MillionPlus and Universities UK have produced a thoughtful contribution to ongoing discussions on public sector workforce planning. The recommendations in Strengthening and enhancing UK public services in response to Covid-19 reflect the Council’s strategic aim of securing sustainable funding for healthcare disciplines in higher education.
Just a few months ago we were able to welcome the Government’s announcement of the new student maintenance grants and were working on a wider set of policies to grow student numbers in healthcare disciplines in line with Government commitments. Our work with policy makers now has the important added dimension of ensuring sustainability of provision in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is a great deal of uncertainty in the higher education and healthcare sectors at the moment. We do believe it makes sense to treat healthcare education differently in the current climate, to extend investment in infrastructure and equipment, to exempt healthcare education from student caps and to consider increasing the student funding offer, including through loan forgiveness schemes or tuition fee exemption.