Health educators have welcomed data showing an increase in applicants and acceptances to nursing courses in 2019 but have called for sustained investment in healthcare education to meet growing workforce needs.
The second chapter of the University and College Admissions Service’s (UCAS) end-of-cycle report 2019 shows a 6.7% increase in applicants across the UK to a total of 54,225. There was an increase in the number of applicants from all domiciles and most aged groups, particularly those aged 35 and over (+12.9%) and those aged 18 (+10%).
Health educators in all four UK countries accepted a record number of students with a total of 30,390 students. Compared to 2018, the number of acceptances rose by 8.5% in Scotland, by 6.4% in both England and Northern Ireland, and by 3.1% in Wales.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director of the Council of Deans of Health, said:
“We are pleased to see this increase which reflects universities’ recruitment efforts across the UK. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland commissioned more nursing places from universities this year. In England the upturn may also be the result of additional investment this year in placement capacity and national recruitment campaigns. There is still more work to be done to increase the numbers of students choosing these very rewarding careers to meet the rising demand for health and social care services across the UK. We continue to call the introduction of maintenance grants for healthcare students to support recruitment and retention”.
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