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Austrian medical school dilemma

15th February 2007

The European Court has ruled that medical schools in Austria and Belgium must not discriminate against European Union applicants from beyond their borders.

The countries are now concerned that they will have too many applicants to their medical school from other European countries, and insufficient places for their own students.

The EU commissioners issued a letter in January, after concern by the European court on the introduction of quotas that restrict the number of medical students who are not resident in that particular state. The quota, imposed in June 2006, states that only 25% of the places in the three Austrian Medical Schools—Vienna, Innsbruck, and Graz—can be given to non-Austrian students.

German universities will raise fees in 2007 to about 1000 (£660; $1290) a year, whereas Austrian universities have no fees. Places at Germany's 30 medical schools have always been in high demand.

Austria has two months to respond to the court, then, if it continues to impose the quota system, the EU might fine Austria 150 000 a day.

 

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