Nurses: Students

Department for Education written question – answered on 2nd July 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to recognise the contribution of nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what plans they have to (1) end nursing student tuition fees, and (2) reimburse current debt for all nursing students.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government is extremely grateful to all students who chose to opt into a paid clinical placement in the NHS during this extremely difficult time. We have ensured that all students who do so are rewarded fairly for their hard work. Nursing, midwifery and allied health students who volunteered as part of the COVID-19 response have been receiving a salary and automatic NHS pension entitlement at the appropriate band. Time spent on paid placements as part of the COVID-19 response counts towards the requirement for students to complete a specified number of training hours in order to successfully complete their degrees.

Nursing students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees, and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off scheme for these students. Student loan borrowers are only required to make repayments from the April after they have finished their course, and once they are earning over the relevant repayment threshold. The amount borrowers are required to repay each week or month is linked to their income, not the interest rate or the amount borrowed. Repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the repayment threshold, and any outstanding debt is written off at the end of the loan term with no detriment to the borrower.

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