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Coventry University offers bursaries to encourage more men into nursing

Bursary aims to address gender imbalance on courses.

A university in England will offer bursaries to men who apply for degrees in nursing, midwifery and other healthcare disciplines.


Picture: John Houlihan

Coventry University will give ten male students £1,000 a year, in a bid to address the gender imbalance in uptake of these degrees.

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) data indicates that just 10% of nursing students in the UK last year were men, with 2,800 on courses compared with 26,000 women.

The university believes the bursary, funded by the National Express Foundation, is the first created for men taking nursing and healthcare courses in UK higher education.

Positive action

Rob James, academic dean for the faculty of health and life sciences, and chair of the university’s gender equality committee, said: ‘We support all initiatives taking positive action to address unequal gender representation in any subject discipline, and this bursary does so across healthcare training.

‘While there’s lots being done nationally – and at Coventry – to encourage women into sciences and engineering, we hope this initiative will lead the way in addressing the persistent low proportion of men working in many healthcare professions.’

Stigma

Just two men are studying for Coventry’s Learning Disability Nursing BSc this year. One of them, Colin Harrison, believes there is a stigma around men in healthcare.

He said: ‘Nursing is very much seen as a women’s profession but for many patients, especially male, to be treated by another man or to see men on the wards can be  important.

‘Lots of people talk about getting women into science and technology, but there is very little awareness of the need for the same balance in healthcare and no big campaigns to encourage men into nursing.’

Applications will open to students from the West Midlands in October this year.

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