Woodbrooke affiliate signs Armed Forces Covenant

Lancaster University agrees to promote itself as an 'Armed Forces-friendly organisation'

Woodbrooke has said that it will be speaking with Lancaster University ‘as soon as [it] can’, following news that the university, which accredits some Woodbrooke degrees, is to sign a special covenant with the Armed Forces. According to the university website on 22 June, ‘the special Armed Forces Covenant encourages universities and other organisations… to develop firm links with and support the Armed Forces community including serving personnel (regular and reservists), veterans and military families’.

The university said: ‘In real terms the Covenant means that Lancaster University agrees to promote itself as an “Armed Forces-friendly organisation” and commits to an array of services and support.’ This could include guaranteeing interviews ‘for suitably qualified service leavers for jobs at the University’ and ‘promoting the opportunities of Armed Forces careers to students’.

A statement from Woodbrooke said: ‘Woodbrooke has a long-standing agreement with Lancaster University for the provision of online degrees. We were not made aware of the Armed Forces Covenant signed between the University and the Army in any way until the recent announcement. We will be arranging to speak with our partners at Lancaster as soon as we can.’

The Covenant is being signed as part of the university’s first annual Armed Forces Day celebrations, which was due to be an afternoon tea party but was postponed and replaced with online activities due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Vice-chancellor of Lancaster University professor Andy Schofield said the covenant ‘is a pledge that 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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