The University of Northampton has joined eight other universities of the East Midlands to reaffirm their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.
In a joint ceremony at the University of Leicester the representatives – including Northampton Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Petford – signed revised agreements which include clear-cut promises to support Armed Forces personnel.
The ceremony was attended by Chief of Defence People (CDP), Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE, who commented: “I am delighted to see these institutions from the East Midlands higher education sector reaffirming their Armed Forces Covenant commitments. In particular the commitment to encourage students to become Reservists, and paid leave for existing Reservists to undertake their annual training commitments is very welcome, and sets a potent example for peer organisations in the education sector.”
Vice Chancellor Nick Petford said: “The University of Northampton has a long history of supporting our military personnel, having first signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 we are proud to recommit our support through this renewed and refreshed agreement.
“We are an active member of the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme which promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces, and last year we enrolled 61 individuals who were either serving or veteran members onto our courses such as primary education, engineering, midwifery, computing and adult nursing.
“In 2018 we also released an independent report which revealed for the first time the positive effects impact that joining the Cadet Forces has on social inclusion, mobility and the mental wellbeing of young people.”
John Wilson OBE DL, Director of Employer Engagement at East Midlands RFCA, added: “We are really thrilled to have this significant group re-signing take place, demonstrating the friendly and supportive dialogue between all the East Midlands universities.
“The Armed Forces Covenant is there to ensure that Armed Forces personnel are not disadvantaged by the commitment they make to their defence careers, and respected bodies like the universities can lead by example and best practice.”
The other Universities in attendance were:
• Bishop Grosseteste University
• University of Derby
• University of Leicester
• University of Lincoln
• Loughborough University
• De Montfort University
• University of Nottingham
• Nottingham Trent University.
The Armed Forces Covenant was enshrined legally in the Armed Forces Act 2011 as a promise from the nation that its Armed Forces personnel will be treated fairly. The Covenant can be signed by any and all UK businesses interested in showing their support for defence personnel. For more information on the Armed Forces Covenant.