Medical students to face debts of £70,000

Medical students will be left almost £70,000 in debt as a result of government plans to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 in tuition fees, the BMA has warned.

The government announced that tuition fees will rise to £6,000, with some universities being able to charge £9,000 if they ensure access for poorer students.

But Karin Purshouse, chair of the BMA’s medical students committee, said the move would have a ‘devastating financial impact’ on young people from low and middle income backgrounds who want to become doctors.

The BMA estimates that medical students graduate with an estimated £37,000 worth of debt under the current system, where they pay £3,250 a year. 

Ms Purshouse said if universities charge the £9,000 rate students will see their debts spiral to around £70,000.

She said: ‘This will be an enormous financial burden for hard-working families. The BMA will be fighting these fee proposals vigorously in the coming months.

‘We will also ask that politicians examine Lord Browne’s suggestion that expensive courses such as medicine be given special consideration, including exploration of forgivable loans and other measures.’

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