Responding to the release of the UCAS sector level end-of-cycle data today, University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said:
On the drop in acceptances for nursing courses:
“Whilst it is heartening to see acceptances are up 2% for midwifery courses, it is worrying that acceptances for nursing courses are down 11% on 2022 levels.
The future of the NHS is dependent on meeting the recruitment targets set out in the NHS’ Long-Term Workforce Plan. To achieve that, it will require a concerted and joined up effort across the NHS and government departments to recruit more nursing students and to ensure NHS trusts and universities have the capacity to train them.
The need for a cross-government health education task force which brings together education and healthcare sector experts to address the issues in expanding nursing training is now urgent.”
On the North/South divide in entries:
“The 20% gap between entry rates for students in London versus students in the North-East represents a gap in opportunity based on region. This should not be the case in 2023.
Higher education is one of the biggest drivers of social mobility in the country and graduates earn an average of £100k more over their lifetimes compared with those who did not attend university. Regional inequalities will persist for as long as the disparity in higher education entry rates do.
Government must now take a long-term, strategic approach to growing opportunity and closing the skills gap across the UK. Addressing regional disparities in university entry rates should be part and parcel of this. We are recommending that government develop a long-term Post-18 skills and education strategy, and this must work for every region of our country.”