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Medical collaboration with Edinburgh announced

The Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh are to collaborate on medical teaching and research, providing 50 more doctors per year for the NHS in Scotland and offering more opportunities for Scottish students to train as doctors.

The announcement follows a review of medical education in Scotland, conducted by Sir Kenneth Calman and Michael Paulson-Ellis, which called for the provision of 100 additional medical training places in Scotland.

Half of these new places will allow 50 St Andrews students, who currently complete their clinical training in Manchester, to conclude their training in Scotland. The University of Edinburgh will provide places for 50 St Andrews students who have completed a BSc Honours in Medical Science to enter the third year of the Edinburgh medical course and subsequently graduate MB ChB from Edinburgh.

Medical undergraduates for the two universities will be sought, in particular, from sectors of the population in Scotland not traditionally associated with higher education. As part of their responsibility to the NHS in Scotland, the universities will work jointly on expanded access programmes and possible joint selection of students for appropriate placement either in St Andrews or Edinburgh for the early years of study. Residential bursaries will be created. A Foundation Year will also be provided by the two universities to promote widening access and increasing diversity.

The universities will be taking forward discussions with SHEFC and the Scottish Executive in order to agree funding and develop a timetable for the introduction of the collaboration.

The universities will work together to utilise, to the fullest extent, the opportunities and resources for medical education and training which exist in south-east Scotland.

Building on a number of successful collaborations between the two institutions including work in Chemistry and Physics, the universities will also explore other collaborations in medical research and medical education, building on the highly-rated research and education facilities on both sides.

The programme will be managed jointly by Professor John Savill, Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine in the University of Edinburgh and Professor Hugh MacDougall, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Head of the Bute Medical School at the University of St Andrews.

University of St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor Dr Brian Lang said, “The collaboration will enable more Scottish students to undertake their clinical practice in Scotland, maximising their chances of seeking employment within the NHS in Scotland. It will also offer more opportunities for talented Scottish students to train as doctors, regardless of their background”.

Meanwhile, University of Edinburgh Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Timothy O’Shea said, “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with the University of St Andrews in order to widen access to the study of medicine in Scotland. This agreement builds on the two institutions’ collaboration in other subject areas and is positive for both our universities, positive for Scottish students who want to study medicine in Scotland and will prove positive for NHS Scotland’s recruitment in the future. By offering bursaries and a foundation year leading to study for a full medical degree, the arrangement will help ensure a greater diversity of students studying medicine in Scotland.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

For more information, please contact Gayle Cook/Claire Grainger, Press Office, University of St Andrews – 01334 462529 or Linda Menzies, Media Officer, University of Edinburgh – 0131 650 1000/6382 or email Linda.menzies@ed.ac.uk.

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