Survey Finds 72% of UK Youth More Likely to Study Healthcare If They Receive Grants

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Mar 01, 2024

nurse student

About three-quarters of young people in the UK (72 percent) aged 16 to 26 said they would be more likely to study healthcare at a university if they would receive extra financial support, like grants or loans, during their academic journey, according to a Censuswide survey involving more than 5,000 people.

The study commissioned by Universities UK and analyzed by the Nuffield Trust found that 73 percent admitted the same if they were paid for a clinical placement, Erudera.com reports.

Another significant share of youth, 73 percent, said they are currently considering or have considered a career in healthcare.

The survey also shed light on the choices within this group of students. It revealed nursing (39 percent), medicine (35 percent), and midwifery (22 percent) are the most popular courses among prospective and current healthcare professionals.

Commenting on these results, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University Alistair Fitt said that the strong interest among youngsters to work in healthcare is good news as the system needs talent in order to offer high-quality care. According to him, the role of universities in this regard is crucial.

“Universities have a vital role in training that talent and stand ready to deliver through innovative approaches to education and training. However, without bold and urgent change, ambitious plans for the future of the NHS in England are set to fall flat,” Fitt said. “With broad political support to significantly increase the number of healthcare staff, the challenge is how we make NHS careers attainable for many more potential students.”

Some 46 percent of respondents said the desire to improve the lives of others is what motivates them to choose these courses, followed by 40 percent who mentioned rewarding careers. However, only 20 percent of individuals claimed to be very familiar with the profession.

Findings also suggest a number of respondents are discouraged from pursuing careers in healthcare due to beliefs they will not get to make a good income (90 percent), lack of work/life balance (82 percent), job-related stress (79 percent), and long working hours (75 percent).

In the future, universities will make efforts to recruit healthcare professionals using artificial intelligence and technology in general to transfer training, Universities UK said in a statement.

About 9,500 medical school places in the UK train new doctors every year. Since 2013, this number has increased by around 2,000.

Subjects allied to medicine draw the attention of thousands of students every year, including international students. Data show there were 41,190 pursuing courses in medicine in the UK during 2021/22, of which 32,880 were non-EU and 8,305 EU students.

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