Dental students who started their degree in 2013-14 face the prospect of staggering levels of debt, in the region of £60,000, a new study suggests. The research into study-related debt carried out by the British Dental Association (BDA) also found that students who sat their final-year exams in 2012-13 had an average debt of £24,734 at the end of their studies
Around half of all these said they had experienced financial difficulties during their degrees, which some linked to a shortfall in mainstream funding available to them in their final year.
In addition to £9,000 a-year tuition fees, students finishing their degree in 2018-19 could face a shortfall of at least £38,000 in maintenance funding over their five-year course. Chair of the BDA’s Student Committee, Dr Paul Blaylock, said:
Student debt is a growing concern in dentistry, which is likely to get worse with the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees. Those who struggle to make ends meet also have to put up with inadequate maintenance loans.Further details of the study can be found on the BDA website.
The BDA believes that maintenance loans could be increased to ease the financial pressures for dental students. It’s important that those who come from less affluent backgrounds are not deterred from taking up dentistry – all of the best, brightest and most caring candidates should be able to join the profession.