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Ambitions & priorities: Veterans, ex-armed forces and their families

This page provides information, advice and guidance to veterans, ex-armed forces and their families on the support and funding options available for those who may wish to study at a Scottish college or university. It also outlines how colleges and universities can join the newly established HE:FE Veterans Champion’s Network.

Publications & statistics

Responding to the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s report, The Veterans Community – Employability, Skills and Learning, SFC established a Veterans Group, with members from colleges, universities, Scottish Government, SAAS, Veterans Scotland, Universities Scotland and College Development Network, to take forward specific recommendations.

The group aims to establish an HE:FE Veterans Champions’ Network that will provide a single point of contact in each of Scotland’s colleges and universities for veterans, ex-armed forces and their families. Champions will provide that first point of contact for members of the ex-service community and their families when they are applying for, or undertaking, further and higher education in Scotland.

Veterans & Armed Forces Champions

The HE:FE Veterans Champion’s Network was launched at the January 2019 Gathering held at Glasgow Caledonian University. This webpage provides details on:

  • Vision of the HE:FE Veterans Champion’s Network (HEFE-VCN).
  • Armed Forces Covenant.
  • Role of the VAFC.
  • VAFC Team Guide.

Vision

The vision is for each university and college in Scotland to have a dedicated Veterans & Armed Forces Champion (VAFC) within their institution, who will be responsible for establishing and leading a small team of knowledgeable individuals (familiar with the Armed Forces community). There are no definitive numbers, other than a minimum of two; it is for the institution to decide in light of their resources, but as a guide please refer to the VAFC team guide.

Armed Forces Covenant (AFC)

The purpose is clear and straightforward. Each University and College will be encouraged to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant. This demonstrates the institutions commitment to ensuring those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. If each university and college in Scotland signs the Covenant this is presenting a clear education sector message to the Armed Forces community that the sector cares. The sector is not creating advantage but removing disadvantage. (Selection of the VAFC is usually part of this process, although there are examples of the AFC being signed ahead of VAFC appointment).

Role of the VAFC

The VAFC:

  • Can be any member of staff who demonstrates a passion for supporting the Veterans and Armed Forces community. The VAFC should have a desire to ensure the institution is working towards fulfilling the pledges they agreed to when signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
  • Will be the main point of contact for the institution and be responsible for ensuring questions/enquiries are dealt with, either directly or redirected to the most relevant team and/or directed to University staff such as Programme Leads/Directors. (The VAFC should always enter into initial dialogue with the enquirer before redirection).
  • will be responsible for:
    • Engagement across the Community. This can be via the military centres local to the institution; through the 3rd sector organisations; local government; partner colleges; RFCA; within your institution; and others.
    • Establishing promotion of the institutions work, such as via a micro website within the institution’s web page. This will include regular liaison with the stakeholders within the institution.
    • Preparation and dissemination of guidance to existing and new staff.
    • Identifying Veterans, Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, within both the staff and student body.

The above are what might be considered as the primary roles. It is likely that other roles will develop organically according to the need of the Community and your institution.

VAFC team guide

Ideally the team in each institution will include a representative from each of the following areas, (but not exclusively limited to these groups):

  • Student Recruitment - who will be familiar with the Armed Forces community and transition process from military to civilian life and be familiar with the qualification learning pathway (SCQF model). Willing to have 1:1 meeting with potential student’s from the armed forces community to explore areas of prior learning and experience.
  • Widening Participation - who will be familiar with the Armed Forces community and transition process from military to civilian life and be familiar with the qualification learning pathway (SCQF model). Willing to have 1:1 meeting with potential student’s from the armed forces community to explore areas of prior learning and experience.
  • HR - who will be familiar with the Armed Forces community and transition process from military to civilian life and willing to have 1:1 meeting with potential candidate from the armed forces community to explore areas of prior learning and experience and relevance for the jobs available.
  • Community Engagement – who will be familiar with the Armed Forces community and open to exploring areas of possible collaboration.

Role of the HE:FE Veterans Champion’s Network

The HEFE-VCN is intended to be a supporting network. You all are/will be members. Due to the extensive knowledge and practice in the field, this will be led by the VAFCs from GCU and ENU namely:

Please use both contacts as points of reference for any queries.

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership qualification mapping project

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) has received additional funding from SFC to manage and lead a project on mapping learning pathways and accrediting prior learning for service leavers and veterans.

This work will provide support on recognition for prior learning and articulation through mapping existing qualifications against the SCQF, as well as developing advice and guidance materials designed specifically for the veterans and ex-service community.

SCQFP has a dedicated page on support for Veterans, which includes a leaflet on how infantry qualifications map onto the SCQF.

Further information and resources

Further information and resources for veterans, ex-armed forces and their families are available.