Response to HEPI report

10 May 2024

A major new report by the Higher Education Policy Institute, A Minimum Income Standard for Students, has found that students studying outside London need £18,600 to have an acceptable standard of living. Given the implications this has for healthcare students, Ed Hughes, CEO of the Council of Deans of Health responded:

“Members of the Council of Deans of Health will sadly be unsurprised by the findings of this important report. With ongoing challenges in healthcare student recruitment and retention, financial hardship is a problem for individual students but also the wider sustainability of our NHS workforce.

Additional maintenance support and reimbursement of some placement travel costs for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health students are welcome but too many healthcare students continue to struggle. The intensive nature of healthcare courses, with significantly longer terms and substantial time in clinical placements, severely limits the ability for most to work alongside study.

With the current cost of living crisis, this report rightly focuses on a central issue in the challenge of recruiting and retaining those studying towards careers in healthcare, especially given the number of existing and prospective healthcare students from under-represented backgrounds.

The Council’s manifesto paper sets out our ideas for better departmental join-up to ensure students have the pastoral and financial support needed to complete their studies and successfully pursue a career in healthcare.”

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