For students to apply via GMN, they have to pay RM 40,949 fee with down-payment of RM 2,500.00. The fee includes obscure database and documentation recording, as well as unnecessary tour package, flight tickets, transportation and accommodation when students arrive in Cairo and Mansurah. The fee also covers welfare service and entry visa for six years even though the students have to pay visa for every year. And there is also no welfare service since GMN has not registered students with any insurance policy.
Students were told at first to have to undergo an Arabic course at UKM on June but they were not told to pay first. But then they were forced to settle RM 7,000 for the course fee plus additional fee for accommodation in UKM later. We do not believe that the agency done this in proper way.
The agency also sell a collection of medical books which costs RM1,100.00 per set. These books however worth nothing since the faculty itself has published their own books to be used in curriculum.
About accommodation, the house rent also too expensive - LE (Egyptian Pound) 1,600.00 per apartment! It is pretty ridiculous since established students have been living in the same area as well with the modest rent around LE400 until LE700 per apartment. Not everybody from them comes from wealthy family and affords their apartment rent. Thus, they decided to report these matters to Dr Muhammad Hussin it was to no avail. Instead, he asked students to obey the clerk instead.
The international students of Mansurah University have to pay a different rate of educational fee. It was £ (British Pound) 3,000. For medical course, it is £3,600.00 for the first year and and £1,800.00 for consecutive years. As for Mansurah-Manchester Medical Programme, the fee is set to £4,000.00 for the first year and £3,000.00 for the consecutive years. Usually, the students pay for their own fee except those who are sponsored by government (Public Service Department or MARA) as the Malaysian Student Department of Cairo will pay for them.
The company asked for £4,000.00 for medical course fee (note that this is not for Mansurah-Manchester Medical Programme). It is stated in the list of payment from GMN. When the seniors knew about this, they advised students not to pay through GMN because GMN was trying to gain easy profit of £400 per student. This is against trade law and the number £400 is too much. But, students cannot pay their fee because our register is still under Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education’s deliberation.
There is legal agreement between Malaysian government and Egyptian government to send Malaysian students to Egypt. The MoU has stated that there is some procedure to follow. As we all know, those who wish to study abroad must get ‘Sijil Sokongan Luar Negara’ (SSLN) from Ministry of Higher Education. Usually Public Service Department, MARA and State Governments and Foundations submit students’ application (it is called ‘filing system’) through Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. Next, after the ministry has made the selection, they will submit the qualified applications to Office of Foreign Students of Higher Education Ministry of Egypt to get another evaluation and approval to study in al-Azhar University or one of the public universities in Egypt.
It was better not to apply through agency. GMN has guaranteed that such bureaucracy is not going to be a problem. They submitted the files directly to the university to ensure the students' register will not going through basic Office of Foreign Students of Higher Education Ministry of Egypt evaluation in order to avoid rejection. This thing reflects that GMN (and there will be more educational agencies to operate in coming September) has ignored the procedures and basic rules made upon agreement between Malaysian Government and Arab Republic of Egypt Government which states that every application to study in Egypt must made through both Ministries of Higher Education or from both countries.
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Higher Education of Egypt has detected the breaching of these rules by Mansurah University at last and they have taken a proper action by retrieving these files to the Office of Foreign Students to be evaluated thoroughly and to determine whether these students are qualified to study medicine or not. The office has yet to announce the finalization of the register (until this report is written). As a result, the register at the university was suspended and the worst part of it, their recent examination result cannot be issued and they cannot apply for Student Visa. Instead, they were asked to make Temporary Visa every two months. It is quite disturbing to renew the visa bimonthly and the problem is continuous until now.
These actions made by GMN is absolutely against the Egyptian rules and the students have to bear all the consequences left by these agencies.
We are afraid that such actions will affect the established recognition of medical course provided by Mansurah University’s curriculum. And we also afraid that there will be a tendency in Malaysia that everybody is ought to study medicine without proper qualification. If it is, even those who failed their SPM can study medicine! Of course, we do not want this to happen.
We would like to urge the government to take action against these educational agencies. Ex-Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed was reported has promised to make amendment of the law regarding educational agencies after several cases involving an agency which sent some students to a medical college in India that not even exist. We are sick of government promises as they not follow-up their promises with action aftermath. All we want is action and stop educational agencies fraud.
We would like also to suggest our government to send postgraduate students abroad, not undergraduates. We think that undergraduate students should be educated in our motherland since these students are still young and have inadequate experience. In fact, our country has more than enough to provide better education at tertiary level. We have good facilities and educational institutions in Malaysia have attracted many students from around the globe. So, we think it is good to send only graduates students either Master or Philosophy Doctor candidates overseas to gain knowledge and share expertise with other countries in specialized field in order to bring our country to another stage of development.
Dear parents and students out there, please do not gamble and put your future in stake. You are advised to always contact the MMC directly for confirmation on the status of recognition of the medical programme since the Schedule B can be outdated and the MMC does not have up-to-date information on a website. Do not rely on what you see on the Public Service Department’s website and certainly not any words from educational agencies. Do not let they suck all your money up and leave you helpless with broken future.