Set Up Inquiry Into All Private Institutions of Higher Learning

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) refers to a media report regarding the ongoing Allianze University College of Medical Sciences (AUCMS) issue. CAP has been dealing with this matter ever since we received complaints from various staff and students of AUCMS, beginning earlier this year.

CAP had alerted and had been continuously corresponding with a range of government bodies regarding the issues highlighted in the complaints we received, which include the following :

1. Students’ dissatisfaction with facilities and quality of some lecturers.

2. AUCMS staff not being paid – which not only affects staff but also students.

3. False advertising.

4. Students not receiving their certificates long after completing a program.

5. Opening up many other campuses, of which one is based in Trent Park, London – a very expensive place, when they are not able to manage the finances of their main campus.

On top of all this, students that have not completed their programs are not being accepted by other educational institutions because of the specific lecturer-to-student ratio set by the Malaysian Medical Council.

We are perplexed by how this whole fiasco has played out. If we take into consideration the staff, students and anyone related to them – such as close family, we can safely say that over a thousand lives have been disrupted.

The question that needs to be asked now is where is the accountability? How are the people responsible, for example the CEO of AUCMS, being made to rectify this colossal “mistake”? How could this problem be allowed to get so out of hand? Are there not government bodies that monitor institutions of higher education and their finances?

CAP is of the opinion that the Government needs to take action against those individuals responsible for this mess. They must be held accountable for the ordeal they have put these innocent people through.

We also call for a full inquiry into the operations of private educational institutions. Private institutions nowadays function more like a business whose main concern is the bottom line and not to educate students. AUCMS is not the only private institution that has shut down and left their students hanging and parents wondering where their hard-earned money has disappeared to.

Letter to the Press, 29 October 2014