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

RCSI launches International Citizenship Award

29 April 2016

RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) will today launch a new Award programme for students to support them working in an increasingly globalised society and healthcare environment. The RCSI International Citizenship Award programme has been established to encourage students to develop the attributes required to show healthcare leadership in the mixed cultural and social settings that will be the norm in their future careers.

This structured self-directed programme will empower students to avail of the rich multi-cultural opportunities for self-development through enriching extracurricular activities, interacting with others from diverse backgrounds, and formally reflecting on their personal development through these activities, supported by staff mentors. RCSI see this as a development beyond the many extracurricular activities encouraged in university student life such as public volunteering or offering ‘buddy' support to more junior students. The aim is to use these experiences in a structured way to support self-reflection and personal development as an ‘international citizen'.

Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences said: "It is imperative that our future healthcare leaders are able to act effectively in diverse and multicultural settings and have an appreciation of both the value of, and the challenges inherent, in such settings. We want our future doctors, physiotherapists and pharmacists to view themselves as world citizens who have the confidence to practice in any part of the world and have a sense of social responsibility by contributing to the local, national and international community."

"In the multi-cultural environment that is the hallmark of RCSI, we have always had a heightened awareness of the importance of cultivating all students to be able to work well in an international setting. This initiative seeks to crystallise the asset that is a muti-cultural learning environment par excellence and to overtly support students to become reflective learners enriched through that environment. Many of our alumni, reflecting later in their careers on their education, comment on the singular value of their multi-cultural education at RCSI. With this initiative, we are proud to highlight and optimise this experience during the undergraduate student years." Professor McGee concluded.

The RCSI International Citizenship Award initiative has been developed under the leadership of Dr Mary Clarke, Vice-Dean for International Citizenship, RCSI who, as part of the launch, will unveil a video showcasing the activities undertaken by students who participated in a pilot for the Award. The video can be viewed online on RCSI's YouTube channel.


Also addressing the launch event will be guest speaker, Ms Sheila Power, Director, Irish Council for International Students (ICOS), who will speak on the importance of international education in creating global citizenship.

Today's event will conclude with the official launch of the programme by Professor Cathal Kelly, Chief Executive/Registrar RCSI who will mark the occasion by presenting the first cohort of students, who took part in a pilot of the programme, with their Award certificates.

More than 70 countries are represented on RCSI's student body, a mix which contributes to a vibrant college life. Students participating in the International Citizenship programme are required to complete a portfolio of extracurricular activities and submit written reflections on the skills, values and attitudes that they have demonstrated through these activities. These activities include peer engagement such as the RCSI Buddy Programme and the student newspaper DiveRCSIty; social leadership such as the Student Union and fundraising activities; local community activities including the REACH Homework Club and Sports Day; overseas challenges such as volunteer charity work; and research activity including collaboration with international researchers during summer research projects.

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RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for ‘International Outlook' and #251 - 300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-2016). 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.