PETALING JAYA: One hundred places for students wanting to pursue medicine have been specially created by the Education Ministry following an uproar when only 418 places for medical courses were offered in local universities this year.
This was against a backdrop where 1,163 candidates with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.0 had applied to do medicine.
There were 690 places last year.
Higher Education Department director-general Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail said the 100 places were meant for candidates who had applied for medicine but were instead offered other programmes.
Last month, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam had requested the Education Ministry to look into ways to increase the intake of medical students in public universities, following complaints by many that they were not able to get places.
Dr Subramaniam said he had earlier held discussions on the issue with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister, and Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
In earlier reports, Idris had assured that the Education Ministry did not ask for the reduction in the number of university places, while the Malaysian Medical Council refuted allegations that there was currently too many doctors.
MMC president Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the council approved an annual intake of 1,550 students for 13 medical programmes in 11 public universities.
He also added that there was no issue of oversupply if universities complied with approved intake quotas and accreditation requirements.
On another matter, Asma said of the 21,502 candidates who appealed following their failure to obtain a place in a public university, 5,328 were successful.
“Of this, 2,119 are from the Science stream with the rest from the Arts stream,” she said in a statement.
Overall, a total of 42,795 candidates with STPM/Matriculation/Foundation were accepted into public universities for the 2014-15 academic session compared to 41,573 previously.
Under the selection process, 10% of the weightage goes to extracurricular activities while 90% on academic achievement.
Asma said candidates who were successful in their appeal should register at their respective universities by tomorrow.
“They should refer to their respective university’s website for more information on their registration process,” she said.
If applicants receive no word by Sept 30, they should consider their appeal unsuccessful.
More information can be found at upu.moe.gov.my or by calling 03-8870 6767, 03-8870 6777 or 03-8870 6755/6766. Alternatively, type “UPU RESULT space IC number” and send the SMS to 15888.