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Number of nursing students plummets after bursaries axed

Mature students are turning away from nursing courses in their droves after bursaries were scrapped in 2017 by the government, figures from the Office for Students show.

The OfS analysis of Higher Education Statistics Agency data on student numbers in 2017-18 shows that the number of students aged 21 or over taking nursing courses fell 17 per cent from 12,015 in 2016-17 to 9,960 in 2017-18, when bursaries were replaced with student loans.

In total there was an 11 per cent drop in students starting nursing courses, down from 19,790 to 17,630. The decrease was largely driven by a drop in the number of white students, with the number of black and Asian students increasing.

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