In February 2024, upGrad Institute of Medical Sciences will welcome its first cohort of approximately 100 students.
The Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course is aligned with the National Medical Commission guidelines and designed for students from the Indian subcontinent.
After completing 4.5 years on-campus, students qualify for a one-year internship with the institute’s academically-integrated hospital, Vila Central Hospital, where students will gain hands-on experience and exposure to real-world medical practices.
With all courses taught in English, the institute will also offer a Doctor of Medicine program.
Among young Indians, demand for medical education is huge, Gauruav Kumar, president of mergers and acquisitions at upGrad, told The PIE.
Each year, around 1.6 million Indian students take exams to be selected for under-graduate medical courses. However, according to Kumar, less than 100,000 spots are available.
Building a medical school requires a unique skill set, Kumar told The PIE, adding that upGrad is committed to an “absolute focus on quality, in a sector which has paramount impact on our daily lives”.
“You’re not only an educator, you’re also a health care provider,” he added.
The medical school will be the first of its kind for Vanuatu and the institute helps to put the country on the world map for higher education, said Kumar.
The school is part of a multi-campus strategy which will see upGrad build up to seven campuses over the next three to five years in locations such as Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Bangladesh.
Among young Indians, demand for medical education is huge
“In a way it also ties into the larger geopolitical conversation in this part of the world where countries such as India and Australia are trying to reach out to South Pacific countries to, through bilateral efforts, build something together,” said Kumar.
Upon graduating, students will have medical practice in Vanuatu and if individuals wish to practice in other countries, respective exams will need to be taken.