Shaking the foundations
At the beginning of 2015 the United Kingdom’s first private medical school will open at the University of Buckingham, and this potentially represents a tectonic shift in medical education.
The 66 students set to embark on this course will have to independently fund the £35 000 (€43 700; $54 800) a year tuition fees, and they will not receive any subsidy from the government for their studies. Similar courses at the University of Central Lancashire and Aston University are set to follow in 2015 and 2017. An immediate concern from some quarters is that these unprecedented fees will only attract students with the means to pay, and in time this could change the make up of the medical profession in the UK. Private medical schools will also contribute to increasing the number of students competing for places on the already oversubscribed foundation programme. The current stance of the UK Foundation Programme Office is