After several years of waiting, University College Sedaya International (UCSI) will now be in the forefront to meet a major national agenda, to train more doctors to meet the need for more medical doctors.

UCSI’s Vice Chancellor and President, Peter Ng, in a soft launch of its medical degree programme today, said the demand for medical degree has always been very high. "We are pleased now to announce that our medical degree programme has been approved by the Ministry of Education," he said. "This is after many years of preparation and investment into the teaching aids."

The first batch of students will be able to commence the medical degree programme, known as MD, will begin its classes in April 2005. "Students who meet the grades should apply within the next few months, leading up to our first intake," he said. "To avoid any disappointments, students will be asked to register early. We have limited seats."

The first cohort of students will be limited to only 60 students. "We have a strict quota and will not be able to exceed even by an additional student," he said. 

According to the Faculty Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Dato’ Dr Mohd Roslani bin Abdul Majid, the programme will be taught over 5 years. "The first two years will be taught here at UCSI Campus in Taman Connaught, and thereafter it will be another three years in Hospital Kuala Terengganu,”" he said. 

The entry requirements have to be kept high as the course in Medicine will cover extensively the composites of all specialities. The time constraints will further put students under intense pressure. There is therefore the need for entry requirements to be at one sitting. 

"UCSI, as a university par excellence, is also committed to ensure that its students are well-equipped when they enter into the workforce," he added. 

Professor Roslani, who was formerly the Faculty Dean of Medicine at Universiti Sains Malaysia, reiterated that meeting the minimum requirement of 3 B’s in STPM or A-Levels does not automatically mean that the applicant will be accepted. "We have to take the best 60 students who apply for the medical degree programme,”" he said. 

Currently, UCSI’s School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing runs a very successful Pharmacy programme. "With the country becoming a developed nation by 2020, we have to increase our number of qualified medical staff," Professor Roslani said. "We are currently still below the expected number of doctors but it is our hope to contribute in a small way towards bridging the gap." 

UCSI’s Bachelor of Nursing was also recently launched, and will be expected to pick up momentum as word goes out to registered nurses who plan to upgrade to a degree level. "This is also another area of urgent priority," said Professor Roslani. 

"Our nurses must upgrade their qualifications in order to keep pace with the rest of the developed countries. The nursing fraternity cannot stand aside and allow time to stand still for their progression. This nursing programme, it is hoped, will widen the scope of the profession and thereby broaden their horizons in the long term," he said.

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