Update 14th August 2015. Nicola Woolcock in The Times reports: Women take record lead in university admissions – This will only make things worse and we need even more doctors is 80% are to be women
The gap between women and men at university has grown to its largest in modern times as the number of female students increases.
Women overtook men in higher education only two decades ago, yet they have pulled 14 percentage points ahead. University admission figures showed yesterday that only 43 per cent of new undergraduates this year would be male. If the trend were to continue at the same rate as in recent years, women at university would outnumber men by two to one within 20 years.
Yesterday, a record number of candidates — 409,000 — were awarded university places on receiving their A-level results, and there were 60,000 more women than men.
The odds of getting into medical school, one of the narrowest of entry gates into higher education, are 11.2 When careers officers have recommended someone applies and is able enough, and when the system is so short of British doctors, why does this situation persist? The projected demographics for the future indicate we will need far more doctors than we have planned. Perhaps elderly citizens will have to move abroad to get affordable quality care?
Deborah Haynes reports in the Times 19th May 2014: Students told to steer clear of medicine amid excess of applicants (with apologies I am printing in full)
Bright students, particularly girls, are being encouraged to become engineers rather than doctors because of a “gross excess” of applicants for medical degrees.
Medical schools across the country received more than 11 applications for every place last year compared with fewer than nine applications in 2008, new figures have revealed.
David Willetts, the universities minister, said the level of competition to pursue a career in medicine was “one of the most dysfunctional features” of the education system.
The popularity of the medical profession is thought to be linked to parental pressure on children to secure a well-paid job upon completion of university, particularly given the expense of a degree course following a hike in tuition fees.
“There are every summer several thousand very unhappy 18-year-olds, predominately but not exclusively female, who think they will become medics who, sadly, do not get a place despite being very smart and well-qualified,” Mr Willetts said.
“And this is one of the most dysfunctional features of the English school leaving A-level system.”
He added: “The truth is that the number of young people -and it does tend to me more girls than boys – with an aspiration to do medicine way exceeds any number of places that the NHS is likely to have.”
New figures released by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) showed around 4,800 students with straight As at A-level failed to get in to British universities last year.
Of those, the largest number of “unplaced” students – 1,780 – were those aiming for medicine. Of that group, 930 were female students.
UCAS said the vast majority of unplaced students were successful when they reapplied a year later.
Mr Willetts said many students hoping to take medicine at degree-level choose biology, chemistry and maths at A-level, but drop physics.
If they miss out on medicine then they are unable to switch to a course like engineering, bioengineering and climate change, which demand physics as a core requirement.
“This is really not a good way of running a school and university application process,” the minister said, urging universities to adopt a more flexible approach.
They could perhaps allow students to take a catch up physics course for example.
The minister said that schools needed to inform students about the risks of setting their sights on medicine given the chance that they may fail to achieve their dream because of the massive demand for places.
“We have so many students who are aiming for medicine and it’s way ahead of any likely number of medical places we may have,” he told a conference of head teachers last week.
“Part of my challenge to you as school heads is that your students do need to know that,” he said.
The UCAS figures revealed that in 2013 there were 84,395 applications for a place on a medical degree course and just 7,515 acceptances. The applications-to-acceptance ratio was 11.2.
This compared with 71,330 applications made in 2008 and 8,013 acceptances, which created an applications-to-acceptance ratio of 8.9.
One student can make up to four applications.
Health is closely correlated to Wealth – If you are poor you get no choice (Wales), and live a shorter life, but if you are rich, or born abroad, you live longer and you do get choice! So much for equity…