Friday, 23 July 2021

Students offered cash to defer medical degree

Students wanting to study medicine at the University of Exeter are being offered free accommodation and £10,000 cash if they are prepared to delay their course for a year.

A record number of students have applied to study medicine this autumn, a rise of more than 20% on last year.

The number of places for medicine in England is capped by the government.

If students delay until 2022, that could reduce the number of places available for those applying next year.

The University of Exeter has written to students who have accepted an offer to study medicine starting in 2021 asking if they will delay to 2022.

In return it would guarantee their place next year, provide free accommodation for their first year and a cash bursary of £10,000 "to spend on preparing yourself" at the end of October 2021.

The accommodation in the university's Rowancroft accommodation building would normally cost £6,574 for an en-suite room or £7,611 for a studio flat.

The letter to students says the university understands this would mean "big changes" to their plans but their place next year would be secure, provided they get the grades specified in their offer.

Professor Mark Goodwin, Exeter's deputy vice chancellor, said it had seen a significant increase in students who had prioritised the university as their first choice for medicine.

"This is unprecedented for us, something has happened this year to make a higher proportion choose us. More students are holding us as their firm choice this year"

As the numbers admitted to the course are regulated by the government, the university is asking applicants holding a firm offer to decide by 30 July if they will defer.

"We want to deliver a really high quality student experience, and deliver those safe and secure NHS placements so we can train the number of doctors the government asks us to train."

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