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Value of a UK medical degree for international students (VISION): a cross-sectional study

Li, Chun Hei, Ganesananthan, Sashiananthan, Pinchemain, Trevor, Godoi, Amanda, Lim, Shan Ming, Baskaran, Ravanth, Mukhopadhyay, Srinjay, Foo, Eu Fang, Ooi, Setthasorn Zhi Yany, Woodman, Timothy, Yeo, Vanessa, VISION collaborators, Sweetland, Helen, VISION collaborators, Pillarisetti, Sai Ram, Gupta, Paarth Kishan, Punia, Renee, Cheung, Katie, Jhaveri, Diva, Gnanabalan, Aaron, Leech, Italia-Rosa, Lee, Faith, Wong, Elizabeth, Phoong, Kar Yen, Moyo, Memory, Thakar, Isha, Shah, Viraj, Gupta, Rohan, Rakhecha, Tushar, Gamage, Movin Peramuna, Dalavye, Nishaanth, Mathew, Allen, Sureshkumarnair, Parvathy, Srinivasan, Sripradha and Leveridge, Becky 2023. Value of a UK medical degree for international students (VISION): a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 13 (7) , e065062. 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065062

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Objectives: It is estimated that NHS staff consist of over 200 different nationalities, with a reported 30.7% of doctors holding a nationality other than British. Despite this, international medical students represent 7.5% of all medical students studying in the UK and pay on average, 4–6 times more in tuition fees when compared with the £9250 per annum (Great British Pounds (£) in 2021) paid by home students. This study’s aim and objective are to evaluate the perception of the financial cost and value of the UK medical degree for international students and their motivations for pursuing such a degree. Methods: This is a cross-sectional observational study enquiring about international premedical, medical and medical school graduates’ perception of the value of the UK medical degree and factors influencing their decision to study in the UK. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to 24 medical schools and 64 secondary schools both internationally and across the UK. Results: A total of 352 responses from 56 nationalities were recorded. 96% of international students identified clinical and academic opportunities as the most important factors to study medicine in the UK, closely followed by quality of life (88%). The least important factor was family reasons, with 39% of individuals identifying this factor. Only 4.82% of graduates in our study considered leaving the UK after training. Overall, 54% of students felt the UK degree was value for money. This belief was significantly higher in premedical students compared with existing students and graduates (71% vs 52% and 20%, p<0.001 for all comparisons). Conclusion: The quality of medical education and international prestige are attractive factors for international students to study medicine in the UK. However, further work is needed to ascertain reasons for the differing perceptions of the value by international students at different stages in their clinical training.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Start Date: 2023-07-10, Type: open-access
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 July 2023
Date of Acceptance: 11 June 2023
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 19:34

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