Tuition fee changes may scupper government plans to widen access to medical school

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 15 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7214
  1. Oona Mashta
  1. 1London

Government proposals could “deter students from poorer backgrounds from entering medicine”

Medical students in England face leaving university with debts of up to £70 000 (€84 000; $109 000), the British Medical Association has estimated after the government announced proposals to transfer much of the cost of courses from the state to students.

The government has said that universities could charge students between £6000 and £9000 a year from 2012. Those that charge more than £6000 will have to show that they are making more effort to encourage applications from the poorest students. Fees are currently £3290 a year. A new £150m national scholarship fund has been set up to encourage bright potential students from lower income families.

George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, announced in the comprehensive spending review in October that the higher education teaching budget is to be cut by 40%, from £7.1bn to £4.2bn, over the next four years, though science, technology, engineering, and maths based subjects will …

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