Newcastle University has begun building a Faculty of Medicine campus in Malaysia and already has plans to extend to biotechnology. This will be the second UK-based educational establishment to open up a campus in Malaysia after the University of Nottingham opened its doors in South-East Asia in 2000.

The building of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia or NUMed campus is expected to be finished by 2011 and is expected to offer Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. These qualifications are intended to be identical to the five-year programme offered by the parent University in the United Kingdom but at a significantly lower cost. Students who complete the course at the NUMed campus will graduate with a full degree from Newcastle’s medical department.

The University of Nottingham’s Malaysia campus does not offer medical degrees and thus it is thought unlikely that direct competition will occur in the near future.

The move is part of Newcastle’s self-declared ‘internationalisation strategy’. Professor Reg Jordan, who will head Newcastle’s Malaysian campus, said: “We are here because we want to extend the international footprint of Newcastle and we see South-East Asia as the future”.

Ruby Kassam

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