Medical degrees at the University of St. Andrews
Bill to remove archaic legislative prohibition.
The University of St. Andrews will be able to award medical and dentistry degrees through a new Bill introduced to the Scottish Parliament which amends existing legislation to give it the same rights as other universities.
The University of St. Andrews (Degrees in Medicine and Dentistry) Bill is being brought forward so that the Fife university can award, jointly with the University of Dundee, Primary Medical Qualifications to Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) MBChB students in advance of the first student cohort graduating in 2022.
A legislative prohibition, which means the institution can’t award degrees in medicine and dentistry, was put in place by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1966 to allow the separation of Queen's College in Dundee from the University of St. Andrews in order to form the University of Dundee. As it serves no legitimate purpose in today's context, its removal would create a fairer higher education sector in Scotland, enabling all institutions to maximise the options and opportunities they offer to students in Scotland.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman yesterday said:
“This Bill will remove an unfair, archaic and anti-competitive prohibition which prevents the University of St. Andrews from awarding medical and dentistry degrees.
“No other higher education institution in Scotland or the UK is prohibited by legislation from awarding degrees in any discipline. The Bill will therefore create a fairer higher education sector and enable all of our valued institutions to maximise the options they offer to students.
“It is important to note that even if the Bill is passed, the University would be unable to unilaterally decide to offer degrees in medicine or dentistry in its own right as there are a number of financial and regulatory controls and standards which would have to be met before this could be considered.
“Any significant changes to the current public funding arrangements for the controlled subjects of medicine and dentistry would only occur following a national competitive process.”
St. Andrew’s University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone yesterday said:
“The University of St Andrews fully supports this legislation that simply puts us back on a level playing field with every other institution in Scotland.
“The past few months have underlined just how important our health services are to everyone in Scotland and the University is keen to continue to play its part in educating and training health workers of the future.
“This legislation will help us make our contribution to deliver better health care, retain NHS staff and ensure a sustainable NHS that delivers for our communities, urban and rural. The University of St Andrews is well known as a centre of excellence in health and medicine and we look forward to building on that legacy in the years to come.”
British Medical Association (BMA) Students Committee member and University of St. Andrews student Catriona McVey yesterday said:
“The Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) course in 2018 has proved to be a unique and innovative course focusing on rural medicine and health improvement.
“The BMA believes repealing the legislative prohibition is the right course of action and a matter of basic fairness to ScotGEM students and would allow the graduation of ScotGEM’s inaugural cohort – the first new St Andrews doctors this century.”
ScotGEM was announced in 2016 as part of a package of initiatives to create a more sustainable medical workforce and encourage more people into a career in healthcare whatever their background. ScotGEM is Scotland’s first graduate entry programme for medicine and has a specific focus on remote and rural medicine.
ScotGEM was jointly awarded to both Dundee and St. Andrews Universities following an open competitive process. It was awarded on the understanding that it would be a jointly delivered and awarded Primary Medical Qualifications, as was detailed in the initial bid.
Latest News from
Next steps out of lockdown12/05/2021 11:15:00
Significant easing of restrictions across most of Scotland.
Children (Scotland) Act 2020 - alternatives to court and funding of alternative dispute resolution pilots: report11/05/2021 10:05:00
Report on the Scottish Ministers progress between 1 October 2020 and 1 April 2021 on establishing a pilot of the meetings on alternatives to court and on funding of alternative dispute resolution as per the duties under section 23 (funding for alternative dispute resolution) and section 24 (pilot scheme for mandatory alternative dispute resolution meetings) of the Children (Scotland) Act 2020.
HM Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland: Chief Inspectors plan - 2021 to 202407/05/2021 12:05:00
The Chief Inspector's three year plan outlines how HM Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland (HMFSI) will meet its statutory purpose to inquire into the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to assist in its continuous improvement.
STEM strategy for education and training: third annual report07/05/2021 10:05:00
Third annual report on progress of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) education and training strategy setting out a range of actions that have been taken, despite the restrictions due to COVID-19, in support of STEM education and training provision.
GDP Quarterly National Accounts for 2020 Quarter 406/05/2021 10:05:00
A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.
Supplementary Prison Population Statistics 2019-2028/04/2021 13:05:00
Supplementary experimental prison population statistics covering the period 2009-10 to 2019-20 have been published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.
Local government expenditure and income in 2019-2027/04/2021 13:05:00
The Chief Statistician has released figures on local government expenditure and income in 2019-20.
Check In Scotland launches27/04/2021 10:05:00
New service to enable faster contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.