Pharmacists play an important role as one of the significant healthcare professionals. Every pharmacy student need to give their best effort in the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree course to graduate and become a pharmacist. If some students just graduated but there is no place for pre-registration training, it would be very devastating considering on how much effort they had put to graduate.
The entry of first year MPharm students have increased over the year from 1672 students in 1997 to 2978 students in 2006 followed by 3744 students in 2010.1 If we compare the number of first year students between 1997 and 2010, we can notice that there is about 124% increase in number. Most of the ...view middle of the document...
7% in 2010 and to 11.25% in 2011 in NHS Trusts in England.3 Besides, UK Border Agency had removed the pharmacy from ‘shortage occupation’ list in September 2011.3
There is also economic restraint that need to be concerned about. The increase in health spending could affect the budget for training and salary therefore there is possibility that no increase in pre-registration places can be offered.2
In addition to this, there is also no control on the number of MPharm students in England unlike the medicines or dentistry students.1
As for the solutions to control the number of students, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Health Education England (HEE) joint consultation had proposed three options with one of them is to limit the number of students that can be taken into the schools of pharmacy.4
I agree to this as the main supply for the pharmacists come from here thus it will very effective to control the number of students. The drawback for this is that it could affect the funding of the universities as there would be reduction of the income from tuition fees. However, taking the slow step in reducing the number of student intake would make the effect less significant.
In addition to this, restricting the entry requirements into MPharm course1 could also be an effective way to reduce the students’ number. I agree with this as it would also mean that the A-levels requirement for every school of pharmacy would be higher thus the high quality of their students would be maintained or improved.
The other options is to disallow the intake of international students.1 This is the option that I disagree because unlike the local MPharm students, the international students might have the tendencies to return to work in their home countries. Besides, a devastating impact could arise from this as the fee from the international students is one of the contributor for the UK economy. There is estimated about £10.2bn had been contributed to the UK economy in 2011-2012 as reported by Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).5
Another option is to match the places offered in MPharm course with pre-registration training places. I would agree to this if it come along with robust mechanisms. The places for the university students should always be more than pre-registration places with a reasonable margin considering the attrition during MPharm and the possibility that some graduates...