Written evidence submitted by Coventry University Group (RTR0112)



The evidence in this submission is presented by Coventry University Group. We are the fifth largest provider of undergraduate education in the UK with over 38 thousand students in 2019-20.


Coventry University Group serves five of the seven NHS regions via the BSc and MSc Blended Nursing Provision. Our School of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health currently educates just under 4,700 students in Coventry and the West Midlands, East London, Scarborough and North Yorkshire. We are a sector leader in innovative apprenticeship provision through an integral College. Further details about the Group are provided in Annex 1.


We believe the experience of higher education institutions is uniquely positioned to assist this inquiry because HE is at the forefront of partnership working with the health and social care sector to address the challenges including workforce retention, career progression, and the pressing need to establish integrated care systems. With an ageing population and changing demand on our health and care services, evidence-based planning and academic research are key. Our overarching main recommendations are:




How Coventry University Group structures courses to meet workforce demand


Role of HE providers in increasing health and social care workforce numbers


Ensuring all can be part of the workforce


Retention and progression in work


Addressing local skills needs


International student recruitment




Annex 1

Coventry University is the fifth largest provider of undergraduate education in the UK with 38,430 students in 2019-20. We trace our origins to Coventry College of Design in 1843, which was intended to provide the necessary education and innovation for the future workforce. Our institution has changed, expanded, and developed over time but that founding purpose remains the same.


Now with locations in Coventry Scarborough, London and local regional partnerships with links to employers, we are continually developing to suit the needs of our learners. Coventry University Group prides itself on pioneering innovative education in line with our commitment to equal opportunities and our ambition for flexible learning pathways that empower students to think critically. UK HE has been evolving for hundreds of years. This is a strength of our sector, which exported £23.3 bn in 2018, an increase of 8.9 percent on the previous year.[9] CUG is a leading UK institution for Transnational Education, providing a valued UK education product across 20 different countries.[10]


Learning is a collaborative and long-term process, and we build equally long-term relationships with students, colleagues and alumni for continued engagement in education. Our comments in this response are about ensuring we take learners, young people, parents and employers with us on that journey. The people we care about have undergone a huge period of uncertainty, with changing expectations for their lives and careers and it's important to have regard for that in policymaking.


Jan 2022

[1] The degrees we offer demand a lot from our learners. In CUG’s BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing course, 50% is practice, requiring 40 hours per week in placements. In a typical teaching week, students will have around 21 contact hours of teaching. This includes activity-led seminars, group work, workshops and lectures. A further 14 hours each week of private study can include syndicate learning and online activities.

[2] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/promoting-equal-opportunities/effective-practice/mature-students/#:~:text=Key%20facts,a%2022%20per%20cent%20drop).&text=The%20continuation%20rate%20for%20mature,and%2074.8%20per%20cent%20respectively)

[3] https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/2021-09/NHS%20LSF%20guidance%20booklet%20(V4)%2009.2021_0.pdf

[4] https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/what-we-do/employment/employ-autism-network/higher-education-network

[5] Skills for every young person (parliament.uk)

[6] Skills for Care

[7] NHS Vacancy Statistics England April 2015 – September 2021 Experimental Statistics - NHS Digital

[8] Skills for every young person (parliament.uk)

[9] UK revenue from education related exports and transnational education activity in 2018 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

[10] Collaborative partners | Coventry University