Private dental school launched with Buckingham
The UK's first private dental school has been launched in conjunction with an independent university.
Leicester Dental Teaching Academy and the University of Buckingham have joined forces to launch the school, which will be located in Leicester and take 100 students a year on to a new five-year dental surgery degree course.
The first cohort will start next September, with total fees for the course set at £183,000.
The programme has been specifically designed to appeal to an international market, and aims to give students an appreciation of the international business environment and cultures in other parts of the world such as India, Nigeria and China. It will also cover the impact of oral disease on societies throughout the world.
Stuart Morganstein, dean of the new school, said: "Our dental school will have a completely new and innovative course which will prepare students for a lifetime career. They will be involved with patient care throughout the course and will have cared for a large number of patients by the time they finish their training."
If the school is successful, the intention is to establish a charitable trust, engage in research, and award bursaries to promising students with limited means of support. When up and running, it will also be Leicester's largest drop-in centre for dental services.
David Willetts, minister for universities and science, said the venture would "foster Britain's reputation in the world for skills and knowledge".
"It will boost the nation's export market and it will have spin-off economic benefits to suppliers, contractors and the local economy," he added.
Karol Sikora, dean of medicine at the University of Buckingham, said: "This very exiting programme complements our portfolio of healthcare education perfectly.
"It adds to our existing postgraduate degree in internal medicine and our MBChB programme which will begin in 2014.
"Dentistry is a very popular course and innovative teaching methods will be used to produce a new breed of dentist with an international vision."