'UK Students Excluded from UK Medicine Degree'

September 24, 2015 Sawan S

Challenges of getting into Medicine in the UK

‘UK Students Excluded from UK Medicine Degree’

With reference to the above article on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34326453 dated 22/09/2015, I think it is grotesquely unfair to have any University which simply has a policy that it will exclude all UK national students. The number of medical places available in the UK for UK medical applicants is already small relative to the demand for UK doctors. What is more shocking is that according to the article, it is the UK government which is restricting the number of places for UK students. My opinion on this is that the whole issue is scandalous and raises some serious concerns. Universities stand to gain financially by accepting as many international students because they pay a lot more in tuition fees than do UK nationals. Secondly, most of the international students who come and study for a medical degree here do not end up working here in the long term after they graduate. Most of them either go back to their home nations or end up in places such as USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Dubai. Therefore in my opinion, it doesn’t make much sense to limit the number of medical places available to UK students who are more likely to train and work in the UK in the NHS in the long term whilst increasing the number of places for international students who are more likely to be working elsewhere in the long term. It is like investing in something which you will never see the return for. Health is a merit good with lots of positive externalities and needs to be treated accordingly. In my opinion, the government would be much better off increasing the quota on the number of medical places available in the UK for UK based students. This is because it is more likely to address the problems of shortages in supply of NHS doctors in the long run. It will also address the issues of excessive competition for a limited number of places for domestic students. As a tutor, I often see many extremely intelligent students who are very passionate about health and medicine with plenty of work experience and an all-round personality, who are often denied places in Medicine in the UK because of such a limited supply. It has nothing to do with how good a doctor they could possibly be. I also strongly believe that the process and rigours of getting into medicine as a domestic student are much more difficult than for international students. 

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