ALLIANZE College of Medical Sciences (ACMS) students can soon pursue twinning degree programmes in medicine, pharmacy and health sciences at Universitas Andalas (UNAND) in Padang, Indonesia.
ACMS Resources Sdn Bhd executive chairman Datuk Dr Zainuddin Md Wazir said ACMS and UNAND would also collaborate in other activities such as academic and administrative staff exchange, research, and curriculum and staff development.
The joint effort between both institutions of higher learning was announced during a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony in Penang recently.
Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas witnessed the signing ceremony between Dr Zainuddin and ACMS president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ishak Tambi Kechik for ACMS and UNAND deputy vice-chancellor (academic) Prof Dr Edison Munaf and medical faculty dean Prof Dr Fadil Oenzil for UNAND.
UNAND is the second Indonesian university that offers twinning programmes with ACMS, which also has a twinning medical programme with Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) in Medan.
Dr Zainuddin said: “Despite the economic and political crisis in some parts of Indonesia, there are Indonesian universities that offer high quality medical education on par with other universities overseas.”
These twinning programmes are more affordable compared to other countries, he added.
Dr Zainuddin also said that with fluent English and an international quality of education, ACMS graduates would have a competitive advantage in the global job market.
Speaking to reporters after the signing ceremony, Dr Zainuddin explained students would undergo their first few years of training in Indonesia and spend their clinical years in Malaysia.
He added that they hoped to send the first batch of at least 40 students to UNAND next year.
Dr Munaf said UNAND, set up in 1955, is the fourth oldest university in Indonesia and has been appointed by the Indonesian government to co-ordinate the implementation of the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) system in Sumatera.
ACMS is also starting a certificate programme in pre-medical studies and diploma programmes in health sciences such as pharmacy assistant, nursing, physiotherapy, radiography and optometry.
“We are now in the midst of setting up branch campuses in Kangar, Perlis; Taiping,
Perak; and Cheras, Kuala Lumpur,” said Dr Zainuddin.
ACMS students would undergo clinical training at public hospitals and district clinics in Baling, Kulim, Pulau Langkawi, Taiping, Kepala Batas, Seberang Jaya and Kangar following approval from the Health Ministry.
Dr Zainuddin said plans were also in the pipeline for ACMS to collaborate with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Gulf Medical College in the Middle East.