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Govt urged to cancel Lincoln College’s licence

PETALING JAYA: A PKR leader today sought the withdrawal of a licence given to Lincoln University College (LUC) to run an offshore medical programme in the Ukraine.

Malacca PKR vice chairman G Rajendran, referring to a report that LUC was one of four private colleges that were fined last year for breaching a moratorium on nursing courses, said it was “strange” that the government had ignored this bad record when approving the licence last Nov 29.

However, it is not clear whether the breach was discovered before or after Nov 29.

The disclosure of the offence came last March 26 from Deputy Higher Education Minister Hou Kok Chung, who was replying to a question in Parliament. The moratorium, to address the problem of oversupply of nurses, has been in place since July 2010.

Rajendran said the government must withdraw LUC’s licence.

He accused Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai of ignoring the controversy surrounding LUC, which has been in the news since last March, when a group of medical graduates revealed that the government had allowed the institution to run medical programmes in Ukrainian universities that the Public Services Department (PSD) does not recognise.

According to the complaining graduates, who received their degrees from Ukrainian universities, LUC was charging between RM70,000 and RM80,000 more than the actual cost of completing a Doctor of Medicine programme in that country.

They accused the Malaysian Medical Council, the approving authority, of being more interested in the welfare of private institutions than that of students.

Students who want to enrol directly into medical programmes in Ukrainian universities must first obtain a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Higher Education. This requirement does not apply to students who go through LUC.

“Liow has been pretending to be in the dark about all this,” said Rajendran.

He said LUC did not deserve the licence to run its offshore programme. He said he worried that it might take advantage of the NOC waiver to enrol students who were not qualified for medical courses.

LUC and MMC could not be contacted for comment.

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