Medical students warned the government last week that it was not doing enough to widen participation in medicine, and suggested that top-up fees would make the situation worse, writes Anna Fazackerley.
During a meeting with higher education minister Alan Johnson, the British Medical Association student committee warned that medical schools were still filled with middle-class students. They called on Mr Johnson to implement separate access agreements for medical schools.
According to a BMA survey, 70 per cent of medical students come from professional or managerial backgrounds. Less than a fifth come from families where the main source of income is from manual or routine work.
Daniel Gibbons, a medical student from University College London and deputy chair of the committee, told The THES : "Theminister raised his eyebrows when we quoted that figure."
He said Mr Johnson admitted that medical courses would be likely to charge the highest top-up fees. The BMA said the medical profession must become more representative of the population it served.