University sets up £200K fund to help nursing students
A university has set up a £200,000 fund to help nursing students cope with course costs when the NHS-provided bursary is scrapped next year.
From September 2017, Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) in Kent will use its own funds to offer means-tested £1,000 grants to students on pre-registration courses.
The grant will be open to students from households with an income of less than £25,000 a year.
The government confirmed in July it will scrap bursaries for new nursing and midwifery students from August 2017, to be replaced with tuition fees and loans.
Other cost cuts
It will also cease paying for the cost of uniforms, disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks, occupational health assessments and immunisations, which can collectively run into hundreds of pounds.
In addition to the grant, CCCU dean of health and well-being Debra Teasdale revealed the university will also cover the cost of these items.
‘As soon as we knew the current funding system was going to change we held conversations with our health partners across Kent and Medway,' Ms Teasdale told Nursing Standard.
‘We wanted to provide as much support as possible to those who may see these changes as a barrier.
No hidden surprises
‘Our mission has always been a strong ethos for supporting those people who never thought they would be able to come to university, to study.
‘While it’s not an infinite pot of money, we hope this allows people to join our courses with confidence there’s no hidden costs.’
Asked if she felt other universities should introduce similar schemes, she added: ‘I think most are already exploring how they can help keep students safe for the future.’
The CCCU grant, known as the pre-registration health and social care bursary, has been endorsed by the Office for Fair Access – the independent regulator which monitors the backgrounds of students entering higher education to ensure it remains diverse.
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