Tuition fees for medical students

Thank you for contacting me about tuition fees for students taking courses in medicine, dentistry, nursing and the allied health professions.

I strongly believe that access to higher education should be determined solely by an individual’s ability, and not by their ability to pay. The current tuition fees system, which does not require anyone to pay upfront for their higher education, has seen student numbers rise, including among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I do, however, understand your concern that students taking courses in medicine, dentistry, nursing and the allied health professions often accrue significant student loan debts. In 2018 the Government launched a major review of post-18 education and funding and tasked an independent panel to look at how to ensure the system provides optimal value for money and delivers the skills our country needs. The findings of this review were published in May 2019 and a commitment was made in the Queen’s Speech in December 2019 to carefully consider these recommendations. I welcome that some of the proposals of the Review are being taken forward, including making student loans more flexible, so that students can choose the length and type of course that is right for them. It will be easier for adults and young people to break up their study into segments, transfer credits between colleges and universities, and study on a part-time basis.

 Those taking undergraduate medical degrees will also still be eligible for NHS bursaries and further reduced rate non-means tested loans from the Student Loan Company to help manage living costs in their 5th and 6th years of their course.