NUMed students find a home away from home in the UK
When third year medical student Jun Poon took his first trip to the UK he immediately felt at home. Despite being ten thousand kilometres from Malaysia the new surroundings felt very familiar and the people were just as friendly. Jun had found his home away from home.
Jun had been selected from a number of students at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) to spend the summer at Newcastle University, the parent university in the UK. He was quick to discover that the only thing separating the two campuses is geographical distance.
Ever since the British university opened a branch-campus for medicine and biomedical science in Johor in 2009, NUMed students have been offered the opportunity to study for short periods in the UK - and almost all take advantage of it. Similarities from design of the campus to the style of teaching help the students adapt quickly to life in the UK, which maximises the time they have to benefit from the experience.
The main purpose of Jun's ten week trip was to carry out a special research project on the regeneration of mammals' spinal cords. The project required him to collaborate with a diverse range of students and faculty. Led by an English tutor, his team comprised of fellow researchers from Germany, Netherland and Saudi Arabia. Yet the consistent standards across the two campuses meant they all shared a common approach from the start. The result was a highly-successful research collaboration.
Reflecting on his trip, Jun said: “I really enjoyed my experience. I always knew we shared the same syllabus and learning resources. Sometimes we even share the same lecturers who travel out to deliver parts of the course. But now I have seen with my own eyes and understood from my experience just how similar NUMed is to Newcastle UK.”
He added: “The time I spent working with my counterparts in the UK made me realise the outcome of studying at Newcastle University is the same in Malaysia as it is in the UK. Just like the medical profession, the Newcastle University standards are universal”.
The similarities between the UK and Malaysia campus are useful for the students as NUMed recently became the first university outside of the UK to receive recognition by the General Medical Council (GMC) – the statutory body that registers and regulates doctors in the UK. This was an important milestone for NUMed as it means Malaysians who study medicine at NUMed and carry out their postgraduate clinical training programme in selected Malaysian hospitals can now apply for full registration as doctors with the GMC as well as the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
While Jun spent much of his time exploring the regeneration of mammals' spinal cords, he was also able to discover the delights of the British countryside. In his spare time and weekends he travelled from Edinburgh to Essex, and soon began to realise that away from the Newcastle University campuses, the UK and Malaysia are very different!
“I wanted to make the most of my trip and I think I managed this. I met many people and explored different places including the many castles and cathedrals of the UK cities! It was all part of my learning experience. At NUMed we are always reminded that you learn as much outside the classroom as you do inside it," he said.
Newcastle was the first UK University to offer a UK Primary Medical qualification outside of the UK. Both undergraduate degrees offered by NUMed in Medicine (MBBS) and Biomedical Sciences (BSc) are conferred by Newcastle University UK.
Newcastle University UK, has established an international branch campus in Johor, Malaysia to provide its undergraduate degrees in Medicine (MB BS) and the Biomedical Sciences (BSc), and opportunities for postgraduate study. The programmes of study are equivalent to those of Newcastle’s UK-based provision, and lead to the award of the same degrees. By choosing to study at NUMed Malaysia, students will obtain a reputable UK qualification, from an internationally recognized university, at a cost significantly less than that of studying in the UK. The undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS) degrees were launched in 2009 and BSc degrees in the Biomedical Sciences were launched in 2013. Both programmes offer opportunities for periods of study in the UK.
published on: 13 April 2016