Despite recently announcing that medical and dental schools across England would have their funding increased to allow for the expansion of courses in the coming academic year, it is now being reported that dental schools are oversubscribed.
In fact, The Guardian has reported that “students who have won a place on an oversubscribed dentistry degree in England are being offered £10,000 to transfer to a different university with places available.”
The offer is part of the Department for Education’s new ‘brokerage’ scheme, which has been designed to provide compensation to medicine and dentistry students if they move from an oversubscribed university to one with space.
However, there are concerns that cash incentives will not be enough to relieve the pressure many dental courses are now under. This pressure stems from “more students than expected achieving the high A-level grades needed to secure their offer”, the media outlet reported. UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) has released figures following this year’s exam results, revealing that “8,560 students from England have been accepted onto medicine and dentistry courses” – a 23 per cent rise from last year.
Whilst we previously shared that Professor Alan Smithers, a director at the Centre of Education and Employment Research (CEER) at the University of Buckingham, expressed concerns that grades would be inflated, and therefore represent a lower standard, due to the changes in this year’s marking system, the Dental Schools Council (DSC) has clarified that, “Due to the rigorous selection processes undertaken at all dental schools, the public should be reassured that all students who hold offers have been interviewed and deemed suitable for a career in dentistry.”