Britain's first private dental school will open next September. The school, which will take 100 students a year on a five-year course costing £180,000, is expected to be the forerunner of many more private institutions offering specialist degree courses.
Based in Leicester, it is the result of a joint venture by the University of Buckingham – the country's first private university – and the Leicester Dental Teaching Academy. Students, who under current rules will be eligible for loans up to a maximum of £9,000 a year, will receive an education that is more practically based. The 500 students will visit 400 patients a day.
The course is expected to appeal to the international market. David Willetts, the Universities minister, welcomed the initiative, saying that it would have "spin-off economic benefits to suppliers, contractors and the local economy".
The new dean, Professor Stuart Morganstein, said the school "will prepare students for a lifetime career".