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BPS rejects comments made by the Education Secretary

30 May 2019

The British Psychological Society rejects the comments made by the Education Secretary suggesting that psychology is a ‘low value’ degree.

Chief Executive Sarb Bajwa said:

"The Education Secretary’s remarks are based on a frustrating and fundamental misunderstanding of the value of a psychology degree and of the career pathways for those who want to become a psychologist.

The premise that psychology is a ‘low value’ subject simply because some psychology graduates won’t be earning enough five years after leaving university to start making loan repayments is extremely unhelpful.

Importantly, it overlooks the fact that many who pursue the pathway to a career in psychology, particularly as clinical psychologists in the NHS, are still in training five years post-graduation.

Universities UK has rightly stated that salary should not be the only measure of a degree’s value.

Psychology is recognised by UCAS as a STEM subject, which puts it at the heart of the Government’s own productivity strategy. But it also gives graduates valuable employability and psychological skills that are directly transferable into the wider modern workplace.

The NHS Long Term Plan places a welcome emphasis on increasing access to a range of psychological therapies yet a new review by the Migration Advisory Committee recommends that the number of unfilled vacancies for psychologists is significant enough for the profession to be added to the shortage occupation list.

Surely the Education Secretary should be doing all he can to encourage people into the profession, not undermine a vital part of the workforce."

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