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STUDENT BLOGS

Student loans do not reflect the needs of healthcare students - help make this right

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After realising that student loans do not take into account that healthcare students have longer academic years, Alice is calling on student nurses to join her in campaigning for a fairer system

Being a student costs money, it doesn’t matter if you are studying towards a healthcare degree or a degree in actuarial sciences. Many students end up leaving university with a pile of debt, tucked neatly away in the recesses of their mind.

We all struggle with the juggling act of student finances; bills, rent, and family, childcare and social lives.

Where we differ from non-healthcare degrees is the length of our academic year.

We spend more time at university, on courses that recommended us not to undertake part time work due to the intensity of our training. It is hard to hold down part time employment along with demands such as clinical placements. As a result many of us are reliant on money from student bursaries and the Student Loan Company maintenance loan.

“Our petition has received over 1,500 signatures in under 48 hours”

Towards the end of our training however, when our studies should be our sole focus, we are suddenly left with less financial support from the government.

When I reapplied for my student loan in final year I realised that the deduction being made was inequitable. The current system is designed for the majority of students and fails to reflect the particular needs of those studying healthcare.

Student loans do not reflect the needs of healthcare students - help make this right

Student nurses receive the same reduced loan in 3rd year as other students

Healthcare students are subject to the same reduction in the amount of student loan available for their final year as all other students, despite the fact our academic years are longer.

We are campaigning to highlight that this is completely unfair and places additional financial burden and stress on healthcare students. We would like the student loan to be adjusted to reflect our needs, and become a pro-rata reduction determined by each student’s academic year end date.

It is a simple solution that would create a fair system, right a wrong, and win the support of many students.  

We need to recognise when a system is not working for us and as students we have the power to change things.

Our petition has received over 1,500 signatures in under 48 hours of it being posted. This is an incredible achievement and highlights that this is an issue many people relate to.

Through the support of the UEA Nursing Society, healthcare students, and non-healthcare students this petition has highlighted an injustice, which I hope those in power will recognise.

 

Please support our campaign by adding your name to the petition so we can draw attention to this issue and make a change to support students in the future:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/fairforhealthcare

 

Alice Edwards is in her 2nd year studing adult nursing at University of East Anglia

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