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


RCSI welcomes the increasing ethnic and national diversity of our community, and is committed to equal treatment of all regardless of race. RCSI has a long tradition of celebrating cultural diversity. RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for 'International Outlook' by Times Higher Education. The College operates across five international campuses and has 70 countries represented in Dublin.

Student Societies

RCSI supports a very wide range of societies celebrating particular ethnicities, nationalities and cultural identities, including:

  • American Medical Students Association
  • Middle Eastern Student Association (MESA)
  • Canadian Irish Medical Student Association
  • Caribbean African Society
  • Irish Society
  • PIBS - Pakistan,India Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Society

Cultural Competency

RCSI have introduced a range of activities to promote cultural competence.

Cultural Competence Online Course

A dedicated RCSI 'Understanding Cultural Competence' online course was launched for staff and students in 2016. This course promotes shared understanding of cultural competence and its value to all professionals. All new students in RCSI are required to complete as part of our onboarding progamme 'Passport for Success'. To date, 420 students and 250 staff have taken the course.

International Citizenship Award for Students This Award aims to provide an explicit self-development pathway for students to benefit from RCSI’s rich multi-cultural environment. Students engage in extracurricular activities, interacting with others from diverse backgrounds, and formally reflect on their personal development. Mentorship is also provided by RCSI staff.

Cultural Diversity Month

RCSI hosts a Cultural Diversity Month for students and staff each March. Students from the vast array of societies, such as PIBS (Pakistan-India-Bangladesh-Sri Lanka), the Middle East society (MESA) who were last year's winners, CAS (Caribbean-African Society), CIMSA (Canadian-Irish Medical Students Association), PMCSA (Penang Medical College Students Association) and the Irish society offers events throughout the month, including a Cultural Exhibition Fair and International Food Night.

The culmination of this month-long celebration is RCSI International Night. This is one of the most highly anticipated in the College calendar, and showcases the culture, traditions, music and dance from RCSI's students' home countries, of which there are more than 60 represented in the RCSI student body. The best performance receives the coveted Parnell Keeling trophy, decided upon by a judging panel of staff and students. In 2017, this cultural extravaganza took place in Dublin's iconic Olympia Theatre on Dame Street.

Appreciating Culture – Lecture & Event Series

RCSI provides a series of engaging events and lectures focussed on the theme that we are all 'students of culture'. These events are open to staff and students.

Resources for Staff

RCSI provides a number of resources for staff engaging with the student body.

A workshop on Teaching in a Cross Cultural Environment is offered bi-annually. This is aimed at discussing and exploring strategies for improving the international student experience in a teaching and learning environment, while simultaneously improving interaction between native and international students. Teaching in an intercultural setting means using strategies to work creatively with different cultural worldviews, and bringing an international perspective into the curriculum. The target audience includes those involved in teaching, tutoring and supervising international students.