A review of Nursing and Physiotherapy has taken place over the last year, and now students have been informed that all possible options for the future of the course will be considered at an appraisal.
Students have been sent a number of emails concerning the fate of their course and were invited to attend a meeting this Tuesday in order for the University to set the record straight. Furthermore an article has appeared in the Nursing Standard about the University of Birmingham with the headline 'Nursing school under threat after reduction in SHA commissions'.
Students are confused and worried about the implications of the changes for their course and one student has written a letter to Steve McCabe, MP for Selly Oak requesting support and help.
Second year nursing student Ruth Parkes said, 'It's a massive shock and seems to have happened really fast. I am worried for the future. Some of my favourite lecturers have left and I will be really upset if the course finishes as it is well respected in Birmingham and it will not only have an impact on students and lecturers but Birmingham's healthcare as well.'
A University spokesperson has said:
'Nursing and Physiotherapy (N&P) within the School of Health and Population Sciences is currently undergoing an options appraisal on its future configuration where all possible options will be considered. The appraisal of all the possible options for N&P will be undertaken inclusively and transparently, involving staff and students. The University will also ensure all relevant external stakeholders, including local NHS partners, are communicated with regularly throughout the process.
'During this process we are continuing to make offers to applicants to the Nursing and Physiotherapy undergraduate programmes for entry in September 2012. While there may be some changes to these programmes, we can confirm that, subject to successful completion of the course, all current and new students will be eligible to be awarded the University of Birmingham degree that they applied to study.'
The outcome of the review is due in June this year, however student applications to start the course in 2012/13 are still being accepted.
Professor John Heath, Pro Vice Chancellor (Estates and Infrastructure), told Redbrick, 'The Nursing and Physiotherapy Options Appraisal Group (OAG) has recommended, and University Executive Board endorsed, that all students currently on course, or in receipt of an offer for 2012, will graduate with the University of Birmingham Degree they enrolled for.
'The OAG, in addition, is not considering the transfer of Nursing and Physiotherapy education to another HE provider.'