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19 January 2022 / 16 Jamadil Akhir 1443


MEQAR (Medical Education and Quality Assurance)


Most respectable medical schools practicing innovative curricula, especially the problem-based variety, have some kind of educational set-up in place; be it a school, center, department or unit of medical education, to serve as the guiding light behind all the curricular innovations and development as well as to provide training for lecturers. In Malaysia, three public medical schools currently have well-established Medical Education Departments, without which their innovative programs would be hard-pressed to flourish. UPNM should be no exception as it has resolved to be one of the best medical schools in the country with an innovative, subject-based curriculum, with problem-based learning (PBL) and early clinical exposure (ECE) to promote a more thinking mode of learning. Hence, the Medical Faculty in UPNM has established a similar department called MEQAR (Medical Education and Quality Assurance) which serves the needs of medical education and quality assurance of the program. The success of MEQAR will largely depend on the faculty’s best resource – the people in it.


To be a center of excellence for Medical and Health Sciences (MHS) education.


To promote quality and a culture of excellence in Medical and Health Sciences education through research and development (R&D).


To implement all of the following by 2020:

  1. Conduct student development courses (PPD) for the medical and other future Allied Health Sciences programs.

  2. Promote PBL (advisory / consultative role in the development of PBL packages and training of facilitators)

  3. Provide advisory / consultative service in Medical and Health Sciences (MHS) education to the whole faculty. (These functions will not include administrative aspects of research and development or routine service, except for the occasional justifiable cases).

  4. Assure quality in all aspects of MHS education with special focus on teaching and learning, and student assessment (development of Q-instruments / Qforms, etc)

  5. To ensure MEQAR has adequate resources, both human and infrastructure / technical: a) staff with qualifications in MHS education by training young staff (continuing professional development activities such as workshops, seminars, talks, etc) b) To set up units providing technological services (technical staff, AVA facilities, printing, etc) in medical & health sciences (MHS) education.

  6. To offer a Diploma in Medical Education (DipMedEd).

  7. Function as a Research & Development (R&D) Unit by establishing an R&D group with research / project grants).


  1. Covers educational issues (not biomedical)

  2. In the early stage, research will involve small-scale, routine studies for data gathering which may be converted to bigger studies later on.

  3. Scope:

These are ongoing small studies to collect data as evidence for change. They will cover mainly Q-studies and/ or audits (student and teacher feedback) on all teaching-learning activities for the purpose of accreditation and continuing improvement. To this end, MEQAR works closely with the Academic Section of the Dean’s Office, under the Deputy Dean of Academic and Student Affairs.

MEQAR also encourages lecturers to do small-scale educational studies eg Innovations in Teaching-Learning strategies and Student Assessment, PBL, Movies as a teaching-learning tool, Humor in Education, Learning Styles, Educational Management, Educational Technology, Coping Skills, Ethics, Communication in Healthcare, Impact of Early Clinicals, etc, on top of the biomedical projects they will do in their own field of expertise.


This function covers development of programs and educational resources.

This scope of activity will cover:

  1. the development of new programs (undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing medical education / CME)

  2. curricular reviews/ program renewal

  3. innovations in teaching-learning methodology eg. self-directed learning (SDL) and PBL, self-learning packages (SLP), e-learning, etc

  4. quality assurance/ QA (eg question vetting, analysis, exam auditing, student performance, etc)

  1. On-going: Self & professional development ie on-the-job teacher trainingvia: seminars, workshops, audit discussions, journal club, etc

  2. Longterm: formal courses in MHS education eg diploma, masters

(Management aspects of staff development eg conference funding, postgraduate scholarships and placements are NOT under MEQAR but the Dean’s Office)

  1. Conduct PPD (Personal and Professional Development) Modules for medical students, whose strand (content) runs throughout the program.

  2. Mentor Mentee System (MMS) are closely linked to the regular PPD small group sessions on REFLECTION which are under the purview of MEQAR. Guidelines on student activities and documentation under the MMS are formulated for both student and mentors to use.

  3. The existing counseling facilities will continue as usual.

(Administrative and disciplinary aspects of student development are NOT under the purview of MEQAR)


For the moment, 9 educational committees/ activities are tentatively under the purview of MEQAR as in the organization chart above but there are only 4 academic staff (including 2 joint appointees) and 1 technical staff. More committees may be set up or merged in the future according to faculty needs.

Currently, technical service is rather constraint being confined to printing, photocopying, scanning, laminating, binding, photography, and video recording.


As with any newly established unit, department, center or school, MEQAR aspires to greater heights to see its vision as a center of excellence in Medical and Health Sciences education, more staff and facilities must be acquired to support its growing functions in that direction.

Contact information:
Fakulti Perubatan dan Kesihatan Pertahanan
Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
Kem Sungai Besi
57000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-90513400 ext 3050
Fax : +603 9051 3042
E-mail: edariah@gmail.com

Head of Unit
Prof Dr Edariah Abu Bakar
Tel: +603-90513400 ext 3050
E-mail: edariah@gmail.com

Last Updated: 20 May 2015