Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 29, 2004

108848620842396096

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 1:16 pm

Few of 128 scorers accept offers to medical schools

PETALING JAYA: Only a few of the 99 top scorers given places in private medical schools have taken up the offers despite the government’s favourable loan terms.

As of Sunday, the deadline for registration, the schools saw tepid response from the students, some of whom have opted to accept the initial offers of places to study non-medical courses at public universities.

However, all 29 of those offered places at public universities have registered for their courses.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow was clearly upset that the students had rejected the offers because they were unhappy with the terms of the loan.

“Nowhere else can they expect a loan with the very low interest rate of 3% and a 15-year repayment period. We have also made it very clear that the loans may be converted into scholarships if their performance is equivalent to a first-class degree.

“The only thing we have yet to disclose is the classification of ‘excellent’ for medical degrees. However, this should not be a factor in their decision to accept or reject the places,” he said, adding that the ministry was in the midst of finalising the number of students who had accepted the offers.

Fu was speaking to reporters yesterday after witnessing the presentation of ISO 9001:2000 certification to the International University College of Technology Twintech.

Only four of the 50 students provided places in the Allianze College of Medical Sciences in Penang have accepted the offers.

The college’s president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ishak Thamby Chik said 23 had rejected the offers while the other 23 had not even responded.

“It is very disappointing because everyone, from the Government to the colleges, has bent over backwards for these students. We turned away many other applicants because the ministry had asked us to accommodate these 50.

“We even sent out our offer letters by express post,” he said.

Most of those who rejected the offers, Dr Ishak added, wanted a guarantee that their loans would be converted to scholarships.

“How can they have a guarantee when they have not even started the course? If they want to study medicine so much, they should accept the offer and work hard for it to be made a scholarship,” he said.

International Medical University marketing and communications manager Ooi Lay Tin said students had delayed registering at the university because of uncertainty over the loans.

“A total of 17 students responded to our offer and passed our entrance interview. However, none have confirmed their acceptance as they are waiting for details on the financing,” she said.

At the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology, only two of five students have taken up the places offered.

“Another two rejected us and we have not heard from the fifth. I think the two who rejected our offers have decided to take up the initial offers to study Dentistry and Pharmacy at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,” said an admissions officer from the college.

On another issue, Fu said the ministry had set up a committee headed by secretary-general Datuk Adham Baba to look at its role within the National Integrity Plan. He, however, declined to disclose further details as discussion was still at an early stage.

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