Funding for Paramedic Science courses should be available to all regardless of previous higher education study
Join the Campaign for Funding for Student Paramedics with an Equivalent or Lower Qualification.
As it stands, individuals who have chosen to study Paramedic Science as a second undergraduate degree in England are prohibited from accessing financial support from Student Finance England (SFE) despite students studying other Nursing, Midwifery and many Allied Health Profession courses as a second undergraduate degree being eligible for funding.
As of September 2021, The HCPC have made it compulsory for all new Paramedics to have a BSc qualification. Therefore, the lack of government funding makes pursuing a career as a Paramedic extremely inaccessible, as the £27,750 for the 3 year BSc course currently has to be self-funded if it is your second degree.
This must change!
What we want to achieve:
- To enable student paramedics with an equivalent or lower qualification to access Government funding in line with other Allied Health Professions.
- The Department of Health and Social Care to recognise Paramedic Science as a pre-registration Allied Health Profession and allow the Student Loan Company to administer financial support to student paramedics with a previous degree.
- For the NHS Business Service Authority to offer the NHS Learning Support Fund to all paramedic students regardless of previous study.
Details of the problem:
Historically due to Paramedic Science not holding BSc status, student paramedics were not offered financial support in the form of the NHS Bursary.
In 2017 The Department of Health and Social Care reformed the NHS Bursary system and have since been offering full financial support from Student Finance England to students studying eligible pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health professional courses. In addition, they provided an exemption from the Equivalent or Lower Qualification rule, meaning those studying these courses, as a second degree would also receive financial support as of 2017/18. This did not include Paramedic Science.
In 2018 Paramedic training was fully developed into the Higher Education sector and gained under-graduate BSc status.
In 2018, the NHS Bursary Scheme was updated again. However, paramedic science remained absent from the specified list of allied health professional courses despite the entry criteria into Paramedicine being increased to BSc level.
The Department of Health and Social Care disputed that as Paramedic Science students could now access the standard student loan system for a first degree, the exemption from the ELQ rule would not apply to those studying Paramedicine as a second degree, continuing the vast financial disparity between Paramedicine and other Allied Health Professional courses.
In January 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that new and existing paramedic students studying at English universities would qualify as an Allied Health Professional and benefit from additional NHS funding in the form of the Learning Support Fund (LSF) to support the financial implications of clinical placement.
However, students studying Paramedicine as a second degree are only eligible for NHS LSF if they meet the student loan eligibility requirement. Therefore, as discussed above, paramedic students studying their second degree are NOT eligible for a student loan and consequently CANNOT access this £5000 training grant being offered by the NHS Business Services Authority and are further financially penalised.
How can you help?
How can you help get equity of funding for all Student Paramedics, making the profession accessible to all?
for advice on writing to your MP
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