Conclusion and next steps
24. There was, overall, clear support for the legislative prohibition to be fully removed. Whilst many of the concerns raised about the potentially adverse impacts on the medical education and training environment may be valid, removal of the prohibition is not determinative of the University's ability to award medical and dentistry degrees. Whether any institution is able to offer a degree in either of these disciplines is subject to separate financial and regulatory controls and decision-making processes. Other higher education institutions in Scotland with ambitions to deliver their own medical or dentistry degrees are accordingly unable to unilaterally decide to do so, despite not being subject to a legislative prohibition. The concerns that have been raised would nevertheless require to be taken into account by the Scottish Ministers and others in deciding any future commission for a new medical or dentistry degree provider.
25. The Scottish Government therefore recently announced in the 2020 Programme for Government that a Bill will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament which will seek to fully remove the legislative prohibition and therefore create a fairer higher education sector in Scotland, enabling all of Scotland's valued institutions to maximise the options and opportunities they offer to students in Scotland.