Home away from home
WHEN third- year medical student John Poon went to the United Kingdom, he immediately felt at home.
Poon had been selected from a number of students at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia ( NUMed) to spend the summer at Newcastle University, the parent university in the United Kingdom.
Ever since the British university opened a branch campus for medicine and biomedical science in Johor in 2009, NUMed students have been offered the opportunity to study for short periods in the UK.
The main purpose of Poon’s 10- week trip was to carry out a special research project on the regeneration of mammals’ spinal cords.
The project required him to collaborate with a diverse range of students and faculty. Led by an English tutor, his team comprised fellow researchers from Germany, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.
Reflecting on his trip, Poon says, “I really enjoyed my experience. I always knew we shared the same syllabus and learning resources. Sometimes, we even share the same lecturers who travel to deliver parts of the course.
“But now I have seen with my own eyes and understood from my experience just how similar NUMed is to Newcastle UK.”
He says, “The time I spent working with my counterparts in the UK made me realise the outcome of studying at Newcastle University is the same in Malaysia as it is in the UK.”
The similarities between the UK and Malaysia campuses are useful for the students as NUMed recently became the first university outside of the UK to receive recognition by the General Medical Council ( GMC) – the statutory body that registers and regulates doctors in the UK.
This was an important milestone for NUMed as it means Malaysians who study medicine at NUMed and carry out their postgraduate clinical training programme in selected Malaysian hospitals can now apply for full registration as doctors with the GMC as well as the Malaysian Medical Council ( MMC).
While Poon spent much of his time exploring the regeneration of mammals’ spinal cords, he was also able to discover the delights of the British countryside.
In his spare time and during weekends he travelled from Edinburgh to Essex, and realised that life and scenery in the UK and Malaysia were vastly different.
“I wanted to make the most of my trip and I think I managed to. I met many people and explored different places, including the many castles and cathedrals of UK cities. It was all part of my learning experience. At NUMed, we are always reminded that you learn as much outside the classroom as you do inside it,” he says.
Newcastle was the first UK University to offer a UK Primary Medical qualification outside of the UK. Both undergraduate degrees offered by NUMed in Medicine ( MBBS) and Biomedical Sciences ( BSc) are conferred by Newcastle University UK.
Newcastle University UK established an international branch campus in Johor, Malaysia, to provide its undergraduate degrees in Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery ( MBBS) and BSc in Biomedical Sciences, as well as opportunities for postgraduate study.
The programmes of study are equivalent to those of Newcastle’s UK- based provision, and lead to the award of the same degrees.
By choosing to study at NUMed Malaysia, students will obtain a reputable UK qualification from an internationally recognised university at a cost significantly less than that of studying in the UK.
The MBBS was launched in 2009 and BSc in the Biomedical Sciences was launched in 2013. Both programmes offer opportunities for periods of study in the UK.
For more information, visit www. ncl. ac. uk/ numed.