The Higher Education Committee of the Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) recently approved a draft decree establishing, from next year, an entrance exam for medical and dental studies which it hopes will increase the number of French-speaking doctors in the region.
This competition, which will only allow a predetermined number of successful candidates to enter medical faculties, will replace the entrance exam in place since 2017, which allowed all candidates who passed it to enter.
This change follows the historic agreement reached earlier this year between the Federal Government and the FWB on the number of French-speaking doctors in the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (Inami).
In exchange for an increase in this quota to better consider the needs of doctors in the field, the FWB agreed to introduce an entrance exam for these studies, as already practiced by Flanders. As a result, the number of Inami quotas for new French-speaking doctors will increase from 505 to 744 by 2028.
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The future competition, which will be organised in a single session during the second fortnight of each August, was strongly inspired by the entrance exam in place until now, which evaluated candidates on eight subjects in both the humanities and the exact sciences.
The text also defines the calculation formula that will determine the number of students who will be eligible each year.
This will take into account the number of quotas provided for students at the end of their six years of study, increased by a "wastage rate" to take into account those who will drop out or who will experience a delay in their academic career.