Unions have launched a consultation on the government’s latest proposals for reform of the bursary system that will offer healthcare students a minimum of £3,324 a year.
As reported last week, the Department of Health has shown unions fresh proposals for bursary reform, 18 months after a consultation on the same issue by the previous government.
Due to the lack of a formal DH consultation on the new proposals, unions have launched their own which they intend to feedback to ministers.
Two options are being considered:
|Option 1 combines a non means-tested bursary, a means-tested bursary and a student loan.|
|Most students would receive a non means-tested bursary of £1,000 plus a student loan of £2,324 per year – rates would be higher for those studying in London and lower for those living at home and in their final year of study.|
|Students on lower incomes would also be able to receive a means-tested bursary of up to £2,591 per year.|
|The minimum cash in hand would be £3,324, rising to £7,719 for the least well off students on 52 week courses such as nursing. Students could have a loan debt of £6,500 over three years.|
|Option 2 combines a non means-tested bursary and a means-tested bursary|
|Most students would receive a non means-tested bursary of £3,324 per year – rates would be higher for those studying in London and lower for those living at home and in their final year of study.|
|Students on lower incomes would also be able to receive a means-tested bursary of up to £1,429 per year.|
|The minimum cash in hand would be £3,324, rising to £6,557 for the least well off students on 52 week courses such as nursing. There would be no student loan debt.|
|Degree students are able to apply for a student loan of £2,324 and a means-tested bursary of up to £2,810 per year, depending on income|
|Diploma students – studying outside London – receive a single non means-tested bursary of £6,701|
Unison head of nursing Gail Adams said: “It is important that our members are consulted on these revised options as they differ from the ones originally put to students. In addition, in the past two years the financial landscape has changed significantly.
“Students are now graduating with ever increasing amounts of debt. This will only become worse given the change to student loans which come into effect next year.
“There has already been extensive discussion and consultation on this matter. We want to be assured that following our consultation, there will be an urgent announcement about the final deal. The Treasury must make sure a decision is taken speedily.”
The consultation, which is being hosted on the Nation Union of Students’ website, will close on 3 May.