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Wednesday, June 16, 2004


The 128 Doctor Wannabes Saga Continues

::First, the Disappointment and the Heartaches :: this was when 128 applicants for medical seats in our IPTAs found that they were unsuccessful. There were only 779 places and 907 applicants. All applicants had the maximum perfect CGPA score of 4.0! When the results for uni admission came out there must have been many tearful scenes.

::Then, there was Hope :: as politicians from both sides of the divide and government leaders came out with encouragement and promises of help. The nation was told that the new PM had a solution iin mind.

::Next, came the Salvation(?) :: Bernama reported :: 128 Top Students To Be Absorbed Into Medical Faculties Nationwide. But there was a need to work things out as to how to place the 128, some going to the IPTAs and the est to the IPTSs. Being aware that there were only limited medical places in IPTSs, many expected the IPTAs to absorbed the majority of the 128, if not all. The ratio of lecturer to students was to be lowered by 50% from 1:4 to 1:6. So from 779 seats, at the least, 128 more would be no problems. There were many smiling faces.
  What a huge smile!
For those few who had to be placed in IPTSs, there were talks of study loans which could be converted to scholarships if they turn out top performers again. Hopes were raised and there were many happy people. Top BN leaders lauded the solution offered by PM and there were thank yous all round.

::Finally, Reality sinks in, Heartbreaks and Doubts return :: The Star reports :: Top scorers get places to do medicine at various universities.
Ten of them will now get to study there while 99 others have been offered places in four private institutes of higher learning (IPTS).
The other 19 have been given Mara scholarships to further their studies but it is not yet known where they would be studying.
Among the 99 students who would be going to private medical colleges, 50 have been offered places at the Penang-based Allianz College of Medical Sciences, which has a twinning programme with a university in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Thirty-four have been offered places at the International Medical University in Bukit Jalil here, 10 at the Kolej Perubatan Di Raja Perak in Ipoh and five at the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology in Sungai Petani.

How many of the 99 would eventually accept and be placed in these IPTSs is uncertain. Medical tuition fees at IPTSs can be from RM200K to RM300K [these fees at IPTAs are about RM20K]. There are doubts that many can afford IPTSs tuition fees. Details regarding the convertible loans have yet to be released. Details regarding how a "top scorer" will be graded or certified is anyone's guess at the moment. What is certain is that of the 99, now offered placements in IPTSs, only a handful will be able to attain "top scorer" status. What will happen to the rest? Some have also expressed doubts regarding whether the degrees offered by some of the IPTSs are LAN [Lembaga Akreditasi Negara] recognised. Recently a couple of returning medical graduates (JPA scholars, at that) from Japan have found themselves in limbo. Is it back to square one for some if not many of these 128 doctor wannabes? The frowns and the doubts have returned.


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