UCAS has published data showing a record number of applicants have been placed on undergraduate nursing courses at UK universities. The data, published 28 days after A-level and SQA results day, indicates further growth in placed nursing applicants for 2021 following the substantial increases of 2020. A record number of 35,060 nursing applicants have been placed at UK universities, a 2.6% increase from 2020. There was an 11.7% increase in 18-year-old placed applicants and a 4.2% increase for placed applicants at English providers. This compares with a 1.6% decrease in placed applicants across the wider higher education sector.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Deans of Health, said:
“I would like to extend my congratulations to the 35,000 people who have been placed on nursing programmes and to the faculty leaders and staff members who have made such numbers possible. 2020 saw record breaking increases in the number of placed applicants and it is wonderful to see that this has been increased through 2021. Healthcare educators have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to ensure the best possible student experience and are succeeding in educating the next generation of the health and social care workforce to meet Government targets and societal needs. It is vital that increased student numbers are met with increased funding and placement expansion to ensure the long-term success of nursing programmes.
“The UCAS data shows us that more 18-year-olds are deciding to go into nursing programmes than ever before with 1.2% of all 18-year-olds in the UK being placed in a nursing programme. This is indicative of a longer term increase in interest in nursing reflecting the high esteem in which the public holds healthcare professions considering the pandemic.
“I wish all students well and encourage them to engage with the Council including via our Student Leadership Programme.”