West set to fill gaps in dentistry

February 3, 2006

Plymouth and Exeter universities, which jointly run Peninsula Medical School, will be looking to fill at least 35 academic posts after a successful bid to create a dental school for the South West.

In addition to recruiting 150 dental nurses and support and administrative staff, the new school - which was given the green light last Thursday - will hire about 20 dentistry professors or senior lecturers in addition to 15 lecturers before it opens next autumn.

John Tooke, dean of the Peninsula Medical School, said he was confident this would be achieved. The problems of trying to recruit from the sector's small staff pool could be offset by attracting practising dentists with previous academic experience, staff with broader medical experience and academics from overseas, he said.

"Recruiting does not have to be just about pinching people from other dental schools. Because we are innovative in our approach, we are very attractive to career-minded clinical educationists."

The school, which will have bases in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro, will receive funding for 62 graduate-entry students a year.

A joint bid from Liverpool, Lancaster and Central Lancashire universities with St Martin's College has also been awarded 32 graduate-entry funded places per year, while six places have gone to Leeds University to create a new centre in Hull.

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