June 2020 | Meitheamh 2020

Announcing new President for RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus, Penang, Malaysia

Mon, 29 June 20 10:00

Professor David Whitford takes up the post in RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) as its fifth president in August 2020. David Whitford was appointed to this position having been interim President in RUMC since August 2019. In April 2017, David moved to RUMC, Penang as Vice President (Academic Affairs).  He joined RUMC having been Professor in the Department of General Practice at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). He graduated in medicine from Cambridge and Newcastle Universities in the UK and practiced as a General Practitioner for 16 years in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 1996, and a Doctorate from Cambridge University in 2003.

Professor Whitford has had extensive leadership experience in both clinical and academic spheres. Throughout his career he has had an emphasis on quality of delivery. David took up a post in academic general practice in RCSI, Dublin in 2003. He moved to Bahrain in 2006 where he established the community-based teaching in RCSI Bahrain as Foundation Professor of General Practice. He was later appointed Head of the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research in RCSI Bahrain in 2012. His research interests are in Type 2 diabetes and the impact of socio-economic deprivation on health.

Wholly-owned by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD), RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) is located in Penang, Malaysia. Founded in 1996, RUMC is Malaysia’s first accredited private medical school, and one of only ten Foreign University Branch Campus in Malaysia. RUMC remains the only Irish University in the region. Licensed to educate and graduate a quota of 120 undergraduate medical students per year, students spend their first 2 ½ years in Dublin at either RCSI or UCD and then return to RUMC to complete the final 2 ½ years of their studies. RUMC has over 1800 alumni who graduated with a National University of Ireland (NUI) degree.


Professor Whitford says:” It is a privilege and an honour to be able to take over the leadership of RUMC at this time in its history with nearly 25 years of strong and steady growth. I am excited at the opportunity to further develop RUMC in the next chapter of its development. My main emphasis will be to further increase the quality of the university in order to provide the best possible student learning and living experience.”

On behalf of UCD and RCSI, we are delighted to welcome David as our new President and CEO. His expertise in the international higher education arena, in Malaysia and beyond, is very impressive and opportune as we approach the 25th anniversary of the foundation of RUMC. Furthermore, his experience and knowledge of RUMC will provide the foundation for further success and growth over the next 25 years.  Professor Whitford will have the enthusiastic support of staff in RUMC, alongside staff and senior administration in UCD and RCSI, to support him in this new role.

Professor Michael Keane, Chair, RUMC Board.