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Review of funding for medical, dental study

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister for Tertiary Education

17 February 2006
Media Statement

Promised review of funding for medical and dental study underway

Funding arrangements for medical and dentistry students will be reviewed to ensure this country continues to produce the highest quality graduates Minister for Tertiary Education Michael Cullen announced today.

“More than 1700 students are enrolled in medicine and dentistry. That's a significant investment in a vital area that deserves our full support.

"We promised to review funding arrangements as a priority during the election campaign and we are now delivering," said Dr Cullen.

"This country needs more skilled health care professionals. New Zealand is fortunate that the universities that provide tertiary education for future doctors and dentists – the University of Otago and the University of Auckland – provide the highest quality teaching and learning environment.

"It's vital for the health and well being of this country for that to continue," said Dr Cullen. "This government is strongly committed to investing in our human capital as part of our plans to transform the economy. That's why we introduced interest free student loans."

The review aims to ensure there is sufficient funding to maximise opportunities for training.

"In the end we want the institutions to be in a position to retain skilled staff and for students to have access to the highest quality learning," said Dr Cullen.

The review will build on initiatives announced in Budget 2005. The Trainee Intern grant available to domestic sixth year medical students was increased from $16,756 to $26,756 from this year. This initiative is benefiting approximately 285 students this year and received a four-year allocation of more than $8 million.

The review will be carried out by officials from the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry of Education who are expected to report back to the Minister later this year to ensure any changes can be in place for the next academic year.


ENDS

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