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Malaysia: Qualifying made easier for graduates from unrecognised foreign universities

Medical graduates from unrecognised universities overseas can now sit for the Medical Qualifying Examination (MQE) at all 16 medical schools in the country, including private universities.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said previously these graduates could only sit for the exam at three local universities — Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

“From now onwards they can sit for the exam in all medical schools in Malaysia. We have 16 medical schools offering 17 medical programmes. All students coming back from unrecognised universities overseas can sit for the exam in all these universities,” he told reporters after holding here yesterday a dialogue with several Sarawakian medical graduates who earned their degrees in China.

The 16 universities are UM, UKM, USM, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Penang Medical College, International Medical University, AIMST University, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, Royal College of Medicine Perak, Monash University Sunway Campus, UCSI University, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, and Management and Science University.

Liow said this move would make it easier for medical graduates to sit for the MQE, particularly Sarawakian students who need no longer travel to Kuala Lumpur for it. “They prefer to take the exam here because the cost will be lower,” he said, adding that this was one of the problems brought up by the graduates during the dialogue session.

Liow also announced that the medical graduates could now take the exam for an unlimited number of times. “In the past it was limited to three times. Now they can sit for it unlimited times to make sure they pass,” he said. Medical graduates from unrecognised universities need to pass the MQE in order to start their housemanship and be registered as medical doctors in Malaysia.

In addition, Liow said the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) was currently in the process of recognising medical programmes in China. He said MMC would focus on accrediting the 11 top universities in China first as many Malaysian students were studying there. He said although Malaysia and China had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on recognising the universities, medical courses needed to be accredited by MMC.

“MMC will visit the universities in China to accredit their medical degrees so that we can recognise them as soon as we can,” Liow said, adding that MMC would try to complete the accreditation process in one year’s time. At present, MMC recognises 375 universities in over 30 countries, not including China.

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