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Unam School of Medicine: Only 70 places for 1 800 applications

Henriette Lamprecht
Top performers from each region are given priority from the up to 1 800 applications received annually for just 70 available places to enrol as a student at the University of Namibia's (Unam) School of Medicine.

According to application forms, 41 (58.6%) of this year's 70 successful applicants are Oshiwambo-speaking, information that was self-declared by each applicant and not verified by the university.

The medical school received 1 428 applications for the bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery (MBChB) programmes for the current academic year.

Meeting the minimum requirements of 35 points in five subjects and grades on the Unam evaluation scale does not necessarily mean admission to the course.

According to the university’s spokesperson Simon Namesho, only candidates whose first choices are a degree in medicine or a degree in surgery are considered due to the stiff competition for admission.

He said the annual intake of 70 students in the MBChB programme is limited by the amount of places available in hospitals for the students.

This number is determined by the Health Professions Council of Namibia to ensure quality training, he added.

"The 70 places are shared between Namibian holders of the National Senior Secondary Certificate Advanced Level (NSSCAS), international students, holders of a bachelor degree in science (BSc) and marginalised students," Namesho explained.

Regional quotas

According to him, a quota is allocated to each of the 14 regions based on the regional population and on the latest census data. A regional quota is calculated as follows: (regional population/country's population x approved places for grade 12s (excluding international, BSc or marginalised students).

"Mathematically, the regions with the high populations get higher quota allocations."

In each region, the top eligible achievers are academically listed and selected. Should a regional quota not be filled with eligible applicants, the unfilled places are returned to the pool and filled by the next best candidate.

Based on regional population, 59% of this year's 70 admitted students are from Kavango East, Khomas, Omusati and Oshikoto. Lower representation ranging from 6% to 1% comes from Ohangwena, Oshana, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Kavango West, Zambezi, Kunene, Hardap, //Karas and Omaheke.

Included in this year's intake are six international students and three holders of a BSc degree. So far, the medical school - which opened in 2010 - has produced 400 medical doctors and four specialist anaesthetists.

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Namibian Sun 2023-03-30

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