THOUGH Ireland has a population of only around 4.5 million, the country and its people have had a major and long-lasting impact on the world in terms of Politics, Literature, the Arts and the Sciences, including Medicine and Dentistry. While the reasons for this out-sized influence are many, most people attribute Ireland’s success to the high quality of its education system.

The Irish government invests over 800 million euro annually in research in Ireland’s higher education institutions. The impact of this funding is that Ireland’s higher education institutions now lead the world in an increasing number of fields.

Irish universities are in the top one per cent of research institutions in the world in terms of research impact in 19 fields, creating a unique opportunity for undergraduate and postgraduates to join research programmes that are driving innovation and change and saving lives worldwide.

For a small country, Ireland has produced a number of world-ranking scientists and scholars.

George Boole (1816 – 64) was the professor of Mathematics in University College Cork (UCC) when he developed Boolean Algebra, the basis for all computing languages and, in fact, the foundation of the digital age.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) main entrance
A medical practice in progress at University College Dublin (UCD)

Dr Francis Rynd (1801-1861) the inventor of the hypodermic needle, worked as a doctor at Dublin’s Meath Hospital (which is still in operation to this day, since its founding in 1753). During his time at the hospital, he began working on producing a drip needle specifically for the intravenous administrating of drugs and experienced a breakthrough in May of 1844, when he developed the first hypodermic needle.

John Joly (1857-1933) was a pioneer in using radiotherapy as a treatment for cancer. As a geologist, he devised instruments to determine the unique melting point of each mineral, which ultimately led him to the discovery of the importance of radioactivity. This in turn led to developing the treatment of cancer through radiotherapy. Though just one of his many accomplishments, this discovery has left an indelible mark on medical history.

Professor James Francis “Frank” Pantridge (1916-2004), the inventor of the portable defibrillator was born in Hillsborough, County Down. The portable defibrillator has single-handedly transformed the practice of emergency paramedic services and has saved the lives of countless cardiac patients since its introduction. It was in 1957 that Pantridge and his colleague Dr John Geddes introduced the first version of the portable defibrillator, which was installed in a Belfast ambulance in 1965.

With such inspirational figures woven into the history of the Irish universities, there is no doubt that studying Medical Sciences in Ireland, through the Irish Universities and Medical Schools Consortium (IUMC), is a move in the right direction.

As the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone (and soon to be the only English-speaking country in the European Union), Ireland is an easy, friendly and safe country to settle in to.

In 2010, Lonely Planet named Ireland as the friendliest country in the world. The Global Peace Index ranks Ireland as 13th most peaceful place, out of 158 nations worldwide.

The IUMC, represents four of Ireland’s top universities: NUI Galway (NUIG), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), UCC and University College Dublin (UCD) and enrols up to 100 students from the ASEAN region each year, to embark on their pursuit of a truly inspiring Medical and Dentistry education.


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