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Medical Selection Program launches in UAE

A new Medical Selection Program (MSP) developed to meet the needs of medical and health sciences colleges in the Middle East and North Africa has launched in Dubai. ACER Deputy CEO Ralph Saubern reports.

The launch of the Medical Selection Program in at the Emirates Tower Hotel in Dubai on Thursday 21 February marked a new chapter in the development of medical and health sciences education in the UAE. An audience of faculty members and admissions staff from key universities and colleges across the UAE and special guests, Mr Ian Halliday, Australia’s Consul-General to Dubai, and Mr Gerard Seeber, Commissioner for Victoria to the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, attended the event to hear from international experts on university admissions and find out more about the program.

The new Medical Selection Program (MSP) has been developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) with the needs of medical and health sciences colleges in the Middle East and North Africa in mind. The MSP is a high quality but flexible and targeted selection program. Universities and colleges decide which and how many tests will be administered to their candidates and make decisions about how to use the results. It uses state-of-the-art technology to register prospective candidates and deliver assessments online under supervised conditions. Universities can administer the MSP locally on campus or through ACER testing centres in the region and around the world.

Dr Paul Garrud, Principal Research Fellow in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, and Mr Neville Chiavaroli, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Melbourne, spoke in detail at the launch about the purpose and goals of selection testing, the necessary qualities of selection tools and processes for development, and use of selection testing in medical and health sciences admissions.

‘Selection tests provide a common academic measure for applicants from different school systems or universities,’ Mr Chiavaroli said. ‘They promote fairness and transparency, assist in ranking high performing students who may have similar academic results and can assess particular skills not captured by school results such as critical thinking, problem solving and higher order reasoning.’

‘Participating in an international quality, independent and transparent selection program not only ensures higher quality candidates but helps raise the profile and reputation of the university itself, leading to increased numbers and quality of applicants,’ Mr Halliday said. ‘ACER has built an impeccable international reputation in this field and is an ideal partner for universities and colleges in the UAE.’

Attending institutions included Dubai Medical College for Girls, Khawarizmi International College, Dubai Pharmacy College for Girls and UAE University College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Al Ain.

ACER has been working in the UAE for more than 15 years, primarily in support of school education. The organisation is now seeking partner universities and medical colleges in the region interested in participating in a high quality, fully customised program that meets local recruitment and selection requirements.

ACER has also worked for many years with leading medical and health sciences universities and colleges in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, the US, Europe and Asia. Universities use ACER selection programs for entry into medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physiotherapy, occupation therapy, emergency medicine and other medical education programs.

To learn more about how the MSP helps universities attract more, and higher quality, applicants by raising the quality, efficiency and integrity of their selection processes, see the MSP website.

For further information about the program, contact Mr Alan Egbert of ACER UAE through the ACER UAE website.

Read more about ACER’s work in medical selection here:


About the author

Ralph Saubern is ACER Deputy CEO – Professional Resources.

More [rd] articles by Ralph Saubern

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