photograph Newcastle University opens Malaysia operation

Newcastle University has officially opened the doors of its Malaysian Medical campus on 1st November 2011 with 80 undergraduates enrolled to train as doctors.

Newcastle is the UK’s first university to develop an overseas campus offering full UK medical degrees in-country and aims to equip both local and international students with the skills to support Malaysia’s health service.

The purpose-built Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) campus is based in EduCity in Johor and will form one of the main international learning facilities of the ground-breaking educational complex.

His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG performed the opening of NUMed during a ceremony attended by Sir Liam Donaldson, Newcastle University’s Chancellor and former Chief Medical Officer for England and the Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink.

 Sir Liam said: “The establishment of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia will provide transnational access to a world-class UK medical education for a broad range of Malaysian and international students for whom this opportunity may have otherwise been denied by geographical or financial circumstances. In the longer term we hope very much to contribute, not only to meeting Malaysia’s human capital needs, but also improving medical services in the region and the care patients receive.”

Building of NUMed began in 2008 and the campus includes innovative teaching and learning facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. Seven Newcastle University medics are now working at the campus alongside another 50 Malaysian and international staff, training the undergraduates. The medical programme of study is equivalent to that delivered in the UK and will lead to the award of a Newcastle University MBBS (Bachelor of Medical Sciences) degree. The NUMed Malaysia MB BS programme comes under the UK’s General Medical Council’s (GMC) robust approval and quality assurance framework.

NUMed has already enrolled 60 local undergraduates to train as doctors from this year with a further 25 students joining NUMed’s third year having commenced their studies in Newcastle, UK. By 2017 it is forecast that 900 medical students will be studying at the campus.

Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink, explained: “Newcastle University has a proud history as a medical school with its origins dating back to 1834.

“Our expansion into Malaysia provides us with a real opportunity to export our expertise which will not only benefit our Newcastle base but also Malaysia as we equip some of the world’s best trained physicians and medical professionals to support the country’s health service.

“The opening of NUMed epitomises our vision of Newcastle as a civic university with a global reputation for academic excellence.”

NUMed Malaysia will initially offer MBBS degrees in medicine and its intake is expected to grow to 180 over the first five years. BSc degrees in the biomedical sciences will be offered in 2013 along with a selection of Masters degrees. As the Malaysian campus matures, further programmes may be added in response to regional priorities and demand. 

Professor Reg Jordan is Chief Executive Officer of NUMed. He added: “The opening of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia is the latest milestone in meeting the University’s global ambitions and represents the beginning of a long-term partnership with the people of Malaysia.

“It marks the culmination of seven years of work by ourselves and key partners in Iskandar Malaysia, the Ministries of Higher Education and Health Malaysia and our development partners, Iskandar Investment Berhad.”

One of the first medical undergraduates to enrol on the Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree at NUMed is 22-year-old Malaysian Zulhilmi Ibrahim. Having taken the first two years of his course in Newcastle, he is completing his 3rd year at NuMed. He said: “I am delighted to be studying at NUMed. The new campus is fantastic and the facilities here are far beyond my expectations.  It’s good to see some of the UK lecturers here too.

"I believe that it’s really beneficial for Malaysian medical students to have their clinical attachments here in Malaysia and the teaching in the clinical facilities in Johor has been excellent. I am thoroughly enjoying studying for the Newcastle University UK MBBS degree here in Malaysia”.

published on: 1st November 2011