Scotland’s dental school intake put on hold
Scotland’s dental schools will not be accepting new students in September because of the decision taken last week to defer for a year the graduation of 2021’s final year students.
A spokesperson for Universities Scotland said: “The requirement of current dental students to repeat the 2020-21 academic year in order to complete the vital clinical training required to qualify as dentists has the additional sad knock-on effect of preventing Scotland’s dental schools from admitting a new cohort of dental students as anticipated in September 2021.
“Dentistry is an area which has been particularly badly hit by the Covid pandemic, due to the risk of spread of the virus via aerosol transmission. This has severely limited clinical training.
“All applicants who interviewed for September 2021 entry will still receive a final decision on their interview by 20th May 2021 but any offers made this year will be for a deferred start date of September 2022. Our sympathies go out to these incoming students who, like so many people, are having their life plans severely disrupted.”
At today’s Scottish Government coronavirus briefing, John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, said it was an “inevitable and pragmatic decision” to extend the training programme of existing dental students.
He said: “I am confident there will be the ability for new dental students to be able to secure places and to be able to take forward their dental training.” He added that he would be discussing the issues with the dental schools and the British Dental Association (BDA).
The Universities Scotland announcement follows the decision last week to defer dental school graduations until next year. Meanwhile, the BDA is seeking clarification on the position of students at the Institute of Dentistry in Aberdeen who were reportedly told they would not receive financial support for the deferred year.