Medical Students

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th December 1968.

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Photo of Dr David Kerr Dr David Kerr , Wandsworth Central 12:00 am, 5th December 1968

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received concerning the level of further education awards payable to medical students; and what reply he has given.

Photo of Mrs Shirley Williams Mrs Shirley Williams , Hitchin

I have received representations from some hon. Members and from about 25 medical students. I have explained that any further review of student grants must depend on the economic situation.

Photo of Dr David Kerr Dr David Kerr , Wandsworth Central

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the financial situation of medical students in relation to that of other students is in grave need of review, and will she accept from me, as one who has been through the mill, that one of the factors involved in ensuring a proper spread of recruitment of students to the medical school is essentially the availability of funds? Will she look into the problem sympathetically?

Photo of Mrs Shirley Williams Mrs Shirley Williams , Hitchin

My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that we have already done so. Medical students have a 48-week term in most cases, and most university students have a 30-week term. The extra attendance allowance to medical students was increased by the whole of the Brown Panel's recommendation whereas the increase in grant for most university students went up by half the Brown recommendation. Also, the evidence which we have shows that medical students do not spend the whole of their additional grant for books, equipment and special clothing on these things.