R500,000 to get into medical school

A family who allegedly sold places to prospective medical school and health science students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal for between R250,000 and R500,000 has been bust.

The Sunday Tribune reported that the family, which owns the Little Gujarat restaurant in Durban, worked in partnership with a syndicate at the university to enroll students.

According to the newspaper, evidence suggests they also have ties to the Medical University of Southern Africa.

The family charged R250,000 for a position in the health sciences faculty – pharmacy, optometry, and audiology – and R500,000 for a place in medicine.

For an additional R30,000, students could get access to examination question and answer papers, stated the report.

Difficult for non-black students to get into medicine

This is not the first time UKZN has been rocked by a medical school admissions scandal.

In July 2016, news broke that Indian students looking to get into UKZN’s medical school were paying university officials to have themselves registered as Coloured.

The reason was due to the university’s racial quotas which are instituted at the medical school.

UKZN receives 8,300 applicants for 250 places at its medical school each year, with an admissions policy governing who gets in.

Places are reserved for students from Quintile 1, 2, and 3 schools (the “poorest” government schools), while the racial quotas for first-year MBChB students are:

  • Black African – 69%
  • Indian – 19%
  • Coloured – 9%
  • White – 2%
  • Other – 1%

The top-performing students who apply from each race group are admitted, which results in the entry-level marks for students of different races being skewed.

The Sunday Tribune reported that in 2015 and 2016, Indian students needed a matric average of 90.83% to get into the medical school.

If their marks were below this, they were not admitted.

Now read: Why White and Indian students need higher marks to study medicine in South Africa

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R500,000 to get into medical school