Exeter offers medicine applicants £10,000 and free accommodation if they defer a year

More students than ever have applied to study medicine this year

Exeter is offering medical school applicants £10,000 and free accommodation if they agree to delay starting their course by a year.

More students than ever have applied to study medicine from September, at an increase of more than 20 per cent from last year, the BBC reports.

The government regulates the number of places available for medicine at English universities.

Exeter Uni has written to students who accepted an offer to start medicine in 2021, asking them to defer until 2022. If they do, this will guarantee their place at the medical school (provided the specified grades are achieved), alongside free accommodation for first year and a cash bursary of £10,000.

The accommodation for the St Luke’s campus in which medics study, Rowancroft, usually costs £6,574 for an en-suite room or £7,611 for a studio flat.

The deferral scheme may see a reduction in the places available for students applying the following year, however, as it is unclear whether the government will provide extra money – and thus additional places – for 2022.

Places on medical courses are capped by the government because a degree costs around £180,000, and so relies on public funding. Medical students are equally required to attend clinical placements in the NHS during their course, which sees an allocation of a certain number of places.

Whilst there are around 7,500 places available for medicine in England this year, the increase in applications has made it harder for universities to determine how many offers to give.

Professor Mark Goodwin, Exeter’s deputy vice chancellor, told the BBC that “more students are holding us as their firm choice this year”, and Exeter still wants “to deliver a really high quality student experience, and deliver those safe and secure NHS placements so we can train the number of doctors the government asks us to train.”

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