Boston pharma college recruits students

Updated: 2013-11-12 04:49

By YU WEI in San Francisco (

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Chinese students are going to have the opportunity to study at America's second-oldest school of pharmacology.

MCPHS University (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), a Boston-based school that specializes in healthcare, held a recruiting event in Shanghai on Saturday in an effort to establish a presence in China and attract more students from the world's number one source of overseas students.

"The event went well and we are planning other events in the near future," said Rene Cabrera, director of undergraduate and international recruitment admissions at MCPHSU.

Cabrera, currently in Shanghai to organize the event, said the response from both students and parents was more than he expected.

"Parents asked excellent, insightful questions as they want the very best for their children," Cabrera said. "I believe a very interested market will develop in the near future in China as people get to know us better and feel comfortable entrusting their children to be educated at MCPHSU. We are a compelling story."

Founded in 1823, MCPHSU is the oldest institution of higher education in Boston. Its Boston campus is located in the heart of the world-renowned Longwood Medical and Academic Area, home to Harvard Medical School and other renowned health care institutions.

The private and independent institution offers more than 30 degrees and certificate programs from the undergraduate to the PhD level, including medical research and drug development and discovery.

"MCPHS University is comprised of eight professional schools but does not include a medical school that grants medical degrees," Cabrera said. "However, we do prepare students to apply to medical school."

All eight of the schools are open to international students, he said.

"We have a fine School of Physician Assistant Studies, which is very attractive to students who do not want to spend 10 plus years getting a medical degree," he said.

Although this marks the first time that MCPHSU has conducted a recruiting event in China, the school started a formal Sister College relationship with Hangzhou Medical College in 2007 in a joint effort to develop international programs in health sciences and exchange teachers and students.

Today, those collaborative projects include international programs in nursing, Chinese traditional medicine and Western pharmacology.

There were 194,029 Chinese students studying in the US in the 2011-12 academic year, representing the largest group of international students in the US from a single country. Meanwhile, more and more Chinese students who graduate from American universities gain overseas work experience since it helps them find a better job back home.

Cabrera believes that healthcare is an industry with bright career prospects in the US. "The healthcare sector in the US is very attractive because the demand is high," he said.

At the same time, Cabrera said, as China looks to reform its own healthcare system it will be looking for universities to help with the transformation, as well as the education of its healthcare workforce.

"We believe we are well positioned to benefit from the demand to educate healthcare professionals wherever there is a need," he said.