Higher education workers in UNISON agreed to lobby and campaign against Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to end the NHS bursary in England.
The union’s higher education service group conference in Southport today agreed an emergency motion backing the campaign.
Service group executive member Mike Hines said the chancellor’s move “struck another nail in the coffin of a fair education system.”
He noted that students studying to be nurses and other health professionals didn’t have the option of taking jobs to make ends meet, because their courses demanded that they spend 50% of their time on ‘clinical placements’.
During these, said Mr Hines, “students are being asked to work without pay – something we’ve outlawed for interns.”
He warned that the debt NHS students will graduate with in future will discourage many – creating a reduction in courses, less income and potential job cuts in universities.
Conference agreed to work with other stakeholders to have the move reversed.