A new £3 million programme has been launched in England to support higher education in small, specialist healthcare disciplines that are experiencing difficulty in recruiting or retaining students.
The disciplines identified for support are therapeutic radiography, prosthetics and orthotics, podiatry, and orthoptics.
Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines programme starts this spring, and will enable a range of activities to help ensure the sustainability of higher education courses in these areas.
The interventions include a national marketing and communications campaign to encourage students to apply, and employing outreach and communications officers to coordinate an outreach network and share best practice.
There will also be a ‘challenge fund’, offering higher education providers with finance for innovative approaches to delivering or recruiting to their courses.
Spencer Goodman, Professional Officer for Radiotherapy at the Society said: “This HEFCE project followed our strong input with Health Education England on a qualitative project seeking to inform a marketing and development strategy aimed at increasing applications to smaller AHPs.
“The College of Radiographers is represented on the HEFCE programme board to drive forward the planning and implantation of this project.
“It is vital that therapeutic radiography is represented across a range of objectives and success criteria for a programme of activities which had been jointly developed and agreed by HEFCE’s executive.
“I am extremely pleased to liaise with members across a range of work streams centred around increasing understanding of and demand for small specialist allied health disciplines.”