Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI signs transnational collaborative agreement with Soochow University for the delivery of joint pharmacy programme

31 August 2018

RCSI President, Mr. Kenneth Mealy and RCSI CEO, Professor Cathal Kelly have signed a transnational collaborative agreement with Professor Sidong Xiong, President of Soochow University, and Professor Xuechu Zhen, Dean of the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China for the delivery of a joint programme in clinical pharmacy. 

This programme, the first of its type for pharmacy in Ireland, will see students spend the first two years of their studies at Soochow University where they will undertake a number of core foundation modules across pharmaceutical sciences, anatomy, physiology, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. There will also be two modules led and delivered by RCSI faculty at Soochow University. Students then have the option to transfer to RCSI-Dublin to complete a further two years of study with a more specific focus on clinical pharmacy. At the end of their 4 years of study, students will be awarded dual degrees from RCSI and Soochow University. 

Speaking at today’s signing, Mr. Kenneth Mealy, President, RCSI, said: “This collaboration with Soochow University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences began in April 2015 when RCSI signed a Memorandum of Academic and Research Cooperation and since then there has been significant engagement and collaboration with RCSI across both education and research initiatives. We are delighted today to see the further development of our relationship with the signing of this agreement and we look forward to continuing to work with Soochow University on further initiatives in the future.”

Professor Sidong Xiong, President, Soochow University, said: “Soochow University is committed as a strategic priority to internationalization. Ireland has a very established reputation in higher education and so I am delighted to sign this agreement with such an established provider of health professions education in Ireland”. 

Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO, RCSI, remarked: “This Transnational education partnership between Soochow University and RCSI illustrates the changing political, social and cultural terrain of global higher education. This partnership, by combining the expertise of our two institutions, creates collaborative advantage and prepares a new generation of pharmacists for their expanded clinical role within the Chinese healthcare system”.

“I would like to extend my thanks to Professor John Waddington for establishing this relationship and I would like to offer my congratulations to Professor Paul Gallagher and Dr. Helena Kelly of the School of Pharmacy for their efforts in developing this programme in conjunction with their colleagues in Soochow University, in particular Professor Xuechu Zhen, Dean of the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Professor Weipeng Wang, Vice-Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Professor Gallagher and Dr. Kelly were supported in RCSI by the Office of Corporate Strategy, led by Michael McGrail, with assistance from Maura Geraghty and Jean O’Neill”.

Professor Xuechu Zhen, Dean of the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University added ‘I am delighted that the Joint programme will shortly commence.  I wish to thank Professor Paul Gallagher and Dr. Helena Kelly for their tremendous efforts and endless input without which this agreement would not have happened”.

Founded in 1900, Soochow University, located in the Jiangsu province, is ranked in the top 5% of Chinese universities. The Jiangsu province has a population of 79 million and is a heavily industrialised region neighbouring Shanghai. It is considered the most developed of the 22 provinces in China. It has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in excess of $1 trillion and has the largest level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of any province. 

RCSI is ranked among the top 250 (top 2%) of universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018) and its research is ranked first in Ireland for citations. It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. RCSI is a signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter.