New drive to recruit more medical students from non-traditional backgrounds

22 May 2017 12:28:17.460

A conference to try to boost the number of young people applying for medicine from backgrounds under-represented in higher education and rural areas is being held by the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester.

The medical schools from both universities are hosting the ‘Journey to Medicine and Healthcare’ event at a school in Lincolnshire – a county with a serious shortage of doctors that has one of the lowest application rates for medicine in the UK. The Universities of Lincoln and De Montfort will also be taking part.

The conference, at North Kesteven School in Lincoln on Thursday 29 June, is for teachers and careers advisors from state schools all over the East Midlands and Lincolnshire. Organisers are aiming to spread the message that a career in medicine and healthcare is open to everyone. 

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Dean of the Nottingham Medical School, Professor Tony Avery, said: “We are highly committed to widening participation to medical careers and have considerably expanded the opportunities for students from non-traditional backgrounds to study at our medical school.”

Dr Paul Garrud, Chair of Selection for the Medical Schools Council and Hon. Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, said: "Our country and our region need more doctors to serve our communities. We wish to encourage young people who might not have considered medicine before. The local medical schools now have access courses for students from disadvantaged backgrounds so we would really recommend that teachers and careers advisors come and find about what's on offer in Leicester, Lincoln, and Nottingham."

The event will provide delegates with information and guidance about the admissions processes for medicine, nursing and allied health professions like midwifery, speech therapy and operating department practitioner. Teachers and careers advisors will be offered advice and useful resources; interactive workshops on admissions tests, interviews, access programmes and funding; with direct access to experts from the universities for questions.

Attendees will also hear a personal account from a former Nottingham medical student now Junior Doctor working in Lincoln County Hospital.

Neil Wilkinson-McKie, Head Teacher at North Kesteven School said: “It has been our privilege to be working closely with our two Medical School partners and the Medical Schools Council to create and stage this fantastic event. 

“For our students, their teachers and our parents it is an amazing opportunity to put together, host, provide face to face advice, guidance and support for students to enter the world of medicine. Not only does it encourage our outstanding students to aim high it also ensures that we have first-hand access and support from these universities who have been superb in their support of our students – I cannot thank them enough! 

“Being the chosen partner and the fact that this is the only school based conference of its type in England demonstrates the dynamism at work here at North Kesteven School and through our innovation we are able to support other students in other settings too.”

  • Registration for the conference closes on Thursday 15 June. Places will be allocated on a first come first-served basis. This event is open to attendees from state schools only. Places can be booked at:
  • To enquire about the event:
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    Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

    Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Sarah Greaves in the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 951 5775 email:

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