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As a College of Medical and Health Sciences, we endeavour
to attract the highest calibre of undergraduate and
postgraduate students. For our part, we are obliged to
provide, for our students, high-quality resources on campus
and, therefore, as reported last year we are well advanced
with our preparations to build an eight storey New Academic
Educational Building on York Street. The planning phase
is completed and our preliminary application for planning
permission has been granted. Although this educational
facility will be largely for the benefit of our undergraduate
students, the clinical and technical skills area planned for
the top floors will facilitate common usage by our surgical
trainees and our undergraduate students, and will provide
much-needed facilities for onsite training in surgical skills
in particular. With the recent more rigid enforcement of
the European Working Time Directive in the hospitals, off-
site activities for our trainees will assume an ever-greater
We have recently commenced a third year of the five-
year medical programme at Perdana University in Kuala
Lumpur. This is an exciting project under the leadership of
our inaugural Dean, Professor Anthony Cunningham. We
are steadily expanding teaching staff in Perdana and have
recently recruited a Professor of Surgery, Mr David Adams,
and a Professor of Medicine, Dr Dermot Long, in preparation
for the beginning of clinical activity early next year. We
secured an agreement with Kuala Lumpur General Hospital,
a massive 1,200-bed hospital in the centre of Kuala Lumpur
where our students will have clinical teaching. The bedrock
of Irish medical education is bedside teaching and we are
determined that model, just as it is implemented in Dublin,
Bahrain and Penang, will be delivered in Perdana also. We
have the full support of Tan Sri Datuk Dr Mohan Swami,
Chairman of Perdana University and his recently-appointed
Vice Chancellor Professor Dato' Dr Sothi Rachagan, who
work very closely with Professor Cunningham and also the
Dean of our Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Hannah
McGee. Our CEO, Professor Cathal Kelly, and Director for
Corporate Strategy, Mr Michael McGrail, also give careful
oversight to this project. All deserve great credit for the
excellence of this project to date. Despite occasional
difficulties, it is going from strength to strength, receiving
universal acclaim from local and visiting staff for the quality
of the students in the programme. The first class will
graduate from Perdana in June, 2016.
The second weekend in September is usually reserved for
the annual alumni celebration weekend at RCSI and 2013
was a special year in that we played our part for the national
economy by celebrating our Alumni weekend as part of `The
Gathering'. Our alumni responded extraordinarily and came
in large numbers for a much-expanded weekend of activities
on this occasion. We estimate there was a 30 per cent
increase in the numbers attending the Alumni Weekend.
The initial evening in the Convention Centre was hugely
entertaining with keynote act, stand-up comedian Dara
O'Briain. There were wonderful displays of old photographs
of College activities and personnel to remind Alumni of
their College days. The International Forum for Medical
Education, organised by Professor Hannah McGee and held
in the College on the Friday of the Alumni weekend, was
a terrific meeting which was opened by the Minister for
Education, Ruairi Quinn. Minister Quinn gave high praise
to RCSI, in particular, its international activities in which
it is a leader among Irish educational institutions. RCSI
graduates, who now occupy leadership positions in medical
education in America and Canada, gave excellent talks on
future developments in education, including retaining the
importance of clinical teaching for medical students.
`The Gathering' Alumni weekend finished with a Gala Dinner
" impressive institution with a pervasive culture of quality."
Pictured (l-r) are Professor Cathal
Kelly, CEO/Registrar, RCSI;
Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of
the Faculty of Medicine and Health
Sciences, RCSI; Rt Hon Professor
the Lord Darzi of Denham KBE
(Class of 1984 and recipient of RCSI
honorary doctorate); and Professor
Paddy Broe, President of RCSI.