A small piece of Malaysia in Scotland

Prof Lang and his wife are very passionate about Malaysia and all the students here.

PROF Chim Lang may be based 7000 miles from his homeland, but he is always surrounded by reminders of home thanks to the Malaysian colleagues that work alongside him in the Scottish city of Dundee.

As well as being Professor of Cardiology at the University of Dundee, he is also a consultant cardiologist and clinical pharmacologist whose internationally renowned research has impacted on health policy around the world.

Prof Lang’s relationship with the university dates back to 1979, when he first began his undergraduate medical training there. He worked in the city after graduating but his stellar career took him to the US and briefly back to his homeland before the lure of Dundee once again proved too strong to resist. These days Prof Lang and his wife- Dundee’s School of Medicine International Student lead, Dr Anna Maria Choy help Malaysians, Singaporeans and other ASEAN students adjust to life in a new country.

“It has become a tradition for us to throw a party for some of our students each Chinese New Year. We welcome them into our home and cook for them all, which can be something of a challenge,” he said. “Studying at an international institution is extremely rewarding and opens up a world of possibilities but it also obviously brings a few challenges and it is important for students to have people help them to settle in. That’s what we aim to do and I think the students enjoy the parties as much as we do.”

Prof Lang’s determination to make students feel at home is influenced not just by his Malaysian upbringing but also the Scottish headmaster at his English high school, who he credits with being one of the most inspirational figures in his life.

“He was an incredible man and it was through him that I first learned about the hospitality of the Scots when he invited us students from overseas into his home,” explained Prof Lang. “He helped me get into Dundee and the mark of his influence is that all three Malaysian students at my school ended up going to Scottish universities.”

“I was welcomed into the community here and things have changed a lot since I first came to Dundee. There are many students and staff from all parts of the world, including Malaysia and Singapore. The campus is very multicultural and one of the things I am most proud of is how diverse our own little group is. In my own division, I have Malays, Malaysian Chinese and Indians, all working well together in a high performing group.”

While Prof Lang has spent most of his life outside Malaysia, his homeland always remains in his heart and he retains strong links with several prestigious institutions in the country. His experiences have convinced him of the benefits of international collaboration and exposure to different cultures.

He said, “One of the big strengths of Dundee is that the degree on offer is an international one. We are not just producing graduates to work in the UK and Dundee graduates have gone on to be international key opinion leaders in medicine and life sciences. I am a product of this Medical School and am very happy that ASEAN students are coming here then going back to their home countries to make a difference to people’s lives there. I was back in Malaysia delivering a series of lectures last year and it became an opportunity for me to meet up with my old students who are scattered across Malaysia and have all become very successful doctors.”

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