Sheffield universities pledge support for armed forces community

  • Vice-Chancellors from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, a pledge made to support the armed forces community to ensure they face no disadvantage
  • Fewer children from Armed Forces families progress to higher education than their peers due to factors including mobility, separation and caring responsibilities
  • Adopting the Covenant principles will ensure students and staff from military backgrounds get the necessary support, including flexibility in granting leave for Service parents, spouses and partners, and accommodating Reservist training and deployment where possible

The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have pledged their support to the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant, recognising the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to the community.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge made by businesses and organisations across the UK to commit to ensuring members of the armed forces community are treated fairly, and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives compared to their peers.

The University of Sheffield signed the Covenant for the first time, and Sheffield Hallam re-signed, having first made the pledge in 2017.

Adopting the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant will further enhance the support to students and staff from both universities with military connections. This includes supporting employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces, supporting local cadet units, and connecting alumni with military backgrounds with students and cadet units.

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are very pleased to sign the Armed Forces Covenant. Factors such as mobility, separation, wellbeing and caring responsibilities mean students and staff from armed forces backgrounds may need additional support or special consideration.”

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “I am delighted to reaffirm Sheffield Hallam’s pledge to support students and staff from the armed forces community. Reservists and veterans have a great deal to contribute to our University and the Armed Forces Covenant rightly commits institutions to ensuring they can thrive and succeed.”

They were joined by South Yorkshire Deputy Lieutenant Charles Turner, who re-signed the covenant on behalf of Sheffield-based machine blades manufacturer Durham-Duplex.

He said: “I am delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and reaffirm Durham-Duplex’s support for the men and women of the UK Armed Forces.

“As a veteran I know that the Armed Forces Covenant is an important and visible part of the military’s involvement with employers in the UK. The covenant is also a commitment by the signatory to treat those who currently serve and those that have served with fairness and respect in the community, economy and society.

“This covenant should not be signed lightly as it is a commitment to action and as an employer, I have always found ex-service personnel make wonderful employees.”

The Armed Forces Covenant was introduced in 2000 into public life to refer to the mutual obligations between the nation and its armed forces.

It is “a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.”

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