Health educators call for support to sustain growth in applicant numbers

14 July 2022

The University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) has published data following the June 2022 deadline for applications to UK undergraduate courses. For undergraduate nursing courses across the UK, it shows an 8% decrease in the number of applicants compared to 2021 but a 10% increase compared to 2020. A similar trend is shown in the number of applicants to UK undergraduate midwifery courses.

Data on the number of applicants to undergraduate nursing courses across the UK also shows an increase in international students, an increase in 18-year-olds and an increase in those applying a second time.

Dr Katerina Kolyva, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Deans of Health, said:

‘The higher education sector saw significant growth in 2021 and nursing courses in particular saw record breaking application numbers which were ‘atypical’.

If we take 2021 as an outlier, the healthcare higher education sector has seen a steady increase in applicant numbers over the last few years. Universities have worked hard to ensure the increasing number of students receive the quality education and the support they need to progress.

In order for student numbers to be sustained we must recognise the importance of embracing technological innovation in education and ensuring we have the right education workforce in terms of capacity and expertise to support students.’


  1. Council of Deans of Health briefing on applicant statistics for nursing and midwifery undergraduate courses June 2022.
  2. UCAS statistical releases

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