Lecturer fights for 'rejected' offspring

April 28, 1995

An honorary senior lecturer at Glasgow University is urging the medical faculty to revise its admissions procedure after his academically qualified son was rejected as a prospective student.

Brian O'Reilly, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, has lobbied senior academics and every member of the medical faculty after his 16-year-old son, Conor, failed to be accepted after an interview. Conor, who has six grade A Highers and is currently taking A levels in maths, physics and human biology, has been accepted by Scotland's four other medical schools at Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and St Andrews Universities.

None of the other Scottish schools routinely interviews applicants, although this is the norm in England.

Mr O'Reilly senior has accused Glasgow of putting too much emphasis on the interview rather than academic achievement. He also complains that the interview took only five minutes.

A spokesman for Glasgow University said the university could not discuss an individual case, but that academic excellence was not the only criterion for admission. Glasgow also considered a school report, a personal statement by the applicant, and an interview, usually of ten minutes.

Mr O'Reilly said: "Conor is quite a shy, modest boy, but I'd be happy that he would make a competent doctor. He wants to stay at home and go to Glasgow. In a way, he's quite young, and we'd be reluctant to get him to go into a flat in Edinburgh or somewhere."

The spokesman said once applicants had achieved the Highers entry requirement (four As and a B), they were considered on the same basis. There were 800 interviewees for 200 places, 123 of which had gone to applicants with five or six A passes.

Mr O'Reilly said that he hoped the faculty would question whether interviews were sensible, given that the other Scottish schools did not have them.

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