Keele School of Medicine set for expansion

Keele University has been successful in its bid to increase the number of students at its School of Medicine.

The government has today announced the biggest ever increase to medical training in the UK. A record number of undergraduates will begin medical training by 2020, with 1,500 new places funded - 630 of which will start in September this year. Five new medical schools will be established throughout the UK to help deliver the biggest ever increase to the medical workforce - with 90% of places based outside of London and almost a third in the North of England.

Keele University School of Medicine has been awarded an additional 35 places over the next two years, representing a 29% increase in the intake of home students to study medicine at Keele by September 2019.

This increase recognises the work that Keele has undertaken in widening participation, its record of education within Primary Care, and excellent performance metrics.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at Keele University comments:

“We’re delighted that Keele has been awarded 35 additional places to study medicine each year - a 30% overall growth in our undergraduate medicine places. These additional places, for which there is strong demand, will allow us to further strengthen our excellent provision in the region, ensuring that we train the high-quality medicine graduates that the NHS needs.”

Additionally, Keele will support the establishment of a medical school at Sunderland University - which has successfully bid to develop a medical school, adopting the Keele medical curriculum. Sunderland will admit 50 students in September 2019 and 100 from September 2020 onwards.

Professor Andrew Hassell, Head of Keele School of Medicine said:

“We are delighted at the success of both bids to HEFCE. The increase in Keele medical student numbers is great news for the University and for healthcare in our area. I appreciate the terrific effort that School staff have contributed to the bid and the further effort that will be required to ensure continued success of the medical programme. The success of the bid by our partners in Sunderland, an area of considerable medical need, is very gratifying and represents an exciting extension of the influence of Keele School of Medicine in the education of doctors nationally.”

The medical schools have been chosen as part of a rigorous, competitive bidding process to help place more medical students in areas which traditionally struggle to attract doctors, particularly rural and coastal areas. The new programme also aims to boost applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds as part of Government commitment to tackle social injustices.

As part of the ambition to build a fairer society, the Government has also ensured the places have been allocated to medical schools which will work closely with their local communities to help talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds become doctors, widening access to medicine and ensuring the profession reflects the population it serves.

The bidding process for allocating these new places has also allowed the expert panel to prioritise new student places to those areas with a relative shortage of doctors overall, or in certain specialties, and also to widen the social profile of new medical students.

Professor Pauline Walsh, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at Keele University comments:

"I am delighted to see that the School of Medicine has been successful in its bid for additional medical education places. This reflects the quality of the programme and commitment of all staff, and will have a positive impact on the local community and health service."

Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive, Health Education England, said:

“One thousand five hundred new medical students starting by 2020 demonstrates real commitment to ensuring that we have the number of doctors we need for the NHS in the future. This major expansion of 25% additional medical students has allowed both the creation of many new medical schools and an expansion of student numbers in existing medical schools.”