Newcastle U opens Malaysian medical campus in Sept23 May 2011, By The Business Times
EDUCITY at Iskandar Malaysia has received a boost in its bid to become a regional education hub with the completion of the Newcastle University Medicine (NUMed) Malaysia campus there.
Once it opens its doors in September, it is expected to become a 'feeder of talent' to Iskandar's growing healthcare sector which includes the Columbia Asia Hospital in Nusajaya, Gleneagles Medini Hospital, as well as the upcoming wellness township jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings, said Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, CEO of Iskandar Investment and chairman of Education@Iskandar.
Malaysia aims to address the nation's shortage of doctors to achieve a 1-to-400 doctor-patient ratio by 2020 from the current 1-to-1,000 ratio.
NUMed Malaysia will contribute to the nation's efforts to increase the number of doctors trained annually from 3,000 to over 4,000 in the next five years and is listed as one of the 33 institutions which meet the Ministry of Higher Education's stringent quality criteria.
In addition, the institution is also expected to contribute to one of the 12 national key economic areas - education - as part of EduCity@Iskandar, which is an Entry Point Project.
The university will also contribute to health care, a sector expected to generate RM10 billion (S$4.1 billion) in annual revenue for Malaysia by 2020.
NUMed Malaysia is Newcastle University's first campus outside of the United Kingdom.
Reg Jordan, provost and CEO of NUMed Malaysia, explained the strategic thrust behind setting up the campus. 'Asia's education and healthcare industries are thriving, and Newcastle University made a strategic decision to establish our first Asian campus in EduCity@Iskandar.
'Our aim is to provide a cost-effective medical programme which will meet the needs of our students and the regional health economy, and to translate the benefits of our academic endeavour for the benefit of Malaysia and the region.'
NUMed Malaysia has received hundreds of applications from across South-east Asia and beyond, and is in the selection process for 100 coveted places for its September intake.
Applications for this year will be accepted until mid-July 2011. The university will expand its intake to 1,000 students by 2017.
Programmes offered at NUMed Malaysia are identical to those of Newcastle University's UK-based provision, and lead to the award of the same degrees.
The first two cohorts of NUMed Malaysia students who began their studies in the United Kingdom will complete their programme in the university's campus in EduCity@Iskandar. Future students of NUMed Malaysia will also be offered opportunities for periods of study in the UK.
NUMed has also attracted interest from aspiring doctors in Singapore. One student from Singapore, in her second year in NUMed Malaysia, is currently at the UK campus, while the institution confirms that three additional students from Singapore will join the next batch of NUMed Malaysia students at the Iskandar campus.
The university is looking to have international students to make up as much as 30 per cent of its student body at NUMed Malaysia in the future.
NUMed Malaysia received approval from Malaysia's Ministry of Higher Education in February 2009 to conduct its Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery programmes in Malaysia.
It was granted the standard provisional accreditation status in February 2010 and the university is working closely with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency and the Malaysian Medical Council to ensure that it achieves full accreditation status when it is due.
NUMed Malaysia will also broaden its provision by offering Bachelor of Science degrees in Biomedical Sciences and postgraduate programmes from 2012. At the same time, it is in discussions with various accreditation bodies in the UK, Malaysia and across the region, including Singapore, to boost its international numbers.