Published: Friday January 15, 2010 MYT 8:45:00 PM

More affordable way to pursue a medical degree


PETALING JAYA: There is now a new and affordable avenue for Malaysians to study medicine locally.

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman's (Utar) new Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will hold its first intake in May, at a cost of about RM50,000 a year, a fraction of what parents would have to pay for medical courses in other local private universities.

The Higher Education Ministry has just approved the faculty's Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme and the faculty will accept an initial 50 students this year.

Housed at the varsity's Sg Long campus in Selangor, the MBBS programme will cost RM50,000 per annum and around RM250,000 for the entire five-year course.

A memorandum of agreement was also signed with the Health Ministry Friday, formalising the placement of Utar medical and health sciences students at government hospitals.

With the MoA, Utar students will undergo their practicum, industrial training or clinical studies at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital , Ampang Hospital , Sultan Ismail Hospital in Johor Baru and Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.

Commending Utar for its initiative, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that his ministry was excited to accept Utar into its pool of collaborating universities.

There are currently 25 universities training doctors in Malaysia. Ten of them are public universities while private universities and university colleges make up the other 15.

"This is a historical event for Utar," said Liow in a press conference after the MoA signing ceremony.

"Based on Utar's track record in producing quality graduates and commitment in promoting lifelong learning, I have no doubt that the university will attain the same level of excellence in its new venture."

Describing the MoA signing as a win-win partnership which ultimately benefited Malaysian citizens, Liow added that his ministry was committed to supporting Utar in training its medical students.

Established on Nov 16, last year, Utar's faculty of medicine and health sciences also plans to offer three more degree programmes in Nursing, Physiotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The application process for Utar's MBBS course is open until the end of March and selected applicants will be interviewed in early April.


Source: Star, 15 Jan 2010