Health Science students have complained of the costs involved in travelling to and from Summer placements during their course.
York’s student union told Nouse these “upsetting findings” will, “form a few campaigns” this term.
The university’s Health Science students work full time over the summer on placements, without a student loan.
Many students who do not rely on parental income are required to work part-time to cover their expenses. A YUSU survey asked what would help students improve their experience of travelling to placements, and what they thought about the time it took to reimburse travel expenses.
A total of 149 health science students completed the survey and students left over 280 comments.
Respondents of the survey revealed their travel affected health and impacted their work in and out of university.
One student commented, “I do think there should be extra grants or funding available for student nurses and midwives as it is impossible to have a part time job or more than a few hours a week to help pay for expenses because of our 30 hour a week placements. “Other students have the opportunity to work and earn extra money and I do know of many student nurses having to leave the course due to funding. Therefore I do think the funding needs to be reviewed especially for travel expenses to practice.”
Many who completed the survey have commented on the amount of time it took to have their travel expenses reimbursed. One student handed their first claims form in at the end of January and did not receive the money back until May.
One respondent commented, “7-8 weeks is too long for travel expenses to come back to students. Myself and other students have had weeks were something has to give ‘food or travel’ it’s not right that we should have to make that choice!”
The survey revealed students believe inflexible policies surrounding termly accommodation payments for halls don’t help the situation.
One commented, “It’s very crushing to be told as a mature nursing student to find part-time work when my placement hours do not allow this, and to be sent to a placement which is pretty much inaccessible by public transport and takes away five hours of my time each weekday.”
When asked to comment on the amount of time it took to have their travel expenses reimbursed. Students revealved, “Travel expense costs and the problems they cause are a serious issue for healthcare students and a better system needs to be in place.”
The service offered was called ‘very unreliable and often slow.’ For students in Scarborough where it costs £80 a week for tavel, it can impact on food, social life and lead to serious debt.