The government has announced that medical and dental schools across England will have their funding increased to allow for the expansion of courses in the coming academic year.
It has been confirmed that the cap on medicine and dentistry places will be adjusted to allow for more students to study these courses – after applications increased by 20 per cent compared to last year. The move will bring the total number of medicine and dentistry places to 9,000.
By adjusting the cap, the government hopes to help boost the future of the NHS in the long term. Education secretary Gavin Williamson said, “Medicine and dentistry have always been popular courses and we have seen significant demand for places this year alongside other subjects like engineering and nursing. We want to match student enthusiasm and ensure as many as possible can train this year to be the doctors and healthcare professionals of the future.”
Indeed, whilst these courses have always been popular, a cap on places ensures standards are maintained. However, Sky News has reported that more students are expected to get the required grades due to an expected inflation in A-level results because of the pandemic. Furthermore, Professor Alan Smithers, a director at the Centre of Education and Employment Research (CEER) at the University of Buckingham, explained to Sky News that, "The danger is that the inflated grades, in other words, lower standards, will become the new norm."