Scotland recruits far more student nurses

On a bit of a negative roll this morning, Reporting Scotland goes from supposed failures on child poverty, quickly into this:

The number of student nurses recruited this year is almost 1 000 short of Scottish Government goals. University admission figures from UCAS show that from more than 4 800 nurse and midwife places for the academic year, just 3 850 have been accepted. The Royal College of Nursing [trade union] said the shortfall could add to the current ‘workforce crisis.’

Leaving aside the overall situation in Scotland with more than 50% more nurses per patient than England has (, recruitment in Scotland seems be be going far better than elsewhere.

Note the deadline for applications is September 28th.

The UCAS figures for England, in 2022, don’t seem to be published yet but in 2021, UCAS reported only 7 105 acceptances for nursing in England, up from 6 510 in 2019. With ten times the population, the figure would have to be 38 500 to match Scotland:

20 thoughts on “Scotland recruits far more student nurses

    1. According to NursingTimes/ UCAS, ,2021 recruitment was 20931 in England from a UK total of 26730/
      Scotland was 3730, so pro rata England should have been around 37000.


  1. I note that the Royal College of Nursing is involved in this story. Like many ‘professional’ trade unions, a substantial part of their ‘narrative’ is how BAD things are. Reading their press releases nothing satisfying seems to be happening. Nurses, we are told, are ‘burned out’, morale is at rock bottom, most would leave if they had the chance, etc.

    If people who are working in the job paint a dismal picture of working life, is it any wonder that prospective students ask themselves if they really want to go into a job like nursing?

    If the job is as bad as the RCN says, then surely it is reasonable to ask if nurses themselves contribute to making it so bad? Do they not have a responsibility to improve things?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And of course the RCN would never trumpet the point that student nurses in Scotland get free tuition and a £10,000 p a bursary. This means that, unlike their counterparts in England, they can leave Uni debt free thus able to take full benefit from the slightly higher salaries they are paid in Scotland and any subsequent pay rises.


      1. Doctors’ training in Scotland must be similar, with the Uni tuition fees element being free to Scottish students, which probably accounts for the continuing higher number of doctors here (hospital & GP) per head of population.

        This makes Therese Coffey’s claim today to increase GP appointments in England look like yet another Tory evidence-free policy statement just made up to get media coverage: no substance, no research, no possibility of it happening anytime soon.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a relative who just finished school and got a place to study nursing at the University of Glasgow. I suspect folk her age are less affected by all those negative stories as they don’t read newspapers or watch the TV news. The effect is likely to be pronounced for more mature entrants who are dissuaded by what they read/hear.

    Incidentally she was one of those warned by UofG that she may have to defer due to lack of accommodation in the city. Fortunately, her parents found a room with a qualified nurse, and then UofG found a place in their halls of residence which is more convenient.

    I see there’s now an accusation that the accommodation problem is the fault of universities because they recruited too many students. The UofG has countered with facts – the number of students “recruited” has not increased significantly, they’ve increased the number of places in halls of residence by 25%, but the number of private rentals available has shrunk. Holiday lets?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Saw something yesterday that mentioned some private companies that had built student accommodation- were now using them for AirBNB rather than letting to students


      1. There is plausibility in that. When student accommodation was mainly university halls of residence, the halls were often used in summer vacation times for short term holiday lets. I re bear staying in halls in London and other places.

        Now, there is no fixed tourist and holiday ‘season’ and most places now have tourists at all times of the year. Since short term lets of a few days tend to be much more expensive than longer stays, I can well imagine accountants suggesting opting out of student accommodation and going for short lets.

        However, all of these buildings were granted planning consent specifically because they were STUDENT accommodation. So, perhaps Councils should be looking at the conditions relating to consent. The imposition of tourist taxes should be considered.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Stirling University let their on-campus Halls of Residences during the summer. I think they may have been one of the 1st Unis in Scotland to do so. They also included membership of the Sports Centre. The OU also used to hold its Summer Schools at Stirling Uni which was a useful source of income for the Uni. Not sure if the OU still holds Summer Schools there now. I know they scaled back quite a bit a number of years ago.

          Like you I wondered about the planning aspect of the change of use when Residences became solely holiday let’s. Usually if there is any change of use for premises – shop to offices or vice versa – it involves a planning application of some description.


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