Is the medical degree good value for money?
It’s been five years since tuition fees shot up to £9000 a year. Anne Gulland explores whether medical students in the UK are getting good value for money and what effect the rise in fees has had on student expectations
In the 2017 general election, 66% of 18 to 19 year olds and 62% of 20 to 24 year olds voted Labour.1 In their manifesto, Labour had pledged to abolish university tuition fees. In an attempt to appeal to the youth vote, at this year’s Conservative party conference Theresa May promised a freeze in tuition fees and to increase the income threshold at which graduates will have to start repaying their student debt—from earnings of £21 000 ($27 572; €23 373) to £25 000 a year.
Since 2012, when tuition fees rose considerably from around £3000 to £9000 a year, there has been growing disquiet among students about what their fees are paying for and whether they represent good value for money.
Medicine is one of the longest undergraduate degrees in the UK, and although the NHS bursary covers the cost of tuition fees for the final year, the average tuition fee debt for