Scotland sees smaller drop in nursing student applicants than England

Written by Tom Freeman on 2 February 2017 in News

Drop in nursing applications part of a wider drop in university applications across the UK, according to UCAS figures

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The number of applications to study nursing in Scotland has fallen less sharply than in England.

Applications by students in England to nursing and midwifery courses at British universities have fallen by 23 per cent. The drop in applicants from Scotland, where free tuition and bursary support for student nurses has been maintained, was four per cent.

The Royal College of Nursing said the figures “confirm our worst fears", and reflected the UK Government's decision to remove bursaries.


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Janet Davies, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “The outlook is bleak: fewer EU nurses are coming to work in the UK following the Brexit vote, and by 2020 nearly half the workforce will be eligible for retirement."

The figures form part of a wider decline in applicants to university, according to admissions agency UCAS.

Although the number of 18-year olds applying for university has risen, the overall number of domestic applicants dropped by 5 per cent across the UK, the biggest fall in recent years. There was a seven per cent decline in Wales, a six per cent decline in England and a five per cent decline in Northern Ireland. The figure in Scotland, which is the only nation to offer free tuition, is two per cent. 

There has been a seven per cent fall in applications from the EU to British Universities.

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