Tuition fee rise will deter medical students, BMA warns

Scrapping the limit on tuition fees could leave medical students up to £100,000 in debt and discourage applicants from low-income families, the BMA has warned.

The proposed changes would result in ‘a financial burden that could discourage many applicants from low and middle income families,’ said BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum.

The amount universities can charge is currently capped at £3,290, but a review of higher education funding published today by Lord Browne for the government proposes that the limit be lifted.  

The review also recommends that students should pay higher rates of interest on their student loans.

Dr Meldrum said the proposals would lead to ‘crippling levels of debt for future medical students’ and called for special dispensation for long and socially valuable courses like medicine.

‘The BMA will be writing to Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, in order to ask him to abandon the most damaging recommendations. If they are implemented they could place a massive financial barrier in front of talented students who have the potential to become great assets to the NHS and patients,’ he said.

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