§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many nursing students have(a) withdrawn and (b) been forced to withdraw from their course in each of the past five years at universities in the Province. 
§ Angela Smith
Information on the number of students who withdrew from their course is only readily available for the last four financial years and is as follows.
Financial year Number of permanent
1 April 2000—31 March 2001 50 1 April 2001—31 March 2002 64 1 April 2002—31 March 2003 100 1 April 2003—31 March 2004 70
They are currently in excess of 2,200 students actively pursing their training.1098W
Students may be asked to permanently withdraw from their course in the event of examination failure, breaches of discipline or continued poor performance while on practice placement.
Other reasons cited for withdrawal include personal reasons, domestic responsibilities and financial difficulties. The Universities can offer an option of a temporary withdrawal, as a possible solution to difficulties a student is experiencing.