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Wednesday January 6, 2010

UiTM offers courses for aspiring medical detectives

SHAH ALAM: Hooked on CSI, Quincy, ME and Medical Detectives? Malaysians forensics crime students can now strive to reach those levels with the introduction of medical detective courses at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

The university is offering 200 new diploma and degree programmes, including double degrees, some which have never been offered before in any local public universities.

Its vice-chancellor Datuk Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar said several programmes such as the medical detective course would be open for application for its June/July intake this year.

“I have informed the UiTM executive committee on the introduction of the courses during my first day as the vice-chancellor.

“Some lecturers and university staff members questioned whether such moves were too drastic. I said it wasn’t drastic, just accelerated,” he said in an interview with mStar Online yesterday.

Prof Sahol Hamid said that as long as the university maintained its existing courses without any changes, it would not be able to catch up with the industry’s fast-paced and progressive landscape.

Asked if UiTM had sufficient infrastructure and teaching force to accommodate the new courses, he said it was not a big problem and that there were enough facilities.

“For example, we can hire well-known foreign forensic experts to assist in the medical detective course. There is also no big rush because the first-year students would be required to learn pure science subjects first.

“Therefore, we can prepare everything we need in a year and do not have to wait for everything to be settled before we offer the programme,” said Prof Sahol Hamid, who replaced former vice-chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah on Jan 1.

As for double degree programmes, Prof Sahol Hamid said the courses were introduced to ensure that UiTM students would be the most sought-after fresh graduates in the industry.

“UiTM is able to offer such courses because we already have the original curriculum. Therefore, we need only combine the programmes during the third or fourth year of the course as an elective subject. The duration of study would definitely be extended to complete the double degree,” he said.

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