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

Medical Commencement Programme boosted by the arrival of Iraqi Students

28 March 2012

The Medical Commencement Programme (MCP) which is jointly delivered by RCSI and the Institute of Technology in Tralee received a boost in February with the addition of 21 Iraqi Sponsored Students.

These are the first group of Sponsored Students to leave Iraq following the recent years of turbulence. RCSI are delighted to be part of the reconstruction programme and the arrival of these students re-establishes the educational links between RCSI and Iraq.

Iraqi MCP studentsFirst group of Iraqi students to join the Medical Commencement Programme

The students were secured following a meeting in Dublin last May between representatives of the RCSI Senior Management Team and the Iraq Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, His Excellency Mr Ali Al Adeeb.

Philip Curtis, Head of Admissions, RCSI held subsequent meetings in London with the Iraq Cultural Attaché Prof Razak Al Essa and the Deputy Attaché Dr Ahmed Al Baghdadi. The final details and operational logistics of getting the students from Iraq to Dublin were arranged through the Dublin Iraqi representative Dr Ismael Almulla.

The Minister H.E. Ali Al Adeeb thanked RCSI on Iraq television and in Parliament, when he announced the Iraq Study Abroad project which is commencing with this group of students; the first to be sent overseas anywhere in the world.

A special note of thanks must be given to the Department of Justice and in particular Mr Kevin O'Sullivan and Ms Jackie Hannon who, in the Visa Office, obliged Philip Curtis and Dr Ismael Almulla with numerous and unreasonable requests on granting visa's to allow the 21 students to travel. Suffice to say, the Visa Office sailed as close to the wind as they possibly could to facilitate approving the visa's, recognising that the students could not be processed using the normal visa application process. We are indebted to them and very thankful for their help and understanding.

The 21 students (14 girls and 7 boys) and were offered the scholarships on the basis of having graduated at the highest academic levels from the Iraq High School system. They will spend the next year and half in Tralee and on successfully graduating from MCP join the medical programme in Dublin in September 2013.

They join a group of 37 Saudi and 2 Omani students who commenced in the 3 Semester MCP in February this year and bring the 3 Semester class size to 60 students.

72 additional MCP students are studying for their final examinations this coming May and the successful graduates from this group will join the Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy programmes in Dublin this coming September. This group is made up of students from Saudi, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Nigeria.

We wish them well in their examinations.