Najib: Foreign students to get 5% of medical places in varsities


NEW DELHI: The Malaysian government has agreed to offer 5% of the places at its public higher learning institutions (IPTA) for medical, dentistry and pharmacy courses to foreign students beginning this year.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said the decision was made in line with the liberalisation of education in IPTA, parallel to the country’s endeavour to become an education hub.

He said public universities with the three programmes could set aside 5% of the places to foreign students who would be charged fees according to the prevailing market rate, unlike local students whose fees are subsidised.

“The number of doctors in our country is sufficient, in fact we have more than enough. IPTA will benefit from this decision including interaction of our students with the foreign students,” he said.

He said this at a media conference at the end of his six-day official visit to India which began on March 30 in Chennai.

Najib said the move was aimed at encouraging foreign students contemplating to pursue any of the three courses to choose public universities in Malaysia, which at the same time would serve to generate funds or income for the latter.

He said this to elaborate on the education liberalisation announced at a media conference with his counterpart Narendra Modi on Saturday.

In another development, the prime minister said while opening the Malaysian High Commission Complex here, that its construction and facilities clearly showed that Malaysia was not a “failed state” as portrayed by certain quarters.

“This is arguably the best Malaysian mission overseas so far. The government ensures that its officials stationed abroad and their families are provided every facility to enable them to perform their duties with ease and to maintain the image of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, he noted that India was going to implement the goods and services tax (GST) in July based on a four-tier rate structure of 5% to 28%.

He brought to mind the implementation of the GST in Malaysia and the polemic directed at the government, and the political issue made of it.

“We implement with the softest landing, with thousands of exemptions because we do not want to burden the people.

“Modi dared to make changes for the good of his country. When you run the country you must have the courage, don’t worry about the criticisms,” he said, expressing that the opposition would not be able to govern the country well if given the power.

Najib who held a bilateral meeting with his counterpart here on Saturday, said Malaysia could learn from Modi through his vast experience in the way forward.