A Russell Group college is providing a yr’s free lodging and a bursary of £10,000 to medical college students who conform to defer their research for a yr amid a surge in functions to review medication and uncertainty about A-level grade inflation.
The University of Exeter stated there had been a big enhance within the variety of candidates for medication who had made Exeter their first selection, however due to a cap on numbers college students are being supplied a spread of incentives to encourage them to delay their research.
The college has written to candidates who’ve accepted gives to review medication beginning this autumn, asking if they’ll delay till 2022. In return the college will assure their place, in the event that they get the required grades, present free lodging value as much as £7,600 and a money bursary of £10,000 “to spend on making ready your self”.
Prof Mark Goodwin, Exeter’s deputy vice-chancellor (international engagement), stated: “We’ve seen a big upturn within the variety of excellent candidates prioritising the University of Exeter as their first selection for medication this yr. All medication pupil numbers are set by the federal government to make sure that we are able to accommodate everybody in a means that gives a high-quality schooling and stimulating pupil expertise, in addition to protected and safe NHS placements.
“To maximise the alternatives obtainable to our college students, we’re providing a spread of choices, together with monetary incentives, deferral or learning a postgraduate programme, previous to college students commencing their medical research subsequent yr.”
The Exeter deferral supply comes as universities throughout the nation are receiving a record number of applications, up 10% amongst UK 18-year-olds on final yr’s figures. Whereas many programs can broaden to soak up further college students, there’s a authorities ceiling on the variety of medical college locations and subsequently no flexibility.
Admissions officers have been grappling not solely with the rise within the variety of functions to review medication, that are up 20% on final yr’s figures, but in addition with the prospect of grade inflation as a result of exams being cancelled and using teacher-assessed grades as a substitute, which might see extra college students obtain the required grades.
Dr Katie Petty-Saphon from the Medical Colleges Council advised the BBC the rise in functions had made it more durable for universities to evaluate the fitting variety of gives. “Prior to now the easiest candidates may obtain 4 gives, which might imply they’d reject – and thus unlock – locations at three medical colleges.
“This didn’t occur this yr and so the conversion charge of gives to firmly accepted locations has modified, that means that some medical colleges have extra acceptances than they have been anticipating.”
Locations to review medication are among the many best and oversubscribed in greater schooling. Universities are hoping to not see a repeat of the chaos last year when many college students planning a profession in medication misplaced their locations after outcomes have been downgraded by the federal government’s standardisation algorithm.
After the algorithm was abandoned in favour of centre-assessed grades that have been considerably greater, many college students have been too late to get into their college of selection as areas had been crammed.
Some have been compelled to defer a yr and can take up their locations within the autumn. “The federal government has funded 450 further locations for candidates who have been required to defer final yr – and so such candidates are usually not taking on locations destined for 2021 candidates” stated Petty-Saphon.
This yr’s deferrals might influence on subsequent yr’s locations for medication, that are capped at 7,500 in England.
Dr Tim Bradshaw, the chief government of the Russell Group, urged the federal government to broaden the variety of locations obtainable to review medication. “The numerous enhance in functions this yr and the uncertainty generated by the introduction of teacher-assessed grades means it has been a lot more durable for all universities to evaluate the fitting variety of gives to make. That is significantly the case for medication, the place the variety of locations is capped by the federal government.”