Support scheme to be introduced this year.
Hundreds of paramedic students in Scotland will receive an annual bursary of £10,000 as part of a new scheme unveiled today.
An estimated 668 students will be eligible for the Paramedic, Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (PNMSB) for courses starting this September.
The number of eligible students is expected to rise to almost 900 next year.
Scottish-domiciled paramedic students who have already applied for undergraduate student funding do not need to re-apply.
The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) will automatically reassign students to the new funding package.
The new award, which will be paid over 12 months each academic year, was unveiled by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf (pictured) during a visit to an ambulance station in Dundee where the minister met paramedic students.
Mr Yousaf said:
“The introduction of this bursary for our paramedic students fulfils this Government’s pledge to bolster support for this crucial service.
“Paramedics have been a driving force in maintaining NHS services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and I am determined to ensure we attract and support the next generation of these vital workers.
“Scottish student paramedics, studying in Scotland, will be able to apply for a bursary of £10,000 a year, compared with the £5,000 bursary announced last year by the UK Government in England.
“These Scottish paramedic students can also apply for other associated additional allowances.
“Scottish paramedic students studying in the rest of the UK will continue to receive the current undergraduate funding package of tuition fee loan, income-assessed living cost loans and bursary, as well as other additional grants they may be entitled to.
“Our allied health professionals are the third largest part of our NHS workforce and this announcement underlines our determination to remobilise the service as we emerge safely from the pandemic lockdown.”
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
“This is fantastic news for current and prospective students across the country.
“They are an important part of our workforce and this announcement will be a real boost which will help encourage the paramedics of the future.
“Our staff do an amazing job each day and this additional financial support is welcome.
“Student paramedics have been in paid employment in a variety of roles during the pandemic and we are continuing to recruit additional staff across a variety of roles to help further improve services for patients.”