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A Decade of Growth: A Look Back at IMU Foundation in Science’s Blueprint

29 May 2024

A decade ago, in the heart of a renowned healthcare university, a new programme emerged from the list to build and nurture healthcare professionals of tomorrow.


The IMU University Foundation in Science (FIS) course is designed to redefine the very essence of foundation towards healthcare education and was initiated with a vision to bridge the gap between academic excellence and practical application. The programme was led by visionary leaders and experienced educators to instil knowledge and values of compassion, integrity, and innovation in the next generation of healthcare providers.

Today, the 1-year programme is renowned for being the key towards unlocking doors to the 14 undergraduate programmes and many partner universities available by IMU University, Malaysia’s top medical and health sciences university.


Being a stepping stone from secondary education studies to tertiary education, the FIS curriculum is tailored to provide a smooth transition with subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Applied Statistics for Data Science Using Python, Psychology in Healthcare,  Computing Studies, Physics for Health Sciences, English for Academic Purposes and Healthcare Professionals, Biosciences, Thinking Skills and Cross-Boundary Studies.


Now, let’s rewind you to the past to unveil the blueprints of IMU University’s first Pre-University programme.

The structure and planning of the Foundation in Science (FIS) programme began in early 2013, a few months after the suitability of the programme was thoroughly evaluated by YBhg Tan Sri Abu Bakar bin Suleiman,  former President of IMU and current Chancellor of IMU University. His goals for this programme are to ensure that aside from studying, students should be able to get exposure and interest in career professions in the healthcare field while simultaneously embracing the university’s values.


Similar to any other new programmes, the rigorous process of scrutinising FIS is needed, such as quality assurance, proceeding to the approvals by the Faculty Board, the Senate, and the Board of Study before it is sent to the ministry.

In October 2013, the anxiously awaited approval by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) provided an approved decision.


With the approval, IMU welcomed its pioneer cohort of Foundation in Science students three months later, on 6 January 2014, under the Head of Foundation in Science, Sharon Chan Min Hui, the only faculty member remaining from the pioneer team who is still a faculty at IMU till this day.

This pioneer batch of 48 students would become Foundation in Science’s inaugural graduating class in December 2014. Having completed the first step of their tertiary education journey, 17 students obtained distinction with a cGPA of 3.7 and above.

Today, the programme consists of three intakes, February, July and September, from which the number of students totals to around 500. The multiple intakes provide prospective students with the flexibility to start their studies at their own pace and facilitate a smoother academic progression from their secondary education.


From its humble beginnings, IMU’s Foundation in Science continuously proves to be a strong pre-university programme that shapes holistic individuals who aim to become future healthcare professionals. IMU’s Foundation in Science programme has established an impressive track record in recent years, with approximately 85% of FIS students seamlessly progressing into IMU’s undergraduate programmes. This high progression rate underscores the programme’s effectiveness in preparing students for advanced studies in science and related fields.


Science education, particularly through programmes like the Foundation in Science at IMU University, serves as the crucial step for shaping innovative minds by providing practical experiences and hands-on projects. Within this realm of education, students not only gain immersive experiences but also develop the ability to tackle new challenges and expand the boundaries of knowledge.


Integrating laboratory work, clinical experiences, cross-boundary work, research opportunities and a built-in mentor-mentee system not only enhances students’ technical skills but also instils values such as teamwork and resilience. These attributes are invaluable in preparing students to become adaptable, empathetic, and forward-thinking professionals in their chosen academic pursuits.


With the celebration of the Foundation in Science programme’s 10th Anniversary at IMU University, all of the faculty members in the programme are ready to carve out a transformative pathway for students to delve into scientific realms, making their academic journey smoother and more promising.


Written by: Chong Zhan Xuan, Bong Yen Qin, Wang Yu Xin

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