Studying is about to become a lot easier for RAF personnel faced with challenging lifestyles due to remote postings or operational deployments.
The RAF Foundation Degree Consortium, a unique partnership of four universities and the RAF with support from Foundation Degree Forward, will launch two foundation degrees on 25 January at RAF Scampton. Without interrupting their careers, students can opt for a foundation degree in business or leadership and management presented by The Open University, Staffordshire University, the University of Chester and the University of Derby.
“We are very excited about launching this opportunity for our staff to obtain a university qualification. Not only will the degrees develop knowledge, understanding and skills directly relevant to an RAF career, but they are also transferable to civilian employment when staff finally leave the Service,” Squadron Leader David Freak, RAF accreditation staff officer, commented.
Both degrees offer flexible starting dates, complemented by a range of learning styles to meet the learner’s preference. Students can gain credits for work experience and can select modules from any member of the consortium to ‘build’ the degree.
RAF Corporal Chris Hull from the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire chose The Open University for his leadership and management degree. He said: “The Open University has allowed me to credit previous courses, so my efforts were not in vain! I have always been keen to put my long Service experience and hard-earned knowledge to good use. The degree fulfils this need and also supports my role as a mentor. The work-based bias has even benefited my office role!”
Foundation degrees are employer-led vocational qualifications. They integrate workplace competence into academic attainment and are equivalent to the first two years of an honours degree. The partnership between the RAF and the four universities equip learners with the knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the RAF. It further provides an ideal progression from qualifications such as apprenticeships and NVQs.