The role of socially accountable universities in improving the selection of medical students from rural and underserved areas

  • K Moodley
  • T Fish
  • S Naidoo


As rural areas in South Africa have a lack of human resources for health, selecting rural-origin learners for health sciences education can serve to improve the number of health sciences graduates choosing to work in these areas. Schools within rural areas are however characterised by poor infrastructure, limited access to water and electricity and fewer skilled teachers, resulting in poor performance of learners. The poor performance in mathematics and science is a concern as these serve as gateway subjects to the health sciences. The Stellenbosch University Area Health Education Centres (SU-AHEC) focus on interventions in rural and underserved schools with the aim of enhancing learner performance in mathematics and science to improve access to tertiary health professions education. This project is funded by the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief in South Africa.

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