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Government clarifies current nursing students’ funding entitlements

Details of funding for students starting nursing and midwifery courses in 2016-17 have been outlined. The briefing paper also details the ongoing plan to abolish the NHS bursary from September.

Funding for nurses and midwives who began their courses last year has been outlined ahead of controversial government bursary cuts starting in August.

A House of Commons briefing paper breaks down what students beginning their studies in 2016-17 are eligible for.

It also outlines the plans to replace bursaries with repayable loans for all nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals beginning undergraduate degrees in England from September.

The paper also notes the 23% fall or 10,000 students in nursing applicants for the 2017 cycle up to mid-January, compared with last year.

This is the first cohort of applicants to apply since the government announced its decision last summer to scrap bursaries.

Last cohort

Funding for nurses and midwives who began their courses last year has been outlined ahead of controversial government bursary cuts starting in August.

A House of Commons briefing paper breaks down what students beginning their studies in 2016-17 are eligible for.


The government have given clarification on the future of student finances 
Picture: iStock

It also outlines the plans to replace bursaries with repayable loans for all nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals beginning undergraduate degrees in England from September.

The paper also notes the 23% fall – or 10,000 students – in nursing applicants for the 2017 cycle up to mid-January, compared with last year.

This is the first cohort of applicants to apply since the government announced its decision last summer to scrap bursaries.

Last cohort for bursary

Fulll-time students on courses which began in 2016/7 will still receive a NHS bursary for the duration of their course.

The briefing paper says this includes:

  • A non-means tested grant of £1,000 per year
  • A means-tested bursary to cover living costs which will include £3,191 for students living away from home and in London, and £2,207 for those living at home
  • Other bursary allowances for courses which run longer than 30 weeks and three days each academic year and practice placement expenses. Students who qualify for a bursary will also have their tuition fees paid direct to their higher education institution by the NHS.

But those applying for courses beginning this September will have to apply for ‘mainstream student finance’ which will include loans.

Some additional funding and transitional bursaries will be available for eligible students.

Background

Last year, the government announced plans to abolish the nursing bursary for new students following a consultation on its proposals first mooted in 2015. It said this would create 10,000 extra training places for healthcare professionals.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies warned last week that the NHS and nursing was in ‘jeopardy’ unless there was a reinstatement of student funding and investment in student education.

Meanwhile, the government has started to sell off pre-2012 student loans worth around £4 billion.

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson said in a written ministerial statement that the position of all graduates, including those who loans are included in the sell-off, would not change.


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