Scottish Government legislates on St Andrews University dental degrees

30 September, 2020 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

St Andrews University will be able to award medical and dentistry degrees through a new Bill introduced to the Scottish Parliament which amends existing legislation to give it the same rights as other universities.

The University of St Andrews (Degrees in Medicine and Dentistry) Bill is being brought forward so that the Fife university can award, jointly with the University of Dundee, Primary Medical Qualifications to Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) MBChB students in advance of the first student cohort graduating in 2022.

A legislative prohibition, which means the institution cannot award degrees in medicine and dentistry, was put in place by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1966 to allow the separation of Queen’s College in Dundee from the University of St. Andrews in order to form the University of Dundee.

The Scottish Government said that as it serves no legitimate purpose in today’s context, its removal would create a “fairer higher education sector in Scotland, enabling all institutions to maximise the options and opportunities they offer to students in Scotland”.

Professor Sally Mapstone, St. Andrew’s University principal and vice-chancellor, said: “This legislation puts us back on a level playing field with every other institution in Scotland. The past few months have underlined just how important our health services are to everyone in Scotland and the University is keen to continue to play its part in educating and training health workers of the future.”

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