Medical student debts could rise to more than £70 000 under new rules

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 12 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5723
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The level of debt held by newly qualified doctors could rise sharply to between £70 000 (€80 000; $110 000) and £100 000 if the recommendations of a radical review of higher education funding in England are implemented.

In his independent review into funding of higher education and student finance, published on 12 October, the former BP chief executive John Browne called for the existing annual cap on the student tuition fee of £3290 to be abolished and for universities and colleges to be allowed to set their own fees up to a limit of around £12 000 a year.

The BMA has calculated that if universities were to set tuition fees for medicine courses to around £10 000, this would mean that a student would have an average debt of around £70 000 on qualifying—almost double the current average debt of £37 000. If tuition fees were set higher, it …

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