What is changing?
The Government has proposed that for students starting their studies in September 2017 onwards, maintenance and tuition loans will replace the current system of NHS bursary funding for health-related programmes of study.
You should be aware that, until these proposals are finalised by the government, details of the funding that will be available cannot be known for certain.
At Plymouth University, the courses affected by the proposed change will be as follows:
How will this affect you?
If your application for any of the
courses above is successful, and you commence your studies in September 2017 (or
later), you will no longer be entitled to an NHS Bursary. Instead, funding to
cover the tuition fee, as well as maintenance, will be provided by one of these
organisations: the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Finance England,
Student Finance Northern Ireland or Student Finance Wales. This will be in line
with what is provided to students of other, ‘standard’, degree programmes.
For further information on the tuition fee for your programme of study, please visit our tuition fee pages.
The amount of maintenance support that an applicant will be entitled to under the proposed system will be significantly higher than was the case under the old, NHS funded system, although the exact amount may vary from programme to programme. The change is likely to mean around a quarter more funds being made available to students under the new scheme.
Support for accommodation and travel costs while on placement
Unfortunately, there is no information available at present about the level of support that will be available to cover travel and accommodation costs associated with attending placements while on your chosen programme of study.
If you have already completed a degree
Usually, the ‘Equivalent or Lower Qualification’ (ELQ) rules mean that those who have already obtained a degree cannot necessarily receive funding from Student Finance England (or the other funding bodies) for a second degree. If the current government proposals are accepted, this rule will not apply to the programmes formerly funded by the NHS. This means that it should be possible to obtain funding even if you have previously completed a degree programme.
Student loan repayment
Any student who accesses a student loan will have to make repayments when they earn over £21,000 a year. They are required to repay 9 per cent of whatever they earn above that threshold. Acting in a way akin to tax, repayments will be taken directly from their gross pay. If they take a career break or their earnings dip below £21,000 a year, they will stop repaying their loan.
The starting salary for a Band 5 health professional is currently £21,909 a year, which would mean paying back £6.82 a month once a graduate begins their career.
The loan is written off 30 years after the April following your graduation. The government currently predicts that only 40 per cent of graduates will pay back the entirety of their loan.
The amount of money you borrow won’t affect your credit check; it isn’t a commercial loan and won’t be taken into account when applying for a mortgage or for further loans (although you should be aware that your repayments will be taken into account when making the affordability checks associated with a mortgage application).