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Press releases
By The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Government lifts cap on medical courses to allow all students with required grades to get offers at first choice university

2 min read

The Government has lifted the cap on student numbers taking medical courses as part of a pledge to make sure all students with the required grades get a place at their first choice university in the wake of the exams grading fiasco.

For A Level pupils who initially missed out due to the downgrading controversy, they will now be guaranteed a chance to go where they initially wanted to study after additional funding was promised to create extra capacity.

But ministers have confirmed if their preferred subject hits capacity the student will be offered "an alternative course or a deferred place”.

After the U-turn earlier this week on using the controversial algorithm to ‘moderate’ predicted exam scores many more young people have been successful in getting the grades they needed to study at their first choice university.

This has created an admissions problem at most top universities, but especially in medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science, which have strict limits on the number of people who can attend each year.

But after the Government’s Higher Education Taskforce met on Wednesday they agreed to honour all offers to students and removed the caps to ensure they can still study there.

They said additional teaching grant funding will also be provided to increase capacity in medical, nursing, STEM and other high-cost subjects.

The universities minister Michelle Donelan said:  “This has been an incredibly difficult time for students and I want to reassure them that every effort is being made to make sure all those who planned to, can move on to higher education.

“I am delighted that the Government and the higher education sector have agreed that all students who achieved the required grades will be offered a place at their first choice university. 

“I want universities to do all they can to take them on this year or offer alternative courses or deferred places where required.

“This pandemic has highlighted more than ever the importance of our fantastic healthcare services and the need to invest in them. 

“So I am pleased we are removing the cap on these courses and providing additional funding so more students can take up their places now and become our future doctors and healthcare professionals.”

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