Russell Group response to ministerial letter on medical and dental places for 2022

20 October 2021

On Monday (18 October) the Times Higher Education, "Universities warn of medicine recruitment squeeze in England," reported a joint ministerial letter from the Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Education was sent to providers regarding the cap on student medical and dental places for 2022.

Responding to the letter a Russell Group spokesperson said:

“We are disappointed the Government has chosen not to increase the cap on medical and dentistry places in 2022 to accommodate deferrals from 2021 as ultimately it will limit the choice and opportunities for students applying this year.

 “Despite the best efforts of universities to accommodate additional students last year, some deferrals were necessary given the unexpected increase in students qualifying for places with the move to teacher-assessed grades.

“Rather than restricting the ability of students applying this year to train as doctors and dentists, the Government could support its long-term ambition to increase the number of doctors in the NHS by expanding and properly funding the number of training places available. The additional funding provided to support the ongoing costs of training those extra medical students taken on in the last two years, while welcome, falls short of what is required to cover all five years of high-quality teaching and learning. The spending review is an opportunity for Government to consider how it can better support the ongoing costs of training these students.”

Notes to editor

2021/22 intake targets:

  • In August 2021, Government allocated an additional 456 medical and dentistry places to universities in England for the 2021/22 intake
  • This was on top of the additional 630 places allocated to universities in May 2021 to accommodate medical and dentistry students who deferred from 2020/21.
  • In total, providers across England were allocated 9,296 medical and dentistry places for the 2021/22 intake.

2020/21 ‘initial’ intake for England (i.e. still to be confirmed):

  • 9,285 medical students and dental students.

2019/20 ‘confirmed’ intake for England:

  • 8,375 medical students and dental students.
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