Arslan Arshad

Completing five years of medical training is a big enough achievement for any student. But Arslan Arshad from the University of Plymouth has helped to raise over £12,000 for charity in the process.

As President of the Islamic Society (ISOC) in the University’s Student Union (UPSU), he and his colleagues raised the money during Charity Week – the largest Muslim youth-led organization that raises money for orphans and needy children across the world.

Graduating as one of the first students to complete their entire BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with the University of Plymouth Peninsula Medical School, Arslan reflects on his medical training and extra-curricular endeavours.

Medicine on medical form with stethoscope and pen

“If I were to go back five years and be offered to study medicine anywhere else, I would still choose to study at Plymouth. My time here has been truly special and that is all thanks to the excellent pastoral support that I have received and the quality of teaching here. Everyone supports each other and I have always felt that I am part of a big family here.

After starting university, I joined many different societies so that I could take part in activities with people with similar interests and ultimately develop my own interpersonal skills. 

Being part of the Islamic Society (ISOC) for five years has helped me organise and lead many events.

We have helped transform ISOC from a society that hardly existed and catered for students to one that has been recognised on a national level and won awards for unity and inspiration.

This year Plymouth ISOC raised over £12,000 during Charity Week through charity auction dinners, henna nights in the SU, and a 5K charity run. The funds have helped provide medical aid, educational facilities, orphan sponsorship, and essential emergency aid in countries that are suffering the most, and the environment that we created on campus was something quite special. Everyone was dedicated and sacrificing their time because they loved the cause so much, and it was beautiful to unite students from different courses and different backgrounds for the greater good.

Unity was the key to success during this campaign and our efforts were recognised on a national level and we were awarded the ‘Best Display of Unity’ amongst all other ISOCs in the country.

To raise as much money as possible, I said I would shave my head if I received £2,000 sponsorship, and I reached the target in just under a month. This was perhaps one of my proudest achievements during my university life.

My hard work and dedication for charity projects coupled with my artistic and designing skills has earned me a position in the national team for Charity Week. I am proud to say that I am currently managing the marketing platforms of this international organisation in the United Kingdom. My involvement in charity projects is something that I aim to continue doing during my medical career.

Charity box

Arslan is part of the first group of graduates who have completed their entire BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery with the University of Plymouth Peninsula Medical School. The school was established in 2012, following the decision of the two founding members of Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), the Universities of Plymouth and University of Exeter, to separate and establish independent medical schools.

More graduate stories from the first cohort of the five-year BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course at the University’s Peninsula Medical School