NUS UK expresses concern about drop off in applications for healthcare and teaching degrees.

New UCAS data shows that applications for nursing, midwifery and teaching degrees have been dropping since 2021. 

UCAS has today released their data for the 2023 cycle of admissions. 

Despite overall application numbers remaining steady for the last three years, since 2021: 

  • The number of applicants for nursing degrees has dropped by over 11,000 from 59,860 to 48,625. 
  • Applications for midwifery degrees has dropped by just under 3,000 from 13,460 to 10,130. 
  • Applications for teacher training degrees has dropped by over 1000 from 6,395 to 4,945. 

NUS UK called on the government to combat this trend as soon as possible by reintroducing grants for healthcare and teaching degrees, as well as making sure they are paid for the work experience they are required to do alongside their teaching.  


Commenting, NUS UK Vice President Higher Education, Chloe Field, said: 

“Teachers and NHS staff are severely undervalued for the critical role they play in the society. Both sectors are already in crisis, haemorrhaging staff every year. Trade unions have been continuously bringing to attention the retention and recruitment crisis the NHS and education is facing along with huge real-term pay cuts. Without immediate intervention from the government, this trend will only worsen. 

“The next generation of public sector workers is being threatened as students who have a passion for teaching and healthcare simply cannot afford to do these degrees anymore. Nursing and midwifery students are having to work part time jobs on top of their teaching, assessments and placements just to be able to afford their rent.  

“The government need to reintroduce grants for healthcare and teaching students so that we don’t continue to lose these essential professions, as well as start paying them for the work they do whilst on the ward or in the classroom.” 

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