British army personnel and higher education - research

I'm not sure if I'm in the right place here, but I am a PhD student trying to find British army personnel who have studied at higher education in the UK. I am looking for individuals who may have studied some time in the past, more recently or studying now. They may be full or part time students. Basically, I would like to know if their experiences have been good, bad or just plain indifferent!

Very little is known about this group of students and I hope that the findings of my research will mean that future students who have served with the British army will be able to make the very most of their time in higher education.

If anyone can help with the above please get in touch with me - many thanks!
DSPS(A) sponsor a cohort each year to Southampton Solent University to do a degree and a Masters in Business Administration. I completed the first year of the Masters but out of 12 starters, only 2 of us were eligable to start the following year. Needless to say that when we were offered distance learning only for the second year it died a death. During the first year we attended 4 x weekend session which provided good motivaiton.

I was the first intake to go through with Solent. Since then they have tweaked the programme and the delivery. I would recommend either a phonecall to the Uni or to DSPS(A) for the background / numbers in the programme
Look to Northumbria University, Southampton and Portsmouth University's, and Wiltshire and Somerset College, for info. These provide accredited further education to Junior and Senior NCO's. I take it, that its the Non-Commissioned masses that you'll be looking at, as the toffs have to be graduates to get into the Puzzle Palace
I really want to know if higher education could be doing more to encourage and retain students from the military. Part of my interest stems from the Governments 2008 pledge to provide free university education to eligible military personnel - and also from speaking with students at the university.

A lot of work has been carried out in the USA in this area - but very little has been done in the UK.
There are still quite a few Officers without degrees coming through the system.

Kim - are you looking at purely University courses? The reason I ask is that NVQ's / vocational qualifications are quite popular and sp are probably building up CV evidence via this route - my last piece of Personal Development was a Level 5 qualification. I also have a graduate award based on vocational experience.
You've probably found the 'right' place, but you'd get a much better response in the Int Cell. Personally, I'd drop a message to a mod and ask if you can post this in there instead.
Thank you!
Can I ask when you went to Solent? Would you be interested in sharing your experience? I've created a social network site not just as a means to collect information but also as a forum where individuals can support/discuss their experiences.

I'm in the process of trying to promote the site - but finding people is proving difficult!
Yes, I am at the moment looking at university courses - this is mainly because education is a large area and I have to narrow it down for my PhD. But I will bear in mind the comments you have made ;-)
The pledge was made in the 2008 MoD The Nation's Commitment: Cross Government support to our armed forces, their families and veterans. London HMSO. The concession is for eligible personnel only - they have to have served for 6 years and belong to the enhanced learning credit scheme but the concession is valid for up to 10 years post-service.
My research is anthropological and I'm not testing a hypothesis as such. The aim of my research is to investigate the experiences of British army personnel in relation to studying at higher education institutions.
I left the Army last year, I had completed about 1/3 of a BA (Hons) in Business Studies with the Open University before I left, I found work/duties/operations/family hard to balance with studying, I managed to fit enough time in to pass all my assignments; however now that I am a civi I have much more time on my hand and the quality of my work and my assignments has jumped much higher.

The ELC's are really helpful, I am doing 2 x 60 point Open University courses this year which would cost £1830, but will only cost me about £266 (however be warned Open University fee's are jumping to £15,000 after Sept 2012 for new applicants).

I have not heard anything else in regards to Soldiers getting a free University since it was announced in 2008, apart from the Troops to Teachers programme that has still not been released.

On a negative note I have seen many Soldiers try to pass long distance courses whilst abroad, and struggled because of operations/exercise commitments, some line-managers try to give Soldiers some time off to concentrate on their study, while others dont; depends where you are or what job you are doing. The Open Univeristy does give lessons abroad, but trying to travel to these events is hard if its hundreds of miles away, although the forums are very handy and the help given to long distance students can be very good. I hope to finish my Degree in late 2012.

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