Covid Severely Disrupts Undergraduate Training

Covid Severely Disrupts Undergraduate Training

Youngsters with aspirations to become dentists have been dealt another blow as a consequence of the Covid pandemic.

After dental students at Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow Dental Schools were told they would have to repeat a year, Scotland’s dental schools have announced they will not admit new students in September 2021.

Graduations of final year students were postponed at Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow and all other undergraduates were told they would have to repeat a year, reported BBC News.

Universities Scotland said this would mean no new students this year.

A spokesman told BBC News "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."

To alleviate financial difficulties faced by those students needing to repeat a year, the Scottish Government offered a bursary of up to £6,750 to those affected.

The Times reported that students who are being  forced to repeat their final year is “An act of negligence that will harm public health.”

Students from Dundee University wrote a letter to Scottish Ministers, telling them the decision to make them repeat a year had created “Insurmountable financial and mental stress on those ready to graduate.”

The letter was written by class representatives and told Ministers said that uncertainty over course funding risked students dropping out, rather than waiting another year to graduate.

So far it’s understood that no dental schools in England or Wales have any plans to defer graduations.

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