Comparison between the Academic Performance of the National and Regional Intake Medical Students at the University of Kordofan, Western Sudan.
Background: Admission of students to medical schools in Sudan depends mainly upon the student academic achievement in the Sudan School Certificate Examination (SSCE). The Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Kordofan (FMHS-UK) adopts a six-year curriculum. It accepts students with two different academic standards; the national intake students from the free competition pool and regional intake students solely from the states of Kordofan with (lower grades) in the same class.
Objectives: The study objective was to determine the academic performance and achievement of the regional intake medical students at the FMHS-UK and compare it to the performance of the national intake students.
Methodology: This prospective study was conducted at the FMHS-UK. It included close follow up of all national intake and regional intake medical students admitted to the faculty in the period between 1991 and 2001. Their academic performances and achievements from admission to graduation were analysed and studied. The placement of the graduates from the regional intake was followed in the local health delivery system.
Results: The study included 854 national intake and 220 regional intake students from ten student batches. 769 (90.04%) national intake students had completed the course and graduated compared to 199 (90.45%) regional intake students; during the study period. The study showed that 62.3% of the regional students had graduated in six years compared to 65.0% of the national students. 29.7% of the regional students graduated within 7- 8 years, compared to 28.8% of the national students. 5.0% of the regional students graduated within 9-10 years, compared to 4.8% of the national students and 2.0% of the regional students graduated within 11-12 years compared to 1.3% of the national students. The dropout rate was 5.9% among the regional students compared to 8.9% among the national students.
Conclusions: The academic performance of the national intake medical students was better than the regional intake students, but the difference was not statistically significant, (P value > 0.5). This policy of admitting regional students with lower grades to serve their local community is reasonable as 92% of them had completed the medical school in a reasonable time (6-8 years) compared to 93.8% of the national intake students. However, for various reasons only 60% of the graduates stayed within the regional health delivery system as initially proposed.
Key words: Admission, score, MBBS, Kordofan University.