The Indian higher education system, which witnessed a significant growth over the last decade with private educational institutions playing a catalytic role in that direction, lends its infrastructure to students sponsored by foreign universities. This will not only help Indian institutions to place their credibility on the world map of higher education but also earn foreign exchange for the country.
The process in this direction started a couple of years ago under which some of the reputed private universities and colleges equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and quality faculty conducted curricular programmes in professional courses for students sponsored by foreign universities. The centre of ‘Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)-KLE International Medical School / Programme' in Belgaum city is an example worth emulating by other government and private centres of higher education across the country.
Considering the fact that the Indian higher education system was one of the largest in the world with more than 500 universities in the country (including central, state, private and deemed universities), it can tap the potential available in the global ‘market' of higher education. Many small countries fall short of required infrastructure, faculty and expertise in various subjects and they require huge funds for their creation, even as their students look forward to learning opportunities in higher education and professional courses such as engineering and medicine. This gap can well be filled by Indian institutions, as being done by the KLE University.
Malaysia is presently experiencing a shortage of doctors and medical professionals in its health sector and the universities there are ambitiously looking forward to strengthen the doctor-patient ratio. The demand for doctors is very high in Malaysia. The USM, a government-funded university which offers courses in medicine in its home country for about 170 students in a year, was keenly exploring tapping the existing facilities available to train its students in centres of higher learning across the world, including India.
During its search, it came across the KLEU and being convinced about the good facilities, quality of teaching and standards, the USM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KLE Society in November 2009, to start an International Medical School at Belgaum. This resulted in the establishment of the first medical school of the Malaysian Government in a private university in India. Incidentally, the KLEU is credited with being the first private university to adopt the programme for a university funded by the Government of Malaysia.
The first batch started functioning in September 2010 when 44 of the total 100 seats sanctioned were filled. The strength went up with 83 students taking admission for the second batch in September 2011.
With the growing demand from Malaysian students, the third batch commencing in September this year will be hopefully full to the capacity.
HOW IT WORKS
The students are selected by USM strictly on merit and admitted to the medical programme following which the students undergo training as per USM time-table and curriculum. The USM provides academic inputs and the KLEU facilitates with logistic and administrative support. The USM also evaluates student performance and offers degrees after successful completion of the programme.
The college has got state-of-the art infrastructure including dissection hall, anatomy museum/clinical skill lab, multi-disciplinary lab, digital library, separate examination hall and programme-based learning facilities. Construction of a new hospital complex is under progress.
The entire five years of the M.D. (as called in Malaysia and equivalent to MBBS in India) programme will be conducted at Belgaum under the expert tutelage of KLE lecturers and governance by the USM faculty members. After the completion of five years of training and evaluation exercises, successful candidates will be awarded the M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree by USM, recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council, and they can practice in Malaysia.
The development marks not only the establishment of a dynamic liaison between two educational centres of excellence but also serves mutual requirements as well. However, it is a challenging task.
Source: The Hindu