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sophie atherton

campaigns & democracy
s.atherton@uea.ac.uk

we pushed for paramedics and won!

Last weekend, some of you may have noticed that there was a huge announcement on funding for nursing students, allied health profession students and paramedic science students! As of September, all UK Students studying BSc Paramedic Science at UEA will receive at least £5000 in NHS Bursary funds – A huge win for uea(su) and paramedic students respectively.

Paramedic Science students have historically been locked out from accessing NHS funding towards the additional costs related to their degree. With associated costs such as placement accommodation, transport fares and uniform washing, this has put a huge financial burden on these students, and in turn on the numbers of students graduating into NHS vacancies. This represented an unnecessary and arbitrary difference between Paramedic Science students and other Allied Health cohorts.

To challenge this, Paramedic Society and uea(su) launched the Push for our Paramedics campaign. Working with Anglia Ruskin University SU and Unions across the country, we worked to raise awareness of the issue. We conducted research to better understand the impacts of the disparity of funding on students, produced resources for students to use when lobbying for change, and won support from MPs to advance our campaign in Parliament and across the country.

And our challenge paid off. The voices of Paramedic Science students have been heard, and our goal of closing the funding gap has been achieved.

This doesn't mean ‘job done’. As a Union, we will always fight for fairer conditions for students, whether they study paramedic science, nursing, or any other subject at UEA. We’ve been involved the proposed changes to the Paramedic Science course to ensure student voices are properly heard, and we’ll continue to represent your interests across the university and beyond.

I’m always keen to help you achieve campaign goals and support various campaigns whilst you are studying to ensure that you are fully supported whilst here at university. If you have any ideas or want a help in hand, please drop me an email at s.atherton@uea.ac.uk or pop into the office for a chat!

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