1,467 can begin studies in medicine and dentistry
The exam took place at the Heysel in Brussels. © Belga
A total of 1,467 future doctors and dentists will be able to start their studies in the fall, after passing the exam required for admission.
The Flemish Community, which is responsible for all education in the Dutch language, organizes an annual exam to limit the number of students who start a course in medicine or dentistry.
The reasoning is that by filtering out those who do not reach the required high level at the earliest stage, students do not find themselves overwhelmed in the first year, which in many cases leads them to be forced to change subjects, losing practically a year of their education.
The French-speaking community, for its part, recently decided to introduce a similar examination. In previous years, all candidates who obtained the basic marks were admitted and many dropped out later.
Another reason for the limitation is the number of numbers assigned by the national social security fund, which allow doctors and dentists to claim treatment fees from the system. The government sets a limit on the number each year, and the exam is tailored to approach that number.
During the last session, 1,284 candidates passed in medicine out of a total of 4,144 and 183 in dentistry out of 998 candidates, announced the Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA).
The candidates were predominantly women: 70.51% for medicine and 72.04 for dentistry.
Dutch nationals represented 331 and 133 applicants respectively.
The exam, however, is only the first step in starting medical or dental training. The successful ones are sort of the survey for new students. They will now, in their respective disciplines, be ranked according to their results, the best ranked being the most likely to be admitted out of the 1,276 and 180 places available.
“I understand the disappointment of all the candidates who will soon no longer be able to start the training. Nevertheless, these entrance exams are necessary: they ensure that neither too many nor too few students start these programs, ”Weyts said.