'10 ways to help poorer students into medicine' guide launched

Universities have been urged to use 10 key tactics to boost enrolment in medicine by students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

November 13, 2014

The tips for widening participation in the fiercely competitive and “elite” profession are listed in a new guide published by the Medical Schools Council.

The new guide, based on research commissioned by the Office for Fair Access, highlights the importance of sustained schemes that raise the aspirations of children from a young age.

Published on 13 November, A Journey to Medicine: Outreach Guidance, is one of a bank of resources to be produced by the Selecting for Excellence project on widening participation in medical degrees and supporting medical schools to select the best candidates.

Les Ebdon, Offa director, said: “This guidance represents a major development in helping to improve access to the elite medical profession.

“The guidance highlights the importance of sustained, targeted schemes to raise aspirations and attainment, which starts at an early age because children form attitudes about ‘what kind of career is right for me’ many years before the actual university application process begins.”

He added: “Alongside this, teenagers need good information, outreach and guidance about subject choices and work experience, and to help them prepare for medical school admissions interviews.”

Further resources being produced as part of the two year project are a bank of outreach resources for medical schools to use, guides on outreach programmes for students and teachers, and online information about medical courses.

A further report, scheduled for publication next month, will provide detailed evidence on the issues surrounding participation in medical schools and further recommendations for action.

holly.else@tesglobal.com

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