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Student applications drop ‘disaster in the making’

3 February, 2017

Student applications drop ‘disaster in the making’

Applications for midwifery and nursing training are down by nearly 25%, according the latest figures released by UCAS. 

The RCM called it a ‘disaster in the making for midwifery staffing’. 

UCAS published analysis of full-time undergraduate applications made by the 15 January deadline - the first reliable indicator of demand for UK higher education for the 2017 cycle.

To date, 564,190 people have applied to UK higher education courses for 2017, a decrease of 5% compared to the same point last year.

Nursing and midwifery training is the subject that has seen the most notable decrease in applicants.  

Applicants from England making at least one choice to midwifery or nursing fell by 23% to 33,810 in 2017. Most applicants to nursing and midwifery are over 19 years old and English applicants from this age group decreased by between 16% and 29%. 

Jon Skewes, director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: ‘It seems a remarkable coincidence that this drastic fall in applications comes soon after the announcement that midwifery and nursing students are having their bursary scrapped, and will have to pay tuition fees. This could leave them as much as £60,000 in debt when they qualify.’

He added that it was a disaster for staffing in NHS England where there is already a shortage of 3500 full time midwives. 

‘I repeat our call for the government to revisit their ill-informed and poorly thought through decision to scrap bursaries,’ said Jon.

To view the statistics, click here.

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