I never thought I can write my Part 5 in just 2 days! Over the last few months, I have been hearing news from reliable sources that Johns Hopkins may pull out of Perdana University and negotiations are going on, to salvage the joint venture. However, till it is official, I can’t write anything as they can sue me if I am wrong. Alas today, the verdict is OUT. JH has made official announcement that they are breaking all ties with Perdana University as reported over HERE (below).
When the program was first initiated in 2010, I was sceptical as usual. I wrote about it over here and here. I felt that probably JH was not given the true picture of our health care system. I heard the radio interview given by PUGSOM CEO and I can very well say that he is not aware of the healthcare structure of this country. The healthcare system of US and Malaysia are totally different. I received many emails from budding students who were offered “special” JPA scholarship to study at PUGSOM. It was worth RM 1 million per student! Since it is a graduate medical school, generally most students are matured students. The students were told that they will have their own teaching hospital(private hospital) by 2014 and they will even do their residency style training programme in this hospital, upon graduation. Again, I advised these students not to believe on these unless and until it happens. Building a hospital is not like building a shopping complex! Till today, their main campus and the hospital has not even started construction! I had written about this over HERE.
So far, 3 batches has been recruited into PUGSOM. The first batch suppose to graduate next year. Their training is mainly in HKL. Based on the statement given by JH, it looks like it is all about money and late payment. What interest me more is the reply from PUGSOM that was published later today(see below).
It looks like both of them are now fighting about who paid and who requested more! It is all about doing business and making profit. No private entity will survive without making profit. This was a private-public partnership project under the PM’s department. That’s the reason the “special” scholarship program was initiated to help fund the project via JPA. If not, who will even consider paying RM 1 million and RM 800K for their programs which are both a local degree with no international recognition. Right from the beginning , JH has made it very clear that it is NOT a JH degree but Perdana University degree.
Well, “nasi sudah menjadi bubur”. This break-up is a bad publicity for the country and government. Unfortunately, we have a lot of half-baked politicians who do not know what they are talking about. I still remember the headline made by our PM when this JH-Perdana collaboration was announced (HERE). I was laughing my head off!
I feel sad for the students. I was told that they will continue with their program till they graduate. BUT from the statement made by JH, it looks like they are pulling out their curriculum and their academics from the university. Thus, I am not sure which curriculum will Perdana use at the moment. Even though Perdana University statement says that they have signed another new partner, it will take time for all the formalities to take place. So, I got no idea what are the students going to do meanwhile.
Well, one by one medical schools are falling down. AUCMS with 5 medical programs left with only 1. I heard many of the smaller medical schools are struggling to survive as they are still making a loss. Hopefully, it is all a blessing in disguise!
Top US medical school cuts ties with Perdana U over money
BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
Published: 18 August 2014
After a four-year alliance, the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has pulled out of Malaysia’s Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (Pugsom), citing frequent late payments as the reason.
The American medical school said it made the “difficult decision” of ending the partnership in Pugsom – Malaysia’s first private teaching hospital with research facilities – because payments to Johns Hopkins under the contract were often late, adding that payments were 12 months overdue when the partnership was terminated last month.
“It was our honour and privilege to help create a new model for medical education in Malaysia by providing guidance and advice to Pugsom and by assisting in teaching and in the initiation of the school,” its director of marketing and communications, Lindsay R Rothstein, told The Malaysian Insider in an email.
“However, we reached the difficult decision to end the existing relationship because payments required under the agreement for the services provided by Johns Hopkins and its faculty were frequently received late and at the time the agreement was terminated, Johns Hopkins had not been paid for more than 12 months of work.”
Rothstein said the situation had become “untenable” but added that despite its disappointment over the outcome of the partnership, it would not close its doors on other international collaborations.
“As of July 31, 2014, Johns Hopkins, its faculty and its curriculum are no longer associated with Pugsom. While we are deeply disappointed by this outcome, we hold firm to our belief that international collaborations such as this are critical to advancing our mission.”
Pugsom, established in 2010 under the initiative of the Academic Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (AMC), offered a four-year medical course in collaboration with John Hopkins, which reportedly cost RM800,000.
When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the partnership between Johns Hopkins and Malaysian and American investors in September 2010, he said the school would become a medical research hub in the region.
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who was then Health Minister, was reported as saying that the presence of the prestigious Johns Hopkins in Malaysia would boost the country’s health tourism industry.
The Public Services Department sponsored students enrolled in the Pugsom programme.
Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, said the official notice of its decision to end the partnership was sent to AMC on March 17 this year but it allowed the faculty to remain reaching until July 31 in the interest of students attending Pugsom.
“Since the date of the notice on March 17, 2014, in order to protect the interests of the students attending Pugsom, Johns Hopkin voluntarily and at our own expense, allowed its faculty to remain teaching through July 31, 2014, and maintained other aspects of our presence at Pugsom,” Rothstein added.
“Also during this timeframe, Johns Hopkins allowed the school to use the Johns Hopkins ‘Genes to Society’ curriculum and the ‘in Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’ tag line.”
However, checks on the university’s website earlier this week showed that the Pugsom programme, along with the tagline of the collaboration with Johns Hopkins, was still being advertised.
Perdana University vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Sothi Rachagan, when contacted, declined to comment but said that a statement would be issued.
Pugsom, which opened its doors in September 2011, is believed to currently have three batches of medical students. Its chancellor is Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The campus is located at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) in Serdang. It was reported in 2011 that it would move to a 141-acre campus costing RM2.3 billion by 2014.
The new campus, also located in Serdang, is expected have its own 600-bed private teaching hospital. – August 18, 2014.
Press Release – 18th August 2014
We refer to the news report on the termination of the Perdana University relationship with Johns Hopkins effective 31st July 2014.
Perdana University is a wholly owned subsidiary of Academic Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (AMC).
AMC has to date paid a total of US$34.199 million to Johns Hopkins on account of Perdana University. US$5 million was paid towards the Swami Institute for International Medical Education established at Johns Hopkins University and a further US$29.199 million as part of the affiliation and collaboration agreement. The last payment made to John Hopkins was US$2 million on 7th May 2014.
AMC and Johns Hopkins are in dispute over whether any further sums are payable and the failure of Johns Hopkins to address the many grievances of AMC and Perdana University. The dispute will be resolved in accordance with the Affiliation and Collaboration Agreement with Johns Hopkins.
Perdana University has kept all relevant government agencies, the staff and students at Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (PUGSOM) informed of the developments.
The 80 students enrolled with PUGSOM are entitled to their rights and this includes a teach-out on the terms on which they were admitted into the programme. Perdana University will ensure that the rights of the students are not in any way compromised.
PUGSOM is the first school in the country to offer the US style four year graduate entry programme.
PUGSOM continues to operate seamlessly with both foreign and local faculty with no disruption whatsoever from the departure of the three Johns Hopkins seconded staff.
PUGSOM will continue to exist and grow even further in collaboration with another leading top-tier US University, the identity of which will be announced jointly in due course in accordance with the disclosure terms in the agreement with the new partner that was signed on the 11th August 2014.
Perdana University wishes to reiterate that it continues to enjoy excellent relations with its other partner the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) which operates the five year PU-RCSI undergraduate medical programme. The degree is awarded directly by RCSI from Dublin. Besides this, Perdana University has been made the postgraduate examination centre for the MRCP Part 1 by the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and MCAI MCQ by the College of Anaesthetists in Ireland.
Perdana University has within three years established the Perdana University School of Occupational Therapy (PUSCOT) to offer a BSc in Occupational Therapy and a School of Postgraduate Studies which offers a Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s and PHD in Bioinformatics and Translational Medicine. These initiatives have been enhanced by our partnership with the Beijing Genome Institute and the Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet). The APBioNet has since funded the establishment of its office at Perdana University.
We have also signed an Agreement with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Zurich University of Applied Sciences to jointly offer a unique Master’s in International Trade Negotiations to commence in January next year.
Many other programmes and courses are being designed for the nation and other countries in Asia by our Faculty. The management aspires to make the University special and offer courses which are niche.
The University has attracted many Malaysians to return to serve the nation after having settled abroad. This is due to the excellent teaching and research opportunities that are made available to them at Perdana University.
Within three years the Faculty at Perdana University have published a large number of scientific and peer reviewed papers in international and local journals. One of our local Faculty won the Merdeka Award last year.
Perdana University will continue to grow even further and stronger with the separation from Johns Hopkins.