Government announces social work bursary allocations

With just weeks to go until courses start the Department of Health has finally confirmed bursary allocations

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The government has made a much-delayed announcement on this year’s social work bursary allocation, just weeks before courses start.

The Department of Health has confirmed funding will be available for bursaries to be provided to up to 1,500 postgraduate students starting courses this year. Bursaries are only available for undergraduate students from their second and third years, and the DH said bursaries will be funded for 2,500 undergraduate students who started in 2015.

The bursaries will be worth the same as last year (see boxes below).

Each university will be told how many bursary places will be available for each of their courses and will be asked to provide the government with a list of named students to receive the funding.

The official social work bursaries Facebook group currently provides a daily Q&A service for students with questions on the bursary process.

The news follows fierce criticism of the government for repeatedly delaying the announcement, with students and universities having originally been told they’d receive information in June.

This week the British Association of Social Workers wrote to health secretary Jeremy Hunt urging him to end the uncertainty, warning that the financial limbo was causing students to consider withdrawing from, or deferring places on, their courses.

The long-term future of social work bursaries remains uncertain, with the government considering scrapping the support entirely in future years. Ministers have pledged to consult on changes to the bursaries later this year.

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3 Responses to Government announces social work bursary allocations

  1. Ann August 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    I am Social Work student and the system is very unfair. The bursaries allocated were given to the top achievers, 58 bursaries yet 78 students. My perception of Social Work isn’t about being the most academic it’s more about being a people person, good communication skills and who knows a bit about life. I think the government should just give the university’s the pot of money and share it between all students some may not be the most academic but they will make good social workers, I was lucky enough to get the bursary but it is very disheartening for those who didn’t £5000 extra a year is a lot of money even more when your a student.

    • Sophia August 5, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

      I was lucky enough to receive a bursary for my masters and very greatful I am too, otherwise I wouldn’t have afforded to do it. I received mine through the university and how they decided was through a competitive interviewing, a written English test, my degree classification and the relevance of the degree. I think in my case my university considered skills fairly. There were 45 places and 30 bursaries and we were ranked in order of who the university was putting forward. I know I’m bias but I though the selection process was fair!

  2. Lee Pardy-Mclaughlin August 5, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    This is great to see that bursary allocation has now been confirmed and that prospective students and existing students on social work courses can now plan for the next year.