The CSP has welcomed the announcement by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) that undergraduate pre-registration physiotherapy education will continue to receive some public funding in the form of a teaching grant.
The grant recognises how much physiotherapy degrees cost universities to deliver.
For students entering programmes in 2017/18, higher education institutions will receive an annual teaching grant of £1,500 per student. This will supplement the cost of tuition fees for students. Institutions in London will receive slightly more funding because of their higher delivery costs.
Ensuring adequate programme funding has been one of the things that the CSP has been seeking to influence since the government announced in 2015 that healthcare programmes in England would no longer be funded by the NHS and that, from 2017/18, programmes and students would move to mainstream tuition fee and loan arrangements.
The HEFCE teaching grant will address the shortfall in NHS programme funding over recent years. It forms part of a £32 million package that HEFCE has allocated to support the transition to new arrangements for the education of allied health professionals, nurses and midwives.
Sally Gosling, assistant director of practice and development said: ‘It’s very welcome news that the HEFCE funding allocation more accurately reflects the cost of delivering physiotherapy pre-registration education in England.
‘The NHS funding that has supported degrees’ delivery until now has not kept pace with the actual cost of delivery. The announcement should help to create stability in provision, uphold the quality of physiotherapy education, and support HEIs in increasing student numbers in line with workforce, service and patient care needs.’
Some uncertainties remain, however. The future arrangements for the funding of master's pre-registration education programmes is unclear, although NHS funding arrangements for programmes and students will continue in 2017/18.
There is also uncertainty about the allocation of the NHS practice education tariff to support services’ contribution to practice-based learning.
HEFCE funding for the delivery of programmes beyond 2017/18 remains unknown.
The CSP will continue its efforts to ensure the security and sustainability of physiotherapy pre-registration education. It will seek to safeguard the quality of education, the entry to the profession from all parts of society and the supply of the physiotherapy workforce.
As part of this, the CSP is committed to doing all it can to ensure that physiotherapy features strongly in the 10,000 additional student places which the government said the new funding arrangements would create.
Number of subscribers: 1