Analysis

‘I had to use food banks as I have had literally no money’

Nursing students are relying on hardship funds to help pay for basic expenses such as rent and childcare costs
Marina Down

Nursing students are relying on hardship funds to help pay for basic expenses such as rent and childcare costs

Nursing student and single parent Marina Down has been unable to access hardship funds Picture: Barney Newman

Millions of pounds have been paid to debt-ridden nursing students to prevent them from dropping out of university courses. Data exclusively obtained by Nursing Standard shows £5.2 million in discretionary funding has been handed out since 2013.

In total, 36 universities in England told Nursing Standard that 6,573 nursing students accessed hardship grants between September 2013 and March 2016.

Unison head of nursing Gail Adams says nursing students are not funded adequately. ‘Most nursing students are living hand to mouth,’ she says. ‘Having access to hardship funds can make all the difference.’

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe says student funding issues, including government plans

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