Eye specialists of the future may train at Portsmouth university

From left, Paul Stanley, Jo Crisp, George Heasman, Mercedes Bevan, Luke Galea and Bethany Bevan from Highbury College

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A NEW course at the University of Portsmouth will train future optometrists to overcome the shortage of eye care providers across the south.

Provisional permission has been granted for the university to run a Master of Optometry course this autumn.

Students will be trained over four years to a clinically professional standard.

The course will begin in September and the first qualified optometrists will graduate in 2020.

After graduating, students will be eligible to become a register practitioner from the General Optical Council.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith, said: ‘It’s excellent news that we have been given provisional approval from the regulator to launch our new optometry programme of study at the university this autumn.

‘We have a strong reputation for training healthcare professionals, for which there is great demand.

‘This course will expand our already excellent provision in healthcare and meets a pressing need for qualified optometrist in our region.’