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

Major expansion of RCSI and UCD in Malaysia

22 March 2011

Ministers from the State Government of Terengganu , Malaysia, were in Dublin today (Monday 21 March 2011) to sign an agreement for the provision of medical education by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD) here in Dublin and by the two colleges in the State of Terengganu in Malaysia.

Pictured are (L-R) Dr Hugh Brady, President of UCD, YB Dr Jahi A Rahman bin Mokhtar, Terengganu State Executive Council, YB Haji Ahmad Razif bin Abd Rahman, Terengganu Committee Chariman on State Education, and Prof Cathal Kelly, Registrar / CEO of RCSI


RCSI and UCD already run the Penang Medical College in the NW State of Penang, in Malaysia through the medical colleges of RCSI and UCD.  130 students currently spend the first 2.5 years of their medical training in Dublin and return to Penang at the clinical stage to complete their undergraduate education for a further 2.5 years. 

The new agreement will involve establishing a medical college branch campus in Terengganu, on the East coast of Malaysia.

Building up to 150 students per annum, the Terengganu State Government will initially allocate 50 places for this coming September to students selected by academic merit and interview.

These students will come to Ireland to study at RCSI and UCD for 2.5 years and will return to the new medical school in Terengganu to undertake their clinical training and complete their medical degrees - which are awarded by the two Irish colleges.

Signing the agreement, the Most Hon Haji Ahmad Razif bin Abd.Rahman, the Chairman on State Education, stressed the long relationship in medical education between Malaysia and Ireland.  "Irish medical education has an excellent international reputation for training high quality, clinically skilled doctors and Terengganu welcomes this agreement with RCSI and UCD and to extend this education programme to our State."  

The agreement was signed by YB Haji Ahmad Razif bin Abd.Rahman, Haji Aziz bin Mamat, Director of Terengganu Foundation, Dr Hugh Brady, President, UCD and Professor Cathal Kelly, Registrar and CEO of RCSI, in the presence of the Most Hon Dr Haji A Rahman bin Mokhtar, of the Terengganu State Executive Council.

Professor Cathal Kelly, Registrar / CEO of RCSI said:  One of the main advantages of this programme is that Malaysian students undergo their clinical training in the environment in which they will later practice, while benefiting from a comprehensive grounding in the science of medicine in Dublin. We look forward to welcoming these new students to Ireland and to our College."

"Since the original agreement with the Malaysian Government over twenty years ago, thousands of Malaysian doctors have received some or all of their training in Ireland," said the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady.  "These students play an active part in campus life and are testament to the true value of internationalising our higher education sector." 

The Malaysian students will return home for their clinical training in Malaysian hospitals and under this new agreement, RCSI and UCD will apply to the Malaysian Ministry of Health for access to Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah in the capital city, Kuala Terengganu for teaching and for delivering the necessary clinical training to these students.

The direct fee value of this new agreement to UCD and RCSI will be €11.6 million per annum and with additional living expenditure, represents considerable income generation for Ireland.

The Penang Medical College is a not-for-profit venture and any income is reinvested in the facilities and the programme in Malaysia.

In addition to the shared-education programme, UCD and RCSI educate a further 200 Malaysian students, who undertake their full 5-year degree here in Ireland. 

The total value of these programmes to the two colleges is almost €20 million per annum.