Exeter’s Professor Mark Goodwin said he wanted to offer a ‘range of options’ to students
Prospective medical students at the University of Exeter are being offered £10,000 in cash and free accommodation if they agree to defer their course for a year after a record number of applications.
The number of school leaves wanting to study medicine at the Russel Group university has surged by 20% this year, putting it in danger of breaching a government-imposed cap on numbers.
Officials want students to delay until 2022 to free up space on this year’s course, and hope that the unprecedented financial incentives – and the offer to guarantee a place – will tempt them to do so.
Places to study to be a doctor are capped by the government due to the high public subsidy of around £180,000 for a medical degree, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, all students have to carry out an NHS placement, the numbers of which are limited.
The offer would be a major boon for students, with accommodation in the university’s Rowancroft accommodation building would normally cost £6,574 for an en-suite room or £7,611 for a studio.
Officials suggest the £10,000 in cash should be spent on preparing for the course.
One reason for the rise in aspiring doctors is the number of students who had to defer after the chaos of last year’s A-level grading left more than usual with the grades they needed.
The number of school leaves wanting to study medicine at the Russel Group university has surged by 20% this year, putting it in danger of breaching a government-imposed cap on numbers
The UK has a shortage of doctors, driven by the rising medics retiring or wanting to work part time.
More than a quarter of senior consultant physicians expect to retire within three years, but a poll by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) found 56 per cent of trainees were considering working only part time – sparking fears there will be too few medics in the pipeline to replace them.
The RCP wants the number of medical school places to double to stop shortages getting worse.
MailOnline has asked the Department of Education if the government would consider increasing the number of places.
Professor Mark Goodwin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Exeter, said: ‘We’ve seen a significant upturn in the number of outstanding applicants prioritising the University of Exeter as their first choice for Medicine this year.
‘All Medicine student numbers are set by the Government to ensure that we can accommodate everyone in a way that provides a high-quality education and stimulating student experience, as well as safe and secure NHS placements.
‘To maximise the choices available to our students, we are offering a range of options, including financial incentives, deferral or studying a post-graduate programme, prior to students commencing their medical studies next year.
‘We’re committed to supporting the Government to train more doctors and our number one priority is ensuring the students that study with us enjoy high quality, safe and fulfilling education, which has seen Exeter ranked in the top 10 in the Complete University Guide and no doubt contributes to our popularity as first choice for so many.’
Source: Daily Mail