Monday 25 November 2019 / 1:36 PM Health / Jonathan Reynolds / NHS

Tories scrapping NHS bursary estimated to cost students graduating next year £1 billion in tuition fees

The scrapping of the NHS bursary in 2016 meant students were faced with £9,000 a year in tuition fees.

Labour analysis of HESA statistics shows that the first cohort of students who started their degrees in 2017 will graduate next year with £1 billion in tuition fee debt for a 3-year course.

Yesterday, the Conservatives claimed to be bringing back the NHS bursary for nursing students, but this would only cover living costs, not tuition fees, and doesn’t extend to students studying other courses that were previously covered under the NHS bursary scheme.

Labour will bring back the bursary in full, including free tuition fees for nursing, midwifery and allied health profession undergraduates.

Commenting on the figures, Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock forced through the scrapping of the nurses bursary and it has led to a crisis of nurse shortages.

“And it means nurses, midwives and other health professionals today are racking up extortionate debts.

“It’s time for an apology from the Tories both their deceitful claims they will recruit 50,000 new nurses and for lumbering so many hardworking new nurses with this massive financial burden.”