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Consultation Response: Expansion of Undergraduate Medical Education

Jack Haywood, the KCLSU VP Education (Health), and Omar Risk, the GKT MSA President, have been working together to respond to the Department of Health’s proposal to expand undergraduate medical education in England. More details of the proposal can be found here. As the representatives of the medical student community at King’s, we have serious concerns about the government’s plans.

The proposal outlines an expansion of medical student places across the country. There will be a national increase of 500 places from 2018/19. King’s has expressed interest in taking some of these places, and are awaiting a response from the government.

From 2019/20, there will then be an additional 1000 places across England, for which universities will need to bid. There is also the possibility of new medical schools opening and taking some of these spaces.

The consultation is asking for thoughts on how these additional 1000 places should be allocated. Alongside this, there are other points being proposed;

  1. Medical students may be asked to comply with a return of service agreement or pay additional fees (i.e. if you are a medical student, you would need to return a number of years’ service to the NHS upon graduation. If you don’t, you will need to pay back the costs that were not covered by your tuition fees)

  2. Removal of international students cap to study medicine. However, they will need to pay international fees (which are currently £17050 in non-clinical years and £39200 in clinical years) as well as approximately £110 000 in additional placement costs. The latter cost used to be covered by the government, but this consultation is suggesting students would need to fund this themselves from 2018/19.

KCLSU and GKT MSA have responded to the consultation as we have serious concerns about:

  1. Expanding medical student places, especially here at King’s which is already such a large medical school

  2. The criteria used to allocate these additional places, particularly around ensuring high quality medical education

  3. The return of service proposal, and the effect this could have on our students

  4. The huge surge in international student fees

  5. The possible implications of high quality placement provision if new medical schools open.

We have written a letter to the Department of Health. And here are our consultation responses which explicitly express our concerns.

KCLSU and GKT MSA urge all healthcare students, staff and other key users of medical education and the health service to respond to this consultation. You can respond here - it closes on 2 June.

If you want any more information or want to chat through any of the consultation or our responses, please contact Jack Haywood, VP Education (Health) at jack.haywood@kclsu.org, or Omar Risk, MSA President, at omar.risk@kcl.ac.uk.

 

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