Monash plans for medical faculty


MONASH University Malaysia (MUM) has plans to start a medical faculty, with pharmacy and medicine targeted to be among its main offerings. 

“We are now in discussion with the Education Ministry in sourcing for clinical facilities for the proposed programme,” says its new pro vice-chancellor Prof Merilyn Liddell. 

While the exact date of commencement is still not known, she hopes all will be up and running “in the next few years”. 

A presentation has been made to Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad and “we are hopeful”, she added. 

An expert in family medicine and a professor of General Practice Education at Monash in Australia, Prof Liddell took over the helm here in July. She succeeded Prof Bob Bignall who has returned to Monash, Australia. 

“I am really looking forward to the rest of my time here and judging by what I have experienced so far, I have no doubt it's going to be a wonderful and challenging journey,” she says. 

A lover of Malaysian food and culture, she served as director of Monash's medical education programme at MUM for almost two years from 1999 to 2000. “I loved my time here and am very glad to be back,” she said. 

On MUM's development, Prof Liddell said the campus has enjoyed growth that has far exceeded expectations. Enrolment has grown from 257 in 1998, when it first opened its doors, to over 2,000 now. 

“The campus is now in a position to develop a wider range of courses, both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. I hope to attract more research students and increase research collaborations,” Prof Liddell told a recent press conference. Among the new programmes lined up at MUM are postgraduate programmes and additional programmes within its existing faculties. 

At present, popular courses offered at the university include degrees in Business and Commerce, Computer Science, Business and Information Technology, Biotechnology and Medical Bioscience. It also has double degrees – namely, the Bachelor of Business and Commerce/Bachelor of Business and Information Technology and Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)/Bachelor of Science (Medical Bioscience). 

During her previous stint with MUM, Prof Liddell developed a special transition programme in Australia to facilitate Malaysian Government-sponsored students to study medicine in Australia. 

The programme, she said, has been very successful in providing both academic and cultural transition and was well received by Mara and the Public Services Department. 

“I am now eagerly looking forward to the challenges that my new posting has in store for me,” said Liddell. 


o THIRTEEN high-achieving students from MUM's Business and Commerce Programme were among 187 students from Monash campuses that made it into the Faculty of Business and Economics Board of Examiners' Commendation List for academic excellence. 

Tai June Leng, Lee Tze Woon and Tan Phaik Hoon dominated the top three positions out of a total of six top students who obtained four high distinctions in the Business and Commerce programme, surpassing their Australian counterparts and setting a record for MUM. The three students are currently on exchange at the Australian campus.  

The 13 students from MUM made up 34% of the total number of 38 BBusCom students who received commendation, compared to 26% in the November 2002 examination. 

A total of 2,875 Monash University students, including 816 from Malaysia, sat for the examination in June. 


o MUM is collaborating with Motorola to support research and degree specialist training in the field of electronic design and testing. 

Motorola, Malaysia's largest semiconductor facility for the assembly and testing of integrated circuits (IC), will support the university in terms of training and laboratory equipment to facilitate the delivery of a new elective course on Electronic Test Technology.  

“Engagement with industry is a crucial element in the development of the university and in bridging the university-industry gap. Such linkages will also bring the university's contribution to a higher level by focusing on cutting-edge research, beneficial to Malaysia and the region,” said MUM's chair of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Prof Serge Demidenko. 

Malaysia's thriving semiconductor industry employs thousands of electronic engineers and a significant number are test specialists.  

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