irish students to Malaysia and have forged enduring friendships across the globe.