Commenting on the figures, Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications, said: “It seems a remarkable coincidence that this drastic fall in applications comes soon after the announcement that midwifery and nursing students are having their bursary scrapped, and will have to pay tuition fees. This could leave them as much as £60,000 in debt when they qualify.

“This is a disaster in the making for midwifery staffing in the NHS in England where there is already a shortage of 3500 full time midwives. I repeat our call for the Government to revisit their ill informed and poorly thought through decision to scrap bursaries.“

The UCAS statistics can be found at