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Diplomat congratulates UCLan on the new medical course

29 April 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Dr Virander Paul, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, visits the University’s Preston Campus.

A senior Indian diplomat has congratulated the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) on the recently launched Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS) course.

Dr Virander Paul, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, visited the University’s Preston Campus on 25 April to see the state-of-the-art facilities which the international students will be using during their training on the self-funded five year undergraduate medical degree programme.

As part of the tour of the facilities he was shown the multi-million pound dental building, including theory rooms and practical laboratories. He also saw the life-like pharmacy counter and specialist pharmacology booths and visited the fire toxicity, chemistry and biology analytical laboratories.

Dr Paul holds a medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1991. Prior to this he was Minister (Press) at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. He has held diplomatic assignments in Indian Missions in Almaty, Vladivostok, Rome, St Petersburg and Moscow. At the Ministry of External Affairs Headquarters, he served in Europe East and Americas Divisions. He also served as Director in the Prime Minister’s Office during 2007 to 2010.

Recalling the advances made by India’s medical institutions in the field of healthcare, Dr Paul highlighted “the importance of close collaboration between Indian and British universities to jointly work on new challenges and priorities,” and said “any new proposal from University of Central Lancashire would be most welcome.”

“The University was thrilled at the opportunity to demonstrate to such a high ranking diplomat what an exceptional educational institution had become established in Preston.”

Professor StJohn Crean, Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry and who escorted Dr Paul around campus, said: “The University was thrilled at the opportunity to demonstrate to such a high ranking diplomat what an exceptional educational institution had become established in Preston. I’m delighted Dr Paul took the opportunity to come up from London to visit us and he seemed very impressed with our world-class facilities.”

Dr Paul later joined Preston MP Mark Hendrick, four mayors from the Preston and East Lancashire areas, a selection of UCLan Honorary Fellows and staff at a special reception.

The UCLan School of Medicine and Dentistry will welcome 35 students onto the MB BS programme from September. During the degree the students will study medical sciences along with clinical and communication skills at UCLan’s multi-million pound facilities in Preston and Burnley. UCLan will work in partnership with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) who will provide the majority of clinical placements, with Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust (LCFT) and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust (LTHT) providing the remainder. Primary care placements will be provided in regional General Medical Practices and community settings servicing the significant health needs across East Lancashire.