Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Students with perfect scores but were not offered places in medical courses in Universiti Sains Malaysia could have failed the admission interview, said the apex university’s vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Omar Osman.
He was responding to an allegation by MCA education bureau chairman Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong that there were students with cumulative grade point average of 3.92 and 3.7 who were offered dentistry courses while other top scorers with CGPA of 4.0 were not given any offers.
“We will look into the appeal cases. Special consideration will be given to them if there are places left from other students rejecting their offers,” Prof Omar said, adding that students should appeal directly to USM.
An official from USM confirmed that a student with CGPA of 4.0 was not offered a place in medicine because he only obtained a low band in the Malaysian University English Test.
Students with Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia or its equivalent (matriculation programme) submit a separate application to USM, while application to other universities is done through the Students Admis-sion Division.
Earlier, during a press conference at Wisma MCA, Dr Wee demanded that the Higher Education Department investigate what he saw as discrepancy in the criteria used in selecting students for competitive courses in public universities.
He suggested that a more “scientific method” be used to calculate the co-curricular scores of students taking the STPM as well as those from the matriculation programme.
“For students coming from the STPM background, the co-curricular scores are calculated from the average of scores collected from Forms One to Six. As for those in the matriculation programme, the co-curricular scores are evaluated by lecturers based on performance in the year-long programme alone,” said Dr Wee after meeting the 22 students who were dissatisfied with the outcome of their applications.
He said 16 of them had been called for an interview with USM.
According to Dr Wee, the students who were appealing their cases could not accept that despite their excellent results they did not get the courses they wanted while many of their peers with less than stellar results got into critical courses.
For instance, one of the students discovered that her friend with a CGPA of 3.92 was offered a dentistry course in USM while she was only offered a veterinary science course despite scoring a 4.0 CGPA. “Another top scorer was offered environmental science instead of medicine,” Dr Wee said. “These are talented individuals and we do not want to lose them to foreign universities.”
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon was reported to have said that UM was taking in 180 new students for the medical programme.
Dr Ghauth said in an interview with a Chinese daily that the cut-off point to study medicine in UM was a CGPA of 4.0.
He said the admission interview for the medical course was conducted by the university although the final list of 180 students was provided by the Students Admission Division.