The Government recently announced the introduction of maintenance grants for undergraduate health students on nursing, midwifery, and AHP courses including occupational therapy to assist with the cost of living. Maintenance grants of £5,000 will be available annually to students from September 2020 (students in their second and third years will also receive them). The money is not means-tested and does not have to be paid back.
This u-turn from the Government comes after years of UNISON campaigning against the axing of the former bursary, and amid growing evidence of the part this controversial decision had played in the current staffing crisis. This latest announcement is a welcome development, but we are concerned that students will still have to pay tuition fees, which we disagree with. We believe that health students should not have to pay tuition fees and we will continue to argue for action to reduce the debt burden on health students.
The maintenance grants will apply in England only. The announcement covers current students and is not retrospective for students who have done their training since 2017. There is lots of detail still to be confirmed and we will keep you up to date.