The Council of Deans of Health has responded to the publication of a research report on the recruitment of mature students to nursing, midwifery and allied health courses. The report, commissioned by the Office for Students (OfS), looks at national trends and draws on local case studies in three different geographical areas.
The report’s recommendations highlight the need for coordinated campaigning to raise awareness and understanding of the full range of professions, provision of clear information about the range of financial support available and increased recruitment of male and BME students.
Responding to the report, Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director of the Council of Deans of Health, said:
“The focus on mature entrants to healthcare programmes is very welcome. The report highlights the importance of this group of students to the sector and to the future healthcare workforce. The decline in mature students over recent years has had a profound impact on some courses and left certain disciplines, such as learning disability nursing and podiatry, in a precarious situation.
“We welcome the report’s recommendations which reflect many of the Council’s previous calls for action. It is clear that a multifaceted approach will be required to reverse the decline in mature student numbers. The Council continues to work with policy makers in the education and health sectors to increase recruitment to the healthcare professions. This includes calls for maintenance grants and annual national recruitment campaigns’’.