Kamalanathan: We'll do what's best for Perdana University medical students

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Aug 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry will work together with Perdana University to resolve problems faced by its students at the Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (Pugsom).

It was reported in an online portal on Monday that the United States-based Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine had terminated its contract with Pugsom last month.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said the Ministry was still in discussions with Perdana University to "do what is important for the students".

"I'm very sad that this had to happen, but we will figure out a long-term solution.

"The problem is that the Pugsom course is American-based, and most of the medical programmes here follow the British system," he told reporters here on Monday.

American medical courses generally require students to have completed a first degree with the pre-requisite subjects.

Pugsom admitted its first batch of students for its four-year medical programme in collaboration with Johns Hopkins in 2011.

Johns Hopkins' director of marketing and communications Lindsay R Rothstein said the institution had pulled out of Pugsom due to non-payment by the latter.

"We took this action because payments required under the agreement for the services provided by Johns Hopkins and its faculty were frequently received late, and at the time the agreement was terminated, Johns Hopkins had not been paid for more than 12 months of work.

"While we are deeply disappointed by this outcome, we hold firm to our belief that international collaborations such as this one are critical to advancing our mission." she said in a statement via email.

When further asked if students could transfer to Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Rothstein replied that there were "no updates" on the matter.

Rothstein also declined to comment the exact sum that is currently owed to Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins had formally a notice of its decision to the Academic Medical Centre Sdn Bhd on March 17, but allowed its staff to remain at Pugsom until July 31.

Johns Hopkins also allowed Pugsom to use the former's "Genes to Society" curriculum and the "in Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine" tagline till July 31.

Launched in 2011, Perdana University is run by the Academic Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (AMC), a subsidiary of Chase Perdana Sdn Bhd.

Pugsom is one of the two medical schools under Perdana University, with the other being the Perdana University-Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) School of Medicine.

It was reported in 2011 that the University's permanent campus, including a 600-bed teaching hospital, worth RM2.4bil, was scheduled for completed by 2014.

The University is currently operating from its temporary campus near the Mardi headquarters in Serdang.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), an independent US government agency, approved a US$250mil (RM787mil) loan to AMC last year for the setting up of the University.

Perdana University could not be reached for comment.

Related story:
Perdana University refutes non-payment claim, says RM6.3mil paid in May

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