Barts and the London MBBS in Malta? Watch

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QMUL-James
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Barts and the London School of Medicine (Queen Mary University of London) has been invited to establish a medical school in cooperation with the Government of Malta.

The MBBS degree in Malta would be exactly the same as the one currently offered in London. The basic difference for UK/EU students would be fees; because off-shore provision does not receive public funding, the academic fees for all students regardless where they are from would be at the overseas rate estimated to be circa €35,000 per year.

Given this scenario, would you apply for Barts and the London’s MBBS programme in Malta if you could not get a place in a Medical School based in the UK? What are your views on Malta as a location for your MBBS study? What about the cost? What would be the main deal makers/breakers for you?

Thanks in advance!
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GrahamRodney
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(Original post by QMUL-James)
Barts and the London School of Medicine (Queen Mary University of London) has been invited to establish a medical school in cooperation with the Government of Malta.

The MBBS degree in Malta would be exactly the same as the one currently offered in London. The basic difference for UK/EU students would be fees; because off-shore provision does not receive public funding, the academic fees for all students regardless where they are from would be at the overseas rate estimated to be circa €35,000 per year.

Given this scenario, would you apply for Barts and the London’s MBBS programme in Malta if you could not get a place in a Medical School based in the UK? What are your views on Malta as a location for your MBBS study? What about the cost? What would be the main deal makers/breakers for you?

Thanks in advance!
I suppose my questions would be - is this course to be recognised by the General Medical Council? Can the University of Malta afford such a licence? I see the University of Nicosia's collaboration with St George's failed on this count because of financial reasons. Would I be permitted to apply for F1 jobs in the UK and obtain registration here? Or would I be treated as an EU graduate from outside the UK?
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Becca-Sarah
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This is a very interesting development. Would there be any transfer capacity for your London students to do their clinical years in Malta or vice versa? Would the entry requirements be the same as for your UK based programme?

My concerns would be a lack of patients given that there's already a medical school on Malta, and that the cohort of students would be rather lacking in diversity given that the target population is presumably those who fail to gain access to UK schools but with money to burn. Is there any intended scholarship programme to widen access?
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Sarky
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Yup i'm also interested in the widening access aspect. Surely this is just for kids with rich parents who didn't get into medicine via more traditional means? Will they then have to jump through more hoops in order to come back and do their foundation years and beyond?Is there an established need for a medical school out there when they already have one? Genuinely interested.
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Heinz59
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(Original post by QMUL-James)
Barts and the London School of Medicine (Queen Mary University of London) has been invited to establish a medical school in cooperation with the Government of Malta.

The MBBS degree in Malta would be exactly the same as the one currently offered in London. The basic difference for UK/EU students would be fees; because off-shore provision does not receive public funding, the academic fees for all students regardless where they are from would be at the overseas rate estimated to be circa €35,000 per year.

Given this scenario, would you apply for Barts and the London’s MBBS programme in Malta if you could not get a place in a Medical School based in the UK? What are your views on Malta as a location for your MBBS study? What about the cost? What would be the main deal makers/breakers for you?

Thanks in advance!
I think you will find that the planned facility is NOT on Malta but on the tiny sparsely populated island of Gozo. Where would you find any patients there? Also why would anyone want to go there when the GMC approved FP is already running on Malta and the undergrad Medicine course there is FREE and also approved?

The Maltese Students Union KSU, and the Malta Medical Students Association are already saying that there are insufficient patients for two medical schools and that they will insist that applicants must pass a Maltese language test. Do not expect an easy political acceptance.

Despite UoM being free, only a handful of UK undergrads start each year. If the fees were 35k euros then nobody would apply. Most of the intake from the UK is from grads who can not get a loan and have chosen UoM because it is free. Also I suggest you have a look at the fiasco of the tendering for the Maltese National bus service before you make any commitments. All of the UK companies have decided not to bid due to the lack of transparency from the Maltese government. There is no wonder you are talking 35k euros before you even begin.

Population of Gozo is circa 31,000.
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QMUL-James
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Thank you all for your constructive and though-provoking comments.

Just to pick up on a few points:

The new Barts and the London MBBS degree in Malta would be recognised by the UK General Medical Council and graduates would be eligible to apply for places on the UK Foundation Programme (general postgraduate medical training). Likewise, entry requirements would be the same as for the regular Barts and the London MBBS currently offered in London (Maltese language ability would not be required at any stage). Applications, however, would need to be submitted directly, i.e. not via UCAS.

While the pre-clinical provision of the MBBS degree in Malta would entirely take place in the island of Gozo, it is envisaged that clinical students could spend a significant amount of time in the main hospital facility in the main island of Malta plus an extended period, possibly a semester, at Barts and the London-linked facilities in London.

This is all in a very early stage of development and no scholarship programmes have yet been anticipated.

Looking forward to hearing your further thoughts about it.
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Heinz59
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(Original post by QMUL-James)
Thank you all for your constructive and though-provoking comments.

Just to pick up on a few points:

The new Barts and the London MBBS degree in Malta would be recognised by the UK General Medical Council and graduates would be eligible to apply for places on the UK Foundation Programme (general postgraduate medical training). Likewise, entry requirements would be the same as for the regular Barts and the London MBBS currently offered in London (Maltese language ability would not be required at any stage). Applications, however, would need to be submitted directly, i.e. not via UCAS.

While the pre-clinical provision of the MBBS degree in Malta would entirely take place in the island of Gozo, it is envisaged that clinical students could spend a significant amount of time in the main hospital facility in the main island of Malta plus an extended period, possibly a semester, at Barts and the London-linked facilities in London.

This is all in a very early stage of development and no scholarship programmes have yet been anticipated.

Looking forward to hearing your further thoughts about it.
Hi,

When do you envisage this course will commence ?

Also will you be rating Maltese A-level grades as being equal to UK A-level grades as the University of Malta has downgraded the UK A-level by one grade recently. I'm not sure what Mr Gove has to say on that though!

Regarding clinical access to patients, your current MBBS position is, "We have completely eliminated the traditional divide between pre-clinical studies and clinical years and operate an integrated curriculum, which means that you will start seeing patients from the very first term." Will the Maltese course be the same? Presumably this means seeing patients in Gozo, like I said.

Your course fees for the MBBS based in London for international students are £19,900 for years 1-2. Do you project that the fees for the same training on Malta will still be £29,200? If so, it would be less expensive to train in London with all the facilities of a modern capital city rather than a small hospital that is about the same size as one found in your average small UK market town.

So far you are not convincing me that this course has any merits except one. That is because of the desperate oversubscription levels in the UK has now reached a point that you are providing a package deal for exclusively wealthy parents to send their UK rejected medical students who do not have the self drive and determination to seek out and enrol at a foreign university under their own steam. The QMUL name is basically educational brand labelling to reassure applicants and put political feathers in Maltese politician's caps.

I am very unhappy with this development. The UK is desperately short of British trained doctors. 67% of NHS doctors are foreign trained. The application to places ratio must be greater than 10:1. We need more places in the UK, not in Malta. The QMUL widening access programme amounts to 4 places per year for residents from Newham with grade C A-levels. Don't you think you should be doing more to open up more UK access, and not just those living in Newham?
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em.d_4
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(Original post by QMUL-James)
Barts and the London School of Medicine (Queen Mary University of London) has been invited to establish a medical school in cooperation with the Government of Malta.

The MBBS degree in Malta would be exactly the same as the one currently offered in London. The basic difference for UK/EU students would be fees; because off-shore provision does not receive public funding, the academic fees for all students regardless where they are from would be at the overseas rate estimated to be circa €35,000 per year.

Given this scenario, would you apply for Barts and the London’s MBBS programme in Malta if you could not get a place in a Medical School based in the UK? What are your views on Malta as a location for your MBBS study? What about the cost? What would be the main deal makers/breakers for you?

Thanks in advance!
I think that due to cost this would only appeal the the Estonians who failed to get into medicine by standard routes either by an unlucky application or not achieving the grades. I also find it unlikely that with such a high cost it would be possibly to demand the same high entry requirements as the vast majority would only use this as a very last resort upon failing other forms of entry

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ukmed108
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I think its high time medical schools in the UK stop establishing themselves every few months. First its SGUL- Nicosia, then its Buckingham, then UCLan now QMUL-Malta? Funny how none of them charge UK fees, only International fees. Its time the UK put a cap on these semi-legal schools.
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Superboy
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I definitely agree with some of the other commenters. These degree program will only appeal to students with wealthy parents. At a time when the gap between rich and poor is widenening, poorer students are finding it more and more difficult to get into medical school, you should be trying to ensure that the best students are selected regardless of their ability to pay.
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hslakaal
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Having lived in Malaysia where there are buketloads of private universities for less academically inclined/rejected students (and admittedly, being one in the UK - I got accepted in the UK for med, but rejected back home) and having friends who have indeed gone to such places, these would be the questions I believe UK students should be asking:

1. Acceptance of qualification - would there truly be no difficulties in having the degree recognized in any part of the world?There is no telling to the extent the GMC/Dept. Health would go to bend the rules/loopholes in EU regulations to prevent such degrees, if more and more UK graduates train overseas. Furthermore, thinking more broadly, how about international recognition? For a new graduate, the options would be to do carry on their training in English speaking locations. If they aren't successful in the few wholly-English speaking countries of the EU, then will they be able to at least try in other countries? For example, Australia? UK may have to recognize EEA qualifications at the moment, but outside the EU, you'll see very little recognition. What will Barts do in this case? Issue a qualification entirely equal to the London one, diluting the London qualification?

2. Dislike from professionals in the field towards EEA grads. Now... look at the posts on the top. You can already feel the hatred/distaste, perhaps even a sense of belittling from the UK medical students. People are going to know that UK grads from EEA schools, unless from very well renowned schools, are not going to be treated as well as as a UK-educated one would be. Even if it isn't now, again, don't forget that this will be true by the time the first batch graduates, with increasing number of UK medical grads rising through the ranks.

3. Cost-to-benefit. Medicine isn't what it used to be in terms of pay and prestige. Of course, it is still a very stable profession, with little unemployment, but it certainly isn't the old "omg, he's a doctor" kinda thing. Would there be any point in paying so much?

4. What happens should, (and most likely will) the partnership ceases to exist? This is assuming Barts would be working in tandem with another universitiy, as I can't envision QMUL having the fiscal resources to open an entire campus on their own. Which one would now be the "home institution" of the graduate?
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Heinz59
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http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles...till-on.214553
http://www.maltastar.com/dart/201203...chool-in-malta
There have been at least three previous attempts to open a new medical school in Malta by overseas universities. QMUL is now the 4th such attempt.

The Maltese themselves also have an issue with EU student training. Is QMUL a part of the solution? http://www.maltastar.com/dart/201210...se-110-foreign
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ukmed108
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A new medical school in Malta would be no different from a Caribbean school.

except its in the EU for licensing purposes. Barts would be handing out degrees to both students in London and students in Malta who couldn't get into medical school in the first place. I honestly think this school would dilute Barts' brand if it were created.
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Hydromancer
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(Original post by Heinz59)
I am very unhappy with this development. The UK is desperately short of British trained doctors. 67% of NHS doctors are foreign trained. The application to places ratio must be greater than 10:1. We need more places in the UK, not in Malta. The QMUL widening access programme amounts to 4 places per year for residents from Newham with grade C A-levels. Don't you think you should be doing more to open up more UK access, and not just those living in Newham?
Don't entirely agree with this statement. The foundation programme has been oversubscribed year on year for some time now. Furthermore, numbers continuing into speciality training (where competition is fierce) have fallen from 83% in 2010 to 64% in 2013 and this is not even taking into account competition between core and higher speciality training in different specialities[1]. Already there is a glut of medical graduates supposedly stuck in the limbo between FP and core training and core and higher speciality training, to say nothing of the oversupply of CCT doctors who cannot find consultant jobs (the post-CCT fellow). BMA has recently called for better workforce planning as doctors face unemployment or underemployment in the future[2].

There was a time (early part of 2000s) when there was a dearth of doctors and these posts were filled by international medical graduates (IMGs). Now we have sufficient UK doctors to fill all training posts and more. New IMGs are mostly being used to fill dead-end career grade posts in specialities eschewed by UK graduates.

I also am surprised that Grade C offers are issued to widening access students at Barts. This is quite generous. Our widening access students are given a lower grade offer (AAC/ABB) but the medical school gives potential applicants incredibly comprehensive support for work experience/volunteering/interviews but there is little leniency in A-levels, although quite a bit of flexibility in GCSEs. This is especially interesting as A-levels (and prior academic performance) is a major predictor of future success in medicine (cba to find source, google if interested).

1. http://www.foundationprogramme.nhs.u...s/home/keydocs
2.http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advic...ml?id=20016903
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Sarky
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(Original post by Hydromancer)
Don't entirely agree with this statement. The foundation programme has been oversubscribed year on year for some time now. Furthermore, numbers continuing into speciality training (where competition is fierce) have fallen from 83% in 2010 to 64% in 2013 and this is not even taking into account competition between core and higher speciality training in different specialities[1]. Already there is a glut of medical graduates supposedly stuck in the limbo between FP and core training and core and higher speciality training, to say nothing of the oversupply of CCT doctors who cannot find consultant jobs (the post-CCT fellow). BMA has recently called for better workforce planning as doctors face unemployment or underemployment in the future[2].

There was a time (early part of 2000s) when there was a dearth of doctors and these posts were filled by international medical graduates (IMGs). Now we have sufficient UK doctors to fill all training posts and more. New IMGs are mostly being used to fill dead-end career grade posts in specialities eschewed by UK graduates.

I also am surprised that Grade C offers are issued to widening access students at Barts. This is quite generous. Our widening access students are given a lower grade offer (AAC/ABB) but the medical school gives potential applicants incredibly comprehensive support for work experience/volunteering/interviews but there is little leniency in A-levels, although quite a bit of flexibility in GCSEs. This is especially interesting as A-levels (and prior academic performance) is a major predictor of future success in medicine (cba to find source, google if interested).

1. http://www.foundationprogramme.nhs.u...s/home/keydocs
2.http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advic...ml?id=20016903

Just on your last point, my offer for southampton's widening access course was CCC. Of those of us who came in with A levels (as opposed to an access course or AS levels) we all passed without issues. A few of us got distinctions and most of us work in what would be considered to be popular areas. I vaguely remember gcses being considered as more indicative of success than a levels, but I don't have a link.
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Hydromancer
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(Original post by Sarky)
Just on your last point, my offer for southampton's widening access course was CCC. Of those of us who came in with A levels (as opposed to an access course or AS levels) we all passed without issues. A few of us got distinctions and most of us work in what would be considered to be popular areas. I vaguely remember gcses being considered as more indicative of success than a levels, but I don't have a link.
Honestly, I think the whole grades thing is a filter anyway but some medical schools make a big fuss about applicants being slightly off even if they have mitigating circumstances
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Sarky
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(Original post by Hydromancer)
Honestly, I think the whole grades thing is a filter anyway but some medical schools make a big fuss about applicants being slightly off even if they have mitigating circumstances
I was picking up on your point that A level performance is a good indicator of future success academically. And my post won't count for much because the plural of anecdote is not data, but the experience of my cohort (and at least the one before and after) begs to differ.
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Xyloid
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35,000 euros a year ? Are you having a laugh ? Who in there right mind would apply for that, i'd rather give up on becoming a doctor and open up a chippy.
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GrahamRodney
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(Original post by QMUL-James)
Thank you all for your constructive and though-provoking comments.

Just to pick up on a few points:

The new Barts and the London MBBS degree in Malta would be recognised by the UK General Medical Council and graduates would be eligible to apply for places on the UK Foundation Programme (general postgraduate medical training). Likewise, entry requirements would be the same as for the regular Barts and the London MBBS currently offered in London (Maltese language ability would not be required at any stage). Applications, however, would need to be submitted directly, i.e. not via UCAS.

While the pre-clinical provision of the MBBS degree in Malta would entirely take place in the island of Gozo, it is envisaged that clinical students could spend a significant amount of time in the main hospital facility in the main island of Malta plus an extended period, possibly a semester, at Barts and the London-linked facilities in London.

This is all in a very early stage of development and no scholarship programmes have yet been anticipated.

Looking forward to hearing your further thoughts about it.
I suppose a further question is whether this is an altruistic proposal or is it merely yet another ill-considered venture from a cash-strapped university to raise money towards its bottom line. If I recall correctly, Queen Mary/Barts failed in a previous attempt to get a GMC-validated medical school in Bangalore.
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sly303
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Just seen on the news that Barts have now opened the med school in Malta, looks interesting !!
no info about open days?? also looks like you don't apply to UCAS how does that work?

:-)
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