Who gets in and who doesn't : Selecting medical students : An Australian Case Study

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    As foreshadowed last December, this issue is devoted to a modified and updated doctoral study on new ways of selecting students for medical school. The research is based on changing methods of selecting students for the medical school at The University of Western Australia [UWA] but the issues involved and the new procedures that have been introduced in recent years are common in varying degrees to all medical schools in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The ethical and educational issues raised in this study are by no means confined to the selection of medical students. Increasingly, they apply to a wide variety of courses in which student demand for entry far exceeds the number of places available. Traditionally success in formal academic style examinations was regarded as the only criterion that was fair and objective but that reasoning has been challenged in recent times on the grounds that it unfairly advantaged special interest groups and excluded many students who would have made excellent medical practitioners. Perhaps the most significant finding that prompted changes in selection procedures was that many students who did not get into the 98th or 99th percentile in final secondary school examinations were perfectly capable of completing a medical course. This is a study relevant not only to the medical profession but to all those university administrators and government bureaucrats responsible for public selection policies across a wide field of occupations in which demand far exceeds supply.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)Full Issue
    JournalEducation Research and Perspectives
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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