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Paramedic students in Scotland will receive a £10,000 annual bursary

The Scottish Government has today (Thursday, 01 July 2021) announced that paramedic students in Scotland will receive a £10,000 annual bursary for courses starting this September.  

Pay Student Paramedics is a campaign run by student paramedics from across five different training universities across Scotland (GCU, RGU, UWS, QMU, Stirling). Set up in June 2020 our aim is to get a bursary for student paramedics equal to that received by nurses and midwives. Currently there are over 250 student paramedics involved in the campaign.

Commenting, Rory Maclean, a member of the Pay Student Paramedics campaign and student paramedic said:

“After a year of campaigning we have won the bursary for student paramedics in Scotland. The difference this will make to the lives of hundreds is gigantic. The pressures of food poverty, worrying about rent and mental health will all be eased.

“This bursary was won because student paramedics came together to fight against an obvious injustice. Our reports over the past year have shown the financial and mental strain completing this course without a bursary takes. We are glad the government has listened and put in place the measures we have been asking for.”

  • Scottish Government announcement is available here:
  • UNISON is Scotland’s largest health union and was calling for this bursary following a change in the way paramedics are trained. From September this year, all new paramedics in Scotland will be required to complete a three-year degree. Previously there was an apprentice-style model of paid on-the-job training. Read our most recent press release here:
  • A recent survey by the Pay Student Paramedics Campaign showed more than eight in ten (83%) were experiencing burn out with more than half (57%) saying they were likely to leave their course due to financial pressures. Figures and associated stories from the Pay Student Paramedics Campaign have been compiled into a report available here:
  • During the 2021 Holyrood election all the leaders of Scotland’s political parties gave their support for student paramedics to be given a bursary.
  • From September 2021 all paramedics entering the profession in Scotland, will be required to have a BSc (three year) degree. This change in legislation means aspiring paramedics now need to go down the qualification route rather than the longstanding apprentice style model. This means that future paramedics have lost the financial security that came with the old model of fully paid on the job learning and training.

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