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Letter to the Editor, The Sunday Times: re foreign medical students - 14/03/2019

The article ‘Britons lose out to rush of foreign medical students’ (Sunday 10th March, 2019) is not only inaccurate, it’s misleading and could potentially damage the reputation of many UK medical schools.

In the case of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, the graph that accompanied the story on-line claims that 81% of our medical students are “non-UK students”. This is simply incorrect and we cannot fathom how official Higher Education Statistics Agency data has been used to paint such an inaccurate picture.

Like most UK medical schools, we are capped at 7.5% for overseas students studying medicine. In Cardiff University’s case, this is set and monitored by the Welsh Government. Therefore the suggestion that UK and/or Welsh students are missing out on places is simply bizarre.

To be absolutely clear: whilst we welcome and celebrate the diversity that international students bring to our University the overwhelming majority of students who study medicine at Cardiff University are from the UK.  

Like most medical schools we are acutely aware of our social responsibility to educate and train doctors for the UK. Many medical schools have developed widening access schemes to ensure that people across the social spectrum have an opportunity to study medicine.

May we suggest that instead of penning inaccurate and unhelpful stories, The Sunday Times concentrates its efforts on encouraging talented students, from as many diverse communities as possible, to apply to study medicine.

I would be very happy to welcome any of your journalists to Cardiff to meet our students and consider what more can be done.  

Yours sincerely,

Professor David J Wilson  
Director of Admissions and Recruitment            
Cardiff University School of Medicine

Professor Stephen Riley
Dean of Medical Education
Cardiff University School of Medicine