A Universiti Malaya (UM) medical student has been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford
Subashan Vadibeler will be headed to the UK in 2021 to pursue double master's degrees in International Health and Tropical Medicine as well as in Integrated Immunology.
He found out the amazing news on Monday, 9 November, and said the experience has been "unreal".
"It's a great feeling - I called my mum and my sister when I found out," he told Malay Mail.
Established in 1903, the Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest international scholarship programme in the world that aims to develop future leaders through postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.
The scholarship is highly competitive and provides all expenses for up to four years of study at the prestigious university.
Hailing from Ipoh, Perak, the 24-year-old is extremely passionate about neglected tropical diseases and combating health inequality
"My hometown is quite a big inspiration for me because at UM, where I'm currently studying, is where the Nipah virus was discovered and my hometown was one of the earliest places to be infected with the virus," he said.
According to Rhodes Trust, Subashan also worked closely with urban poor communities during his clinical training and is a strong advocate of science for all.
Inspired by his experiences in medical school, the final year student hopes to one day eradicate dengue after seeing many patients who were suffering from the mosquito-borne disease.
He also humbly acknowledged that this opportunity could not have been possible without the support and guidance from the UM medical faculty
When the news broke, the university's medical faculty dean Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman took to Twitter to congratulate him.
Beyond humble, he also said, "I realise that other Malaysian students can't afford the same privileges so they can reach out to me anytime for help."
Last year, a student from Selangor also had the honour of receiving the same prestigious scholarship: