Service children, veterans and spouses or partners of UK Armed Forces personnel looking to apply to university or college can now find a new information and advice page from UCAS on its website.
The new advice has been produced following collaboration between the MOD, UCAS and the Service Children’s Progression Alliance.Back to top
BFBS is giving military spouses and partners the chance to up-skill in social media marketing techniques absolutely free.
With funding from the Armed Forces Covenant fund, they will deliver the course through a combination of online learning, video meetings and social media over 12 weeks.
During the course you’ll learn about:
You’ll also receive ongoing advice on careers in social media, content or campaigns, and support and feedback from experts on anything related to social media.Back to top
AFF has clarified with UCAS how students living overseas should apply to university in the UK. They gave the following advice:
In the application, under ‘Personal details’ there are a few fields to be aware of:
Most important are these two categories a bit further down:
If the universities that you are applying to have any queries with this, then they will be able to contact you directly to confirm that you are overseas due to a military posting.
It is also recommended that you state that you are from a military family in your personal statement and ask your chosen referee to state this in their reference too.Back to top
If your soldier lived in Scotland when they joined the Army, a spouse or dependent child should apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for funding. This applies regardless of whether they are currently living in the UK or abroad; and where they want to study in the UK.
They may be eligible for free tuition fees if choosing to study in Scotland (subject to eligibility criteria).
However, as Scottish university fees are significantly lower than those of the other home nations for Scottish students, the offer from SAAS is lower than that of other funding streams, so if you choose to study at a university outside of Scotland, then the cost of your fees would not be met.
We are working on various issues with the other Families Federations and Covenant team on issues regarding student finance across the devolved administrations, but it is important that families understand that the financial offer is very different when deciding where to look for university provision.
If you have any questions, email email@example.com or see the following:Back to top
AFF is concerned that spouses can face barriers when pursuing further education (FE) and training. These barriers include frequent postings, living in remote locations, overseas postings, poor access to childcare, and lack of funding (especially where there is no second income in the family).
We are working to increase spouse access to FE and training because we recognise this will open up more employment opportunities. A second income is crucial at a time when the Army is encouraging home ownership.
We are currently working with the MOD, the Armed Forces Covenant Team, Defence Relationship Management and Service charities to look at opportunities for training for spouses. We have already successfully worked for retention of SFA if spouses are in the middle of further/higher education courses, where they had a reasonable expectation of completing the course before their soldier was posted.
The Armed Forces Covenant has recognised that access to training is very important for spouses. This has resulted in initiatives such as the RBLI’s employability courses becoming nationally available for spouses and also the University of Wolverhampton offering dedicated business start-up courses for spouses and dependants. AFF is aware that more opportunities are being developed and we will update families as soon as they become available.Back to top
As of 1 August 2017, Army families posted overseas who wish to undertake a qualifying UK based university or college course can access a loan via Student Finance England. This applies to both full and part time courses, and you no longer need to be in the UK for the first day of the course to qualify.
An AFF win
After much joint working with the Department for Business and Innovation, AFF was proud to announce this win.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to those from the devolved nations. To be eligible, you must qualify for the English student support package.
Putting families first
AFF continues to prioritise spousal employment and training, and this includes those posted overseas who sometimes cannot work and so choose to undertake a course during that time.
Find out more
For more information and full eligibility criteria, visit www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies
The Government and some Service and ex-Service organisations also offer financial assistance to serving and ex-Services personnel and members of their families to support a course of study or training. This may include assistance with the added costs and expenses associated with studying.
Good places to start are:
Are you interested in university study but not sure whether you have the study skills or the funds to have a try? You may want to consider the Access to Success Route, The Open University’s unique and low-cost entry route to further study. If you live in England and have an annual household income of less than £25,000, you may be successful in gaining a place. Visit www.open.ac.uk/learning/access or speak to AFF’s Employment & Training Specialist on 0779 9045955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to top
If you are considering taking a distance learning course why not look at the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council who accredit distance learning providers.