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17 Jul 2017

The Australian Medical Students’ Association’s call for public universities to be prohibited from offering full fee places to domestic students has been strengthened with the unanimous passing of policy at its recent Council in Sydney.

AMSA is the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students and holds concerns that domestic full fee places lead to inequitable access to medical education and drive graduates towards higher paid specialties.  

AMSA President, Rob Thomas, says, “There are significant repercussions of domestic full fee places with costs for students exceeding $300,000 compared to the $10,596 per year that can be deferred to HECS-HELP under a Commonwealth Supported Place.

“By allowing domestic full fee places, universities are reinforcing the barriers students from lower socio-economic backgrounds already face to participating in higher education.

“Further, students burdened with these significant fees are likely to be more attracted to higher-paid specialties and driven away from areas of workforce shortage such as general practice or less wealthier communities where they are needed.”

This policy update comes as concerns grow for Macquarie University’s plans to establish a private medical school within a public university.

“Such a model unfairly capitalises on students’ dreams to study medicine and skews the student population to those from a higher socio-economic background,” says Mr Thomas.

“AMSA fears that should Macquarie Medical School go ahead, it will set a precedent for other universities resulting in an impractical increase in medical student numbers that will not benefit the Australian health system, but only the universities’ pockets.

“In the current climate where there is an ongoing shortage of training positions, we are concerned that we will have a situation where students pay over $200,000 for a medical degree but are not guaranteed an internship upon graduation.”  

 

Media Contact: Isabella Gosper

Email: pro@amsa.org.au

Phone: 0416 816 830

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Published: 17 Jul 2017