The number of applicants applying to study medicine appears to have fallen, according to new figures.
Universities admissions service UCAS has released data showing the number of UK applicants to courses with an October deadline — medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences, as well as entry to Oxford and Cambridge universities — is down by 5 per cent.
However, the figures are not yet available by subject.
BMA medical students committee joint deputy chair Tom Rock said: ‘Students are being asked to take on ever-larger amounts of debt.
‘A first-year medical student in England can now expect to accumulate debts of [more than] £70,000 by the end of their studies.
‘In addition, the foundation programme for junior doctors has been oversubscribed for several years.
‘Potential applicants are therefore being asked to take on ever-greater debt, with greater uncertainty that they will have the opportunity to work in the NHS.
‘Any economics student will tell you that when you increase cost you reduce demand — I fear we are seeing that effect in the application process to medical schools.’
Overall, 56,360 students applied for 2015 entry, 1,840 fewer applicants than the previous year — a fall of 3 per cent.
Among UK applicants there was a 5 per cent drop — from 40,740 down to 38,270. However, there was a rise in applicants from the EU and overseas.
UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said: ‘These figures show a small but real decline in demand for these specialised courses, which are typically chosen by around one in 12 UK applicants.’
She added that there would be a ‘fuller picture’ following the main January deadline when subject-specific information would be available.
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