Support available to the Armed Forces community
UCAS support for students from a UK Armed Forces background
Veterans, or students whose parent(s), carer(s), or partner are current or former UK Armed Forces personnel may find there are unique circumstances to consider when making their applications. They may also be able to get extra support from their chosen university or college.
UCAS has introduced a new section to the application for students applying to start their course from 2023, where you can share more information about your circumstances with the university or college – including whether you are from a UK Armed Forces family. Whether you are a Service child, veteran or Service leaver, head to the UCAS website where you’ll find additional information and guidance for consideration.
UCAS application guidance from Service Children’s Progress (SCiP) Alliance
The Service Children’s Progress Alliance (SCiP) has published guidance on making the most of your personal statement as well as guidance for practitioners supporting young people, including teachers, referees and HE admissions departments:
From 2020, all Universities are required to publish Access and Participation Plans. The Office for Students published its first analysis of these in February 2020. SCiP Alliance discusses the Access and Participation Plans report here.
The report states:
77. Our initial analysis of the plans also suggests that some student groups may not be adequately addressed. For example, mature students have not been prioritised by many providers despite low and decreasing proportions of such students in their own populations and the sector more broadly. Similarly, although other, smaller groups of underrepresented students, such as Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups, children from military families and carers, are mentioned in many plans, some of the approaches to addressing the needs of these groups are in the early stages of development or are yet to be scoped”
The RAF Families Federation will continue to work with SCiP Alliance to encourage inclusion of Armed Forces children and you could look at the plans of any Universities that your child is planning to apply for to see if it has put in place particular measures for Armed Forces families.
The Open University
The Open University (OU) offers flexible part-time study, supported distance and open learning for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and qualifications. The OU website has information on opening higher education to the Armed Forces which includes guidance on Enhanced Learning Credits, Standard Learning Credits and Supporting the Armed Forces.
Scholarships for children whose parent has died in Service
The Bereavement Scholarship Scheme (gov.uk) is available for 16 year olds and over, to provide University and FE scholarships for the children of service personnel whose death has been attributed to Service since 1990.
Service Children’s Progression Alliance
The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance is a partnership of organisations including the RAF Families Federation focused on improving outcomes for children from military families. The SCiP Alliance’s Mission is to champion the progression of the children of military personnel, so that they can make informed and confident transitions through further and higher education into thriving adult lives and careers. The SCiP website has further research and resources for practitioners as well as information for parents.
The University of Winchester has undertaken some research into the progression of service children into HE and FE (scipalliance.org).
Have a look at this news story from April 2019 (gov.uk), where Universities are urged to boost their support for Armed Forces families.
Support for adults preparing for university level study
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is the regulator for the Access to Higher Education Diploma (accesstohe.ac.uk), a qualification designed for adults to prepare them for university level study.
The UCAS Armed Forces support page also provides details of support available to service leavers, veterans and spouses and partners of Armed Forces personnel.
See here for information on the ‘Troops to Teachers’ initiative (ucas.com) including bursary.
Grants and bursaries for adult learners (gov.uk) offers some information on grants and bursaries for study as an adult – including NHS bursaries.