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27 March 2017, 12:57
New courses are being set up to boost the number of students from poorer backgrounds entering the medical profession.
Glasgow and Aberdeen university medical schools will split £330,000 after winning bids to run the pre-entry courses to take on 40 students in the new academic year.
The courses provide the experience and qualifications needed to study medicine at university and are part of a Scottish Government drive to increase access to higher education for the less well off and to ensure a sustainable future NHS workforce.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: ''Gaining a place to study medicine at university is a competitive process, and rightly so. However, we must make sure we have a level playing field, and that everyone with the ability and desire to study medicine gets a fair chance.
''Often, applicants from more deprived backgrounds have the academic ability, but lack the opportunity to get the experience and knowledge universities are looking for.
''This new course will give 40 young people the opportunity to develop their skills to better equip them for an application for medical school, and to pursue medicine as a career.
''I welcome the quality of all bids submitted, and greatly appreciate the willingness of our medical schools to work collaboratively with us in meeting the needs of NHS Scotland.''
Currently around 70% of Scotland's medical students come from the least deprived communities and the Scottish Government said an evaluation would be carried out to examine how effective the new courses are at increasing the number of medical students from deprived backgrounds.