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COVID-19 Response Update to UM Partners

Dear Partner,

Greetings from Universiti Malaya (UM), Malaysia.

We hope that this message finds you well amidst the challenging times we are all facing. We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some updates regarding the current situation at Malaysia and UM, in particular, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Malaysia has placed the country under a Movement Control Order (MCO) beginning 18th March until 14th April 2020, as part of public health response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This means that UM’s campuses are closed for this duration except for the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. In line with this, the University Management has had to adjust our strategies and policies to adapt to this situation, our utmost concern at this point of time being the safety and well-being of our students and staff.

Adjustment to Academic Calendar

In line with the extension of the initial MCO period to 14th April 2020, the Academic Calendar for Semester 2, Academic Session 2019/2020 has been adjusted, as follows:

a)    The Mid-Semester Break has been brought forward and extended to five weeks (23rd March till 26th April 2020); and 
b)    Classes will resume on 27th April 2020 for all programmes, except for the Foundation, MBBS, and Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programmes, for which separate academic calendars will be issued in due course.

This decision was made in compliance with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)’s recommendations, aimed at ensuring students travel back to campus in stages and not all at once when the MCO is lifted. With this adjustment and new directive from the MOHE, the first semester of the 2020/2021 Academic Session is expected to commence in mid-October 2020.

Online Teaching and Learning (T&L) Mode / e-Learning

Beginning 27th April 2020 until the end of Semester 2, Academic Session 2019/2020, teaching and learning will be conducted fully online via e-learning and other appropriate methods. In addition to the University’s official Learning Management System - SPeCTRUM, academic staff and students may also use other digital platforms, such as Skype, Zoom, Webex, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. The University is also taking steps to ensure that students are not left behind due to any difficulty in accessing T&L delivery.

In addition, academic staff have been encouraged and allowed some degree of flexibility to implement appropriate alternative assessment methods, namely, to shift from face-to-face assessments to non-face-to-face assessments. Faculties may also conduct the oral viva voce examination fully online.

Postponement of All Mobilities and Collaborative Visits

The University Management has also decided to postpone all student and faculty exchange activities and collaborative visits until a time when the pandemic has subsided and health risk factors returned to normal levels, while all student activities have been immediately rescinded. 

In line with the statement by the National Security Council on 18th March 2020, international students are allowed to leave Malaysia to return to their home countries, whereas local students are to remain at their respective Residential Colleges/Off-Campus residences until the end of the MCO period. All students who remain on campus are well taken care of by the Principal/Fellows of their respective residential colleges and our Student Affairs Division.

The above measures have been put in place based on a desire for everyone to stay healthy and to mitigate the COVID-19 transmission. We have been communicating directly to all of our students and providing updates to our campus community through our official mailing list as well as the University’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UniversityOfMalaya/

Despite the inability to engage in regular face-to-face exchanges, we do hope that you will maintain communication with us via our International Relations Office (international@um.edu.my) and continue collaborative work over the internet wherever possible. Our International Student Centre is also still accepting incoming student exchange applications for the upcoming semester via apply.um.edu.my until 15th May 2020. For further information, please feel free to contact them at studyabroad@um.edu.my. We also look forward to resuming all regular activities and developing new opportunities with you as soon as conditions permit.

Thank you and stay safe.

Updated April 2, 2020