Health educators welcome increase in applicants to nursing courses

6 February 2020

The Council of Deans of Health has welcomed data from the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) showing an increase in the number of applicants to undergraduate nursing courses across the UK.

Data on the number of applicants to undergraduate nursing courses across the UK ahead of the 15 January 2020 deadline shows an overall increase of 6% compared to last year. The number of applications for nursing courses received by providers in England and Scotland has increased, as has the overall number of 18-year old applicants and applicants aged 30 and above, particularly in England and Scotland.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council, commented:

“The data released today tells a very positive story about the levels of interest in pursuing these highly rewarding careers. It is very encouraging that we have seen increases across the UK, with significant increases in England and Scotland in particular. We particularly welcome the growth in the number of mature applicants who bring valuable skills and experience and are an important part of the future workforce.

“The recent introduction of maintenance grants in England is playing an important role in promoting the value of healthcare courses and giving people the confidence to apply knowing that the financial support is there”.

Dr Katerina Kolyva, Executive Director of the Council, said:

“Over the last year the Council has worked hard with government across the UK to ensure that we have the conditions necessary for universities to be able to recruit high quality applicants and increase the number of students on nursing, midwifery and allied health professions courses. This increase is very encouraging and we look forward to continued collaboration to ensure that we have the future healthcare workforce that the country needs”.



  1. The Council of Deans of Health is the voice of the deans and heads of UK university faculties for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions
  2. UCAS undergraduate analysis reports
  3. For more information on this press release, please contact Jon Eames, 07496 693 806

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