Why Studying Medicine Abroad is the Smart Choice
UK students are so accustomed to competing for medical or dental places that it seems strange that leading universities are after their attention, but that is exactly what’s happening. With low tuition fees, courses taught in English and excellent international reputations, the EU option turns out to be an outstanding opportunity.
Low birth rates in many countries within Europe is a direct result for an acute shortage of young people. As a consequence, a growing number of EU higher education institutions, many of them very highly ranked, are offering medical, dental and veterinary programmes taught entirely in English.
It’s not just about the numbers, though. Offering English taught programmes is an effective marketing tool for the universities, and native English speakers are alluring applicants from a university’s perspective.
Of course, many of the students will not be native English speakers, but the presence of native English speakers in a course improves the overall quality of spoken English in the class very quickly. In addition, students from non-English speaking countries improve the international quotient, which in turn helps university assessments for global international rankings.
Many of these excellent programmes have very low tuition fees (though this can vary from country to country) thanks to the rules set by the EU. If a university is offering a course to local students for a fixed low charge, as in Eastern Europe, then UK students are also entitled to those terms and conditions.
Universities within Europe are reporting a significant increase in the number of applications from British students this year. Numbers are expected to continue growing steeply in the coming years, partly because of the sharp increase in tuition fees in England.
The study-abroad phenomenon started with students seeking alternative routes to careers in medicine, however, enrollments in disciplines such as dentistry and veterinary are increasing significantly.
Once students enrolled in these programmes begin to report on the quality of the courses, in terms of the teaching, the resources attached to most EU universities and the lifestyles that students enjoy, it looks as if UK universities are going to find it increasingly harder to attract the brightest students to their programmes.
It is accepted that every student who meets the minimum grade requirements has a right to attend the course of their choice. Entry requirements are therefore generally significantly lower than in UK universities. Entry often includes a mix of an interview, an entry exam and minimum grades which vary from university to university.
Unfortunately for British students who are familiar with applying to a centralized office for all their higher education choices, the EU has no centralized admissions system.
This problem has been overcome somewhat by a company called Study Medicine Europe who caters to the growing interest from students who wish to enroll into these programmes. They offer support and handle the entire application process for students who are interested in applying into, primarily Bulgarian or Romanian universities. By applying through them, students have access to independent advice and expertise that will guide them during their entire academic experience.
Students who used Study Medicine Europe for 2014 entry found the support and advice invaluable and reassuring.