I refer to the issue raised in the newspapers regarding the relocation of former medical students of the Allianze University College of Medical Sciences (AUCMS) to other local private medical schools.
The Malaysian Medical Council would like to clarify that the MMC’s statutory duty is to protect the public by ensuring that medical schools are in compliance with professional standards required for provisional registration of their graduates and that these schools are capable of producing medical graduates who are competent and who will practice safe and good quality medicine.
In relation to the credit transfer or the transfer of medical students from one university to another, the MMC always considers the welfare and the interests of the students to be transferred as well as the existing students in the receiving university. The transfer should not lead to the compromise and disruption of studies of the students already present in the receiving university. Similarly, there should not be any impairment of the capability of the receiving university to ensure optimum learning and adequate teaching environment for all the students.
The criteria that has been set for the credit transfer or transfer of medical students, should be complied with, i.e.:
The receiving university should be one with full accreditation status, and it should be in compliance with the allocated intake quota granted to the university for a particular year.
The receiving university should have adequate facilities to cater for additional students to be enrolled, and the lecturer-to-student ratio should not exceed 1:8.
Proper curriculum mapping should be carried out, so that the university can ascertain and match the appropriate year or semester where the incoming students are to be placed, so as to ensure that incoming transferred students will not miss substantial portions of the required learning material.
With regards to the relocation of the AUCMS students, curriculum mapping is very important as the program in AUCMS adopted a 5-year program consisting of two and half years of preclinical study and another two and half years of clinical study, when compared to many of the receiving universities which have adopted two-year preclinical and three-year clinical study programs. On top of that, MMC was made to understand that the AUCMS students have not been provided with regular teaching for quite sometime. It is therefore already expected that these students are at a great disadvantage when they are being considered for lateral transfer to any receiving university.
Prior approval of the MMC has to be obtained before any credit transfer takes place.
In the current exercise for relocation of AUCMS students, the MMC had agreed that if any receiving university with full accreditation status is not able to accommodate the numbers, than another provisionally accredited university may be considered to cater for the excess students.
MMC has never cancelled any request for relocation of AUCMS students to any university as has been reported, and has not at any time been an obstacle to the relocation of the stranded AUCMS students. Any fully accredited university is free to enroll AUCMS students, provided it is in compliance with the accepted professional standards. The onus is on the receiving university management to assess their capacity and to provide correct information and not to do anything that may lead to misperceptions among the students and parents.
In this case the welfare of the AUCMS students is of utmost importance as they need to be helped and assisted, but at the same time the welfare and the interest of the existing students in the receiving universities also need to be looked into. Our Ministry of Education and Higher Education Department in particular together with the management of the AUCMS are doing their best to arrange for the relocation of AUCMS students to the receiving universities, and it is hoped that the issue could be settled as soon as possible.
DATUK DR NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
Director General of Health Malaysia
President, Malaysian Medical Council.