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.

15. Recommendations

1. We will continue engagement with colleagues in Universities and other UK Nations to ensure continued good relations and recommend that the SFC takes this new policy in to account when considering allocations for funding to the universities.

2. The Scottish Government has concluded that it is expected that those of Scottish national origin will generally benefit from the policy proposal; English, Northern Irish and Welsh (rUK) nationals are likely to be disadvantaged. It has also identified that we need to continue to monitor the effect of the policy in terms of the protected characteristics of race and religion and belief.

In a number of instances data is limited and the effects are therefore unclear. Again we will continue to monitor data going forward.

3. However replacing 100 rUK with 100 Scots dom/EU students has caused concern with universities. Discussions on implementation and monitoring of the policy will continue in conjunction with universities.

4. Furthermore replacing 100 RUK places with Scots dom students is more cost effective than creating a further 100 new undergraduate places for Scotland domiciled students. It would cost more than three times the sum needed to enforce this policy than if we had to create 100 new undergraduate places for Scots domiciled students.

5. Over and above this, our rationale for this policy is that the positive gain
(in terms of workforce, estimated at 36 doctors a year once the policy is fully implemented) justifies any indirect disadvantage. As stated previously, we believe that on balance, the measure we propose - of replacing 100 RUK students with
100 Scots dom/EU students - is appropriate and necessary and could not be achieved by less discriminatory means.



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