NHS bosses say fewer trainee nurses dropping out of courses in the region is a key factor behind the reduction, which is significantly more than other parts of the UK.
Cuts in the North-East and North-West in places for the coming 2011-12 academic year are around five per cent and about nine per cent nationwide but in Yorkshire the 14.5 per cent reduction will see numbers of student nurses recruited fall by more than 300 to around 1,800.
Midwifery training is being maintained at the same level as last year after Ministers intervened in the wake of pledges to increase numbers of midwives although there seems little prospect of a pre-election promise by Prime Minister David Cameron to increase them by 3,000 being fulfilled. Some 259 midwifery places will again be available from the autumn.
Further cuts in funding will also reduce training for other health disciplines including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and radiography.
NHS officials in the region said the cut was based on estimates of likely NHS demand in three years time for staff “to ensure we have an appropriately resourced and skilled workforce that matches local needs”.
“The forecast is that the numbers in training will match the region’s needs in order to get best value for the public from the costs of training,” said a spokeswoman.
The chairman of the Council of Deans of Health which represents 85 UK universities, Sue Bernhauser, who is also dean of the School of Human and Health Sciences at Huddersfield University, said the cut was likely to mean redundancies in universities as staff dealt with fewer students.
She said cuts were less severe in some other parts of the country but the reduction in Yorkshire reflected success in improving retention rates in the region, while the recession meant more people were applying.