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News In Brief – September ’11

Nottingham student nurses lose placements

Nursing students at the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston were removed from their training places without warning. 52 of the approximately 100 student nurses affected were from courses at the University of Nottingham. The students were withdrawn in July with immediate effect, after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) raised “serious concerns” about the training at the hospital. The precise nature of these concerns was not fully explained.

Pilgrim Hospital has come under scrutiny in numerous areas during recent months. In June, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported that the hospital had failed to meet the required standards in 12 out of 16 categories.

In a statement, the NMC expressed their concerns for students who have been affected: “We are working with the universities to review the suitability of the learning environment at Pilgrim Hospital and to support all students affected at this time.”

Sylvia Knight, from the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), said that the removal of the nursing students would not affect the quality of care at the hospital. “Although students form a valuable part of the nursing teams, they work in addition to our core staff.” She added that the ULHT were “seeking further clarification from the NMC regarding the reason for their actions”.

Surge in open day interest ahead of fee rise

32,000 people pre-booked for the main University of Nottingham open weekend in June, leading to the early closure of places.  This figure amounts to a rise of ca. 30% on the previous year. However, increased numbers at open days are being observed at universities across the country, and it is thought that this may be because applicants are deciding more carefully which universities are worth their money. Next year’s applicants are the first to face the rise in tuition fees to £9000 per year. Speaking about the surge in interest, UK Recruitment and Events Manager, for the University of Nottingham, Nathalie Thomas said, “We are not complacent, and understand that prospective students and their parents may be concerned about the new financial arrangements for 2012 and beyond.”

Multi-million pound developments on Campus

Developments totalling £30million will take place at the University over the next year, two-thirds of which will be for an “up-market, eco-friendly” hotel on campus. The 202-bed hotel, which will be funded entirely by the University, is due for completion in late 2012. The hotel will also include a restaurant, gym, bar and conference rooms. These new facilities will be available for use by visitors, conference delegates, local businesses and the general public. The remaining £10 million worth of proposals will go towards new facilities for research, teaching, and other offices.

Nottingham climbs up the rankings (a bit)

Nottingham has improved in three of the major UK University league tables. The 2012 Good University Guide, published by The Times, ranks Nottingham in 16th place, up four places from last year. Nottingham jumped up one place in the Complete University Guide, ranking it 17th in the UK. The Guardian’s University Guide, which focuses on quality of teaching, ranked Nottingham 19th, an improvement by two places. However, the University saw a more dramatic rise in the QS World Rankings, climbing up 18 places to 73rd.

Fiona Crosby

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