Why has the MMC approved LUC to run offshore programme in TSMU when PSD had rejected the Ukraine university's direct application in 2003?
KUALA LUMPUR: One of the three Ukrainian universities, Ternopil State Medical University (TSMU), which the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) approved as an offshore campus for medical degrees, was embroiled in legal tussle in 2007 involving a recruitment agency – Bluegemm (M) Sdn Bhd.
TSMU is a currently not recognised by the Malaysian government and students who graduate from the campus in Ukraine have to sit for the Medical Qualifications Examination (MQE).
TSMU and two other Ukraine-based universities – Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University and Ivano Frankivsk National Medical University – are offering off-shore medical courses through Lincoln University College (LUC).
A former medical student from Ukraine told FMT that in 2004, student recruitment agency Bluegemm issued a letter from the Public Service Department (PSD) claiming that the government had scheduled TSMU as a “recognised university”.
Based on this claim, many Malaysian students were enrolled in TSMU believing the course to be recognised by MMC and PSD.
“These students were cheated into enrolling in TSMU, an unrecognised medical university,”said the student who declined to be named.
He added that in 2007, one of the affected students brought the false claims to Malaysian Consumer Claims Tribunal. The student won the case against Blugemm.
“There has been a series of track records over the years that TSMU’s representative has been cheating Malaysian students under the pretext of being recognised.”
“Many Malaysians have been affected and some have not graduated from TSMU due to financial constraints after being cheated.
“So, we want a clarification from MMC. Why has the council approved LUC to run offshore programme in TSMU when PSD had rejected the university’s direct application in 2003 to the Malaysian government for recognition?” he asked.
He alleged improper administration within the MMC and urged Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to step in and resolve the issue.
Why issue LUC certificate?
Meanwhile, doubts have arisen over LUC’s credibility and its physical presence in TSMU in Ukraine.
LUC has claimed that they will be using TSMU’s facilities and Malaysian students will be studying in TSMU campus.
However, the Malaysian students will be separately taught by LUC-hired lecturers.
However, a check by FMT showed that all of LUC’s “lecturers” are in fact employees of TSMU, which is a national university in Ukraine.
According to LUC’s marketing manager Murtado Alao, the students, upon graduating, will get their medical degrees from LUC and not the Ukrainian universities.
Another issue of concern is the duration of the LUC offshore courses which stretch to six years instead of five years as commonly practised by twinning programme operators in Malaysia.
Both these issues have raised questions over LUC’s actual intentions and MMC’s wisdom in issuing the approvals to run these offshore courses.
MMC president Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman could not be contacted for comment.