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

Minister Ruairi Quinn addresses “New Horizons for Ireland” International Higher Education Forum, RCSI Gathering Event

13 September 2013

Healthcare professionals in medicine, surgery, physiotherapy, pharmacy, nursing and medical research from around the globe will attend the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) Gathering Event International Higher Education Forum: New Horizons for Ireland, to share ideas and best practice in Dublin over the next two days. RCSI has invested in planning and promoting the event among the medical diaspora with a view to further expanding on international educational and medical alliances in the future.

Ruairi QuinnMinister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD at the RCSI Gathering International Higher Education Forum

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn, TD, will address the RCSI Gathering event this morning. The Ministers' opening address is entitled International Education Strategies for Ireland Inc which will be chaired by Professor Patrick Broe, President of RCSI. Speaking at the event, Minister Ruairí Quinn T.D., said: "The global higher education market is growing and Irish institutions need to work together to offer educational services of sufficient scale to be of relevance to potential international partners. RCSI has flown the flag globally for Irish educational excellence. By working with other colleges and Government agencies, there is a clear model for success in place, which can deliver new relationships, as it has in markets such as the Middle East and Asia. Trans-national and online provision are going to constitute an ever greater part of our international activities."

Speakers at the event also include Professor Luc E. Weber from the University of Geneva, Professor Michael Brennan from the Mayo Clinic, USA and Mr Michael Carey, Chairman of Bord Bia.

Professor Luc. E. Weber, whose keynote address is entitled "Higher Education in 2020: Between Tradition and Revolution", says that higher education is greatly contributing to the changes in today's fast changing world and knowledge which is becoming the main pillar of economic competitiveness is our best hope to solve threatening societal challenges. Changes in societal and labour market needs, changing research and teaching environments and methods, changing governmental policies, institutional governance, leadership and political support are all at work in today's society. Being traditionally conservative institutions, universities are finding themselves divided between remaining faithful to tradition or entering in the revolution.

Prof Weber also expects top class universities to stay at the top, and thinks there is a much greater upheaval at the level of non-research intensive universities and the rise of many new institutions in developing countries.

Mr. Michael Carey, Chairman of Bord Bia, will outline the international success of the Irish food industry and how some of these strategies for growth in the food sector may be transferable to the Higher Education sector as it seeks out opportunities and aims to realise its potential in the global marketplace.

Honorary Fellow of RCSI, Professor Michael Brennan will speak alongside Professor Kieran Murphy, from Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto and Mr. Seán Ó'Foghlú, Secretary General from the Department of Education and Skills on Models for Success in Higher Education. As a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Prof Brennan will outline the philosophy of excellence in the Mayo Clinic describing it as physician led, not-for-profit and an integrated, academic medical centre.

Commenting on the RCSI Gathering event, RCSI Chief Executive, Prof Cathal Kelly said: "We have a very clear strategy around how RCSI will continue to develop and grow. Our goal is to become recognised leaders in the provision of health sciences education, nationally and internationally and this event is about strengthening this international network, so that we can provide on-going support to our graduates working locally and internationally."

RCSI has been at the centre of medical education for more than 200 years and has a worldwide network of 17,000 alumni in over 80 countries. RCSI trains approximately 3,500 students annually, 1500 of whom are international students. The College contributes €65 million in direct export earnings and an additional spend of approx. €20 million, per annum, by non EU students on living costs in Ireland. RCSI is also a major employer - with over 1,000 staff employed throughout the College. RCSI has increased the number of students attending the school of medicine by 9% in 2012.

RCSI is welcoming more than 500 Alumni from 21 countries around the globe back to Ireland to the RCSI Gathering which is taking place from 12th to 14th September.