Medical students at Scottish universities: EQIA

Equalities impact assessment (EIA) relating to plans to increase the number of Scots dom/EU medical students by 100 and decrease the number from the rest UK by the same, to retain an estimated 36 extra doctors per year within specialty training.

13. Advancing Equality Of Opportunity

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 the Scottish Ministers must, in exercising their functions, have due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not.


While the Scottish Government requires to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of doctors for NHS Scotland, it is recognised that there is a need to do everything possible to ensure that all students who choose to study medicine at Scottish universities are treated fairly.

We have already discussed that implementing the proposed policy will not affect and may benefit the position of EU students and that international students will not be affected by the proposal (in the sense that guidance on targets for this group will not change). We know that Scottish universities have a smaller proportion of home domiciled students than English universities. It will offer the chance to the provide the opportunity for some of the 100 or so Scotland domiciled applicants who study medicine in other parts of the UK each year to remain in Scotland to study.


As previously mentioned, it has not been possible to look at any data setting out the actual effects of the policy as it will not be in place until the start of academic year 2019-20. There are also a number of gaps in the data as identified above. It is therefore the intention to continue to monitor the effects of the policy over the next three years and to keep it under review as further data becomes available.

Monitoring will be carried out by Health Workforce Division in Scottish Government. Close contact will also be maintained with the universities, Scottish Funding Council and NHS Education for Scotland to gather their views on the continued success of the policy.



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