Universities UK and the Council of Deans of Health have issued a joint statement requesting a fundamental system reform of funding for students of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Profession related courses.
The statement, released on the Council of Deans website, highlights “shortages in key professions such as nursing, and failure to grow numbers in professions such as physiotherapy” despite high numbers of applicants for most courses.
It also suggests that financial hardship is a key issue for third year NHS-funded students who see their funding reduced, and highlights that funding for Nursing and Physiotherapy degrees is lower than any other subject in higher education.
“Final year Nursing students do not get enough money”
Kaitlin Clarke, a first year Nursing student, told Impact: “I agree with the idea that final year Nursing students do not get sufficient money”.
She continued: “I have been working with a third year student, and I have found that it is the longest year we have to do. We have three months in a management placement as well as our other placements and we sometimes have to pay travel costs and rent on top of that. This needs to be considered”.
The statement also adds that although NHS-funded students generally receive grants rather than loans, they “often have less to live on” despite their courses lasting 42 weeks a year compared to 30 weeks for other courses.
“Students are not receiving enough financial support to meet their day to day costs of living”
Professor Steve West, Chair of Universities UK’s Health Education and Research Policy Network, said: “The current system of funding is not working. Students are not receiving enough financial support to meet their day to day costs of living”.
He added: “Universities receive less for many of these courses than they actually cost to deliver, and less than the £9,000 fee that universities receive for other subjects”.
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