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Jeremy Corbyn is 'determined' to retain the nursing bursary

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Jeremy Corbin and Heidi Alexander Jeremy Corbyn and Heidi Alexander with Julian Beer at the roundtable

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the bursary for future nursing students, in a visit to Birmingham City University.

Mr Corbyn was accompanied by shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander MP, as part of the 'Labour in for Britain' EU referendum campaign. The two politicians took part in a roundtable disussion with nursing students at the university with bursaries at the top of the agenda alongside the referendum.

'Many students here were very worried about the future of the student bursaries. I am very determined that we keep and defend these because it means those wishing to enter the profession can get the qualifications that they need and it means that we all benefit because we have enough qualified nurses,' said Mr Corbyn.

Before the roundtable Mr Corbyn and Ms Alexander were taken around the University's health training facilities, while students presented their skills through a series of medical simulations and presentations.

Professor Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor research, innovation and enterprise at Birmingham City University, said: 'While the removal of the bursary for prospective nursing students could deter those from less advantageous backgrounds, as a university, we continue to work with under-represented groups and demonstrate to young people through our outreach programme how higher education can transform lives.'

Trainee nurses currently do not pay tuition fees, and receive a means tested bursary during their training, but from 1 August 2017, all nursing, midwifery and allied health students will instead be offered student loans to help them while studying.

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I trained back in 1996 as a P2000 nurse - I had a bursary. If the bursary had not been in place I would not have been able to train as a nurse. I do not come from a middle class/afluent background, and if it the bursary had not been there I would not have been able to afford to train as a nurse. I know universities claim to help the disadvantaged student, but still I feel those from poorer backgrounds will be put off with the mountain of debt they will be left with. I'm also concerned that with the lower salaries nurses recieve compared to other graduates - mature students, less affuent students and parents willnot want to study as the debt will put too much strain on their finances.
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