Proposed changes to health degrees could hit students from poorer backgrounds, says UNISON

Commenting on proposals published on Tuesday by the Council of Deans of Health and Universities UK – regarding changes to the way that professional nursing and midwifery qualifications are funded – UNISON Head of Nursing Gail Adams said:

“The current grants-based system isn’t perfect but it does at least enable young people from every background and family income to follow their dreams and study to become nurses, midwives, and other healthcare professionals.

“But if grants and the payment of tuition fees disappear and are replaced by loans, we risk burdening nursing and midwifery students with huge debts, just as they are about to start out in the world of work.

“Even if their employer were to pay off an element of their student loan after several years of employment, the changes could well discourage young people from poorer backgrounds from entering the healthcare professions altogether.

“It’s vital that the nursing and midwifery professions continue to reflect the society they care for.  The proposed changes risk it becoming an exclusive career option, simply for those whose families can afford it.”


UNISON media contacts:

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E:

Fatima Ayad T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07508 080383 E: