Univer­sity of Cen­tral Lan­cashire launches med­i­cal de­gree that is only open to over­seas stu­dents

The Star (St. Lucia) - - EDUCATION -

Hos­pi­tals in the UK may be strug­gling to over­come immigration laws to re­cruit new nurses, but for the univer­sity sec­tor it is a dif­fer­ent story.

In what is thought to be a first, a UK univer­sity has launched a med­i­cal de­gree that is open only to over­seas stu­dents. The Univer­sity of Cen­tral Lan­cashire said that it was un­able to in­vite Bri­tish stu­dents to ap­ply be­cause of na­tional lim­its on the num­bers al­lowed to study medicine.

How­ever, 38 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents from out­side the EU will take up a place, pay­ing £36,500 (XCD 150,288) a year. The univer­sity said it would like to re­cruit UK stu­dents and would be ap­ply­ing to do so if place­ments be­came avail­able. The over­seas stu­dents will self-fund their course at the univer­sity in Pre­ston in the north west of Eng­land. Dur­ing their train­ing they will work closely with lo­cal NHS hos­pi­tals.

Many in­ter­na­tional stu­dents ap­ply to study medicine in the UK each year, drawn by the global rep­u­ta­tion of the Na­tional Health Ser­vice (NHS) and Bri­tish re­search, and by the op­por­tu­nity to register with the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil at the end of the course and po­ten­tially work in the NHS. How­ever, fees are high. Ap­pli­cants for the Lan­cashire course will pay £182,500 over five years.

Pro­fes­sor Cathy Jack­son, head of the univer­sity med­i­cal school, told the BBC: “We are very much not an elit­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion and we are work­ing with our part­ner [NHS] trusts to im­prove the health econ­omy in many ways in all the re­gions in which we are work­ing.

“These in­ter­na­tional stu­dents self-fund their course in the same way as in­ter­na­tional stu­dents do at ev­ery other med­i­cal school in the UK. Un­like the other schools how­ever, we don’t yet have any home stu­dents.”

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