Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

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400 visitors extract DNA at NUMed

400 visitors extract DNA at NUMed


Picking the right university is described as one of the most important decisions of life. However, researching universities can be a tiring process for the prospective students and their families, while open days often don’t give the visitors a real feel for campus life.


So there was a surprise for the 400 visitors who attended Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia’s (NUMed) open day. They found themselves extracting DNA and operating on mannequins, luckily with assistance from the NUMed staff and students who were at the campus, to get a real life feel of life on NUMed’s campus as student.


Prospective students and their families were welcomed at the NUMed campus based at EduCity in Nusajaya. The day started with a talk on the different programmes that NUMed offers. Dr Kenneth McKeegan spoke on the Medicine (MBBS) programme, Professor Chris Baldwinon the Biomedical Sciences (BSc) programme and Dr Paul Hubbard on the newly launched Foundation Certificatein Biological and Biomedical Sciences.


Dr Hubbard was visiting NUMed from the parent University, Newcastle UK. He was able to talk about the Foundation Certificate offered at Newcastle University UK’s Malaysia campus. This course, approved by the MQA and registered with the Ministry of Higher Education, is similar to the course currently offered by Newcastle University in the UK. The Foundation Certificate, which is being launched at NUMed in May 2016, will give participants an opportunity of guaranteed entry into one of NUMed’s prestigious medical and biomedical programs.


“We were delighted to host prospective students and their families at the NUMed campus. It was a fantastic day with a real sense of community and I have to thank all the students and staff who volunteered to help to make this day so special.  The feedback we got from attendees was great as our visitors really enjoying the “hands on” approach and the interactive nature of the day." Dr. Kenneth McKeegan, Dean of Academic Affairs, commented.


The visitors participated in the extraction of DNA from bananas, strawberries and kiwi fruit. This gave them an insight into life as a Biomedical Sciences student. Other parts of the course such as histology and physiology were also brought to life for the group of visitors.


Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is commonly performed by examining cells and tissues under a microscope. Physiology, commonly referred to as the ‘science of life’ looks at how our cells, muscles and organs work together. The demonstrations had the prospective students and their parents looking at plant samples under the microscope.

The demonstrations all took place in the state-of-the-art biomedical science laboratory, which is fitted with some of the best equipment available. The design of the laboratory is based on those found at the Faculty of Medical Sciences in Newcastle University, UK.  In fact the course is identical to the one delivered in the UK.  The only real difference is that the course fees in Malaysia are significantly less than the same programmes offered at the UK campus.

Prospective MBBS students were also introduced to NUMed’s resident simulated patient, Sven. Sven allows students to practice techniques that include clearing a patient’s airway or inserting an intravenous drip line into a vein, as well as treat emergencies such as heart-attack or septic shock. The visitors too tried these techniques on Sven with a handful of lecturers and current undergraduates on hand to show them exactly how to do it.

“After visiting your campus and meeting your friendly staff and students I have decided to apply to NUMed for the Foundation Certificatein Biological and Biomedical Sciences”, e-mailed one the NUMed Open Day attendees the following day.

The day concluded with refreshments after the visitors were given a tour of EduCity’s state-of-art Sports Complex. The sports complex includes an outdoor arena and pitches for field sports and athletics, an indoor arena and facilities for sports such as badminton and volleyball, a gymnasium and a 50-metre swimming pool, allowing all manner of sports competitions to occur.

published on: 13 April 2016