Undergrad Edi Uni dental students to have extra semester of study due to the pandemic

Final-year students will graduate in December 2021

Edinburgh University Oral Health Sciences students will be required to extend their studies to next semester due to the pandemic.

Students in their final year of study will lack the necessary clinical training to qualify at the end of this semester and so will be required to continue through autumn 2021.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh University told The Tab: “Final year Oral Health Sciences students will be required to complete an extension to their training in order to ensure their clinical abilities meet the standards required of a ‘safe beginner’ by the professional regulator, the General Dental Council.

“These students will qualify during the Autumn Semester and will take part in the University’s formal graduation ceremonies in December of 2021.”

The university also told The Tab: “The students will not be required to pay more tuition fees.”

Dental students at Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee have had their graduations delayed this year.

The Scottish government’s public health minister said in a statement: “This difficult but necessary decision by Scotland’s Dental Schools will be extremely disappointing news for dental students across the country. This is not their fault and that is why the Scottish Government is doing all we can to support them and ensure they do not suffer financially.

“Due to the potential risk of spreading COVID from aerosol generating procedures, dental training has had to be restricted and many students have not gained the necessary clinical experience this year which has resulted in the difficult decision to defer graduation. To ensure dental students who have to repeat a year are supported, we are giving each student an extra year’s bursary to the value to of their normal student loan of up to £6,750.

“Aerosol procedures are common in dentistry placements and unusual in other student placements. Therefore we are assured that despite the wider impact on clinical placements for other controlled entry university subjects, such as medicine, nursing and midwifery, students on those courses will not be required to repeat a year and any extensions to their programmes will be covered by other arrangements.

“The quality and calibre of dental treatment in Scotland is outstanding and it needs to be protected by taking the appropriate measures in education to ensure future dental professionals have reached the General Dental Council’s standard of clinical competence and can enter the workforce with confidence.”

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