Waikato Medical School FAQs

What is the plan?

The University of Waikato, working with the Waikato District Health Board, has put a business case to the Government for the new Waikato Medical School, the third in New Zealand.

It will offer a medical degree programme that is internationally recognised and unique in this country.

Students who have an undergraduate degree in any discipline can apply for entry, and the School will take 60 students in its first year.

They will get four years of intensive, practical medical education, of the same quality and standing as the country’s existing six year medical degrees.

The Waikato Medical School will involve communities in the design of the programme, selection of students, and their training.

There will be a genuine partnership with iwi and Māori communities, and involvement of all key aspects of the programme.

Why do we need a third medical school?

There is a shortage of doctors in particular specialities and regions, so we need to recruit a different sort of student, and train a different sort of doctor. New Zealand is relying heavily on doctors trained in other countries, with approximately 1100 recruited every year, most of whom stay for only a short time. The number of GPs is dwindling, and the rate of vacancies in rural general practice is high.

Why Waikato?

The Waikato region is booming, putting pressure on services that are already struggling to provide health care to a large geographical area with a high proportion of communities with high health needs.

The greatest shortages of doctors are in provincial and rural areas. The Midland region has 13% fewer doctors than the rest of the country.

The University of Waikato has the expertise and commitment to help fill the gaps. Based in Hamilton, there will also be clinical education and training centres throughout the central North Island. The aims is to have half the graduates specialize as GPs, outside the main centres, and all graduates will train and work in local communities before going on to serve in them.

What will the programme look like?

The curriculum will meet the Australian Medical Council (AMC) standards for accreditation.  The programme will build on on proven models and international best practice, customised to address New Zealand communities and New Zealand health issues, including Māori health.

Who can apply?

Students will need an undergraduate degree in any discipline from any recognised university, with some minimum scores on specific tests. Grades will be one of the entry criteria, but personal aptitude, demonstrated links with provincial, rural and high-needs communities, and commitment to the ethos of the Medical School will be used to decide who is accepted.

Will Scholarships be available?

The University will work with communities to provide scholarships for outstanding students who want to train at the new Medical School.

Will the School cost the taxpayer any money?

It will operate under the current tertiary model, including Government funding for domestic student places.

When will the first students be admitted?

The Government is currently considering the proposal, and when a decision is made, we will be able to set a start date.

What kind of response has the proposal had?

Check out what people are saying about the School in the news:

For more details about the Waikato Medical School, go to the Business Case.