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Physio courses stay popular as undergrad healthcare applications fall

3 February 2017 - 4:07pm

Applications to study health-related subjects at UK universities have fallen by 15 per cent in comparison to last year.

Academics call for an end to physio student grants

Applications for subjects allied to medicine have fallen in comparison to 2016 figures

This is according to the latest undergraduate application figures, published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) on 2 February, for entry to university in September this year.

The figures also show an overall decline across all academic disciplines.

UCAS’ analysis of its data shows that there were 303,550 applications for subjects allied to medicine, received by the deadline of 15 January 2017. This compares with 358,040 applications received by the same point last year.

The CSP is currently awaiting a breakdown of the latest figures to see the precise number of physiotherapy applications by the January deadline.

Ensuring a fair and open system

Commenting on UCAS’s figures CSP chief executive Karen Middleton said: ‘It is encouraging that we understand so many people have once again applied to study physiotherapy.

‘While we think there is a drop in numbers this year, we will work with others to look in detail at the reasons for that, including to ensure that the system is fair and open to all.

‘We remain committed to ensuring barriers to entering the profession are removed, but believe that the new education and student funding system in England will deliver greater numbers of physiotherapy student places in the coming years.

‘We also remain confident that physiotherapy programmes will continue to attract high numbers of high-quality candidates, including through the application process that will continue for the next academic year.

‘Ensuring entry to the profession from all parts of society and to meet workforce demand is essential for the NHS and the UK as a whole, with the services that physiotherapy staff deliver desperately needed.’

The CSP has projected through its own workforce data modelling that the UK needs 500 extra physiotherapy student places a year to keep up with workforce demand. It continues to lobby to ensure a sustainable physiotherapy workforce for the future.

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