The Government recently held a consultation looking into the way some undergraduate pre-registration healthcare courses are funded, specifically for students who are ordinarily resident in England. If you’re ordinarily resident in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or the Channel Islands, you’ll need to speak to your university to find out the funding arrangements in your area. The information below gives an overview of the changes taking place.
Following the consultation, it was announced that from 1 August 2017, students starting the courses listed below will need to apply to the Student Loans Company (Student Finance England provisions) for their tuition and maintenance loans:
- Nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)
- Occupational therapy
- Operating department practitioner
- Orthotics and prosthetics
- Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
- Speech and language therapy
‘The funding reforms are designed to deliver a number of benefits towards securing the future healthcare workforce, including:
- enabling up to 10,000 additional places on healthcare programmes at universities
- offering typically 25% more financial support while studying
- enhancing access to undergraduate study for those from disadvantaged backgrounds
For example, a single student studying on a three year programme would receive approximately £2,000 more funding support per year on a student loan compared to an NHS bursary.’
If you’re starting your course this year, you may also be eligible for additional funding through a new scheme called the Learning Support Fund (LSF). This new scheme is made up of three elements:
- Child Dependants Allowance – this provides eligible students with a set amount of £1,000 each year.
- Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses – similar to the current Practice Placement Expenses you may hear people talking about. Under this element, you can claim for any travel and accommodation expenses incurred over and above your usual daily travel to university costs when you’re on placement. A change for this element is that new students attending London-based universities can also now claim this funding support.
- Exceptional Support Fund – this enables eligible students in exceptional financial hardship to claim an amount up to £3,000 per year.
If you wish to apply for one or more of the LSF elements, you will need to be:
- ordinarily resident in England
- studying on an eligible programme at a university in England
- in receipt of, or eligible for, a student loan under the Student Finance England provisions
- actively involved in training, whether academic or practice
However, if you are on one of the following courses, there’s what is known as ‘transitional arrangements’ for you:
- Postgraduate pre-registration healthcare programmes
- Dental hygiene/dental therapy programmes
- Certain part-time programmes
If you’re on one of these courses, you may be able to apply for funding support from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for the 2017/18 academic year. The NHSBSA is working with colleagues at the Department of Health to clarify how these courses will be funded from 2018 and beyond. Find out more about these arrangements.
If you started your course before 1 August 2017 and have maintained continual attendance at teaching and placement sessions, the new funding scheme does not apply to you. In this case, you can reapply for your NHS bursary each year as normal through your Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) account. However, if you started your studies before 1 August 2017 but have withdrawn for a period of time, you will need to contact your university for clarification of funding arrangements on your return.
You can find full details about the changes, eligibility information, and all the latest updates on the changes as they happen on the NHSBSA website. You can also get the latest on the funding changes by following @NHSBSA_Students or liking facebook.com/nhsstudentbursaries.
Head of Service – Operational Readiness
NHS Business Services Authority, Student Services
Source: NHS Business Services Authority