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University of Southampton and British Army join forces in education training

Published: 
19 May 2004

A unique partnership between one of the country's leading universities and the British Army will give professional military educators an opportunity to study flexibly for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

The University of Southampton's School of Education has developed the course to be as flexible as possible to meet the operational requirements of the Army. Officers opting for a career in education and training in the Army will join the programme straight from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

The programme delivers the standard two-year part-time PGCE in one initial six-week period, with the rest of the course delivered over the subsequent 13 months through a blended learning approach in the workplace. This novel approach means that the Army's military educators of the Educational and Training Services (ETS) Branch will spend minimum time away from their units.

University tutors and experienced ETS officers will jointly deliver the programme, with the latter becoming accredited Teaching Fellows of the University.

Professor Nick Foskett, Head of the School of Education at Southampton, commented: "Our unique collaborative approach means that students will be supported at all stages of their studies either by University academic staff or by ETS officers accredited by the University. This means that the student gets the best possible support from both sides and we in the University benefit from working with another equally professional organisation."

Brigadier Mark Filler, Director of Educational and Training Services (Army), said: "Ensuring we have all ETS officers trained with the right skills is fundamental to the success of our delivery of excellent education to the wider Army. This new partnership with the University of Southampton allows our newly-commissioned ETS officers to qualify to the very best standards and to have them employed in the delivery of education to soldiers as swiftly as possible."

The University and the Army intend to strengthen their partnership further by building a developmental programme for ETS officers to gain an MA(Ed) at the earliest possible opportunity in their career. Currently ETS officers attend one-year residential courses to acquire their core postgraduate training prior to delivery of specialist training support guidance and officers' education to the Army. This new opportunity will offer greater flexibility and value for money.

Notes for editors

  1. Informal photocall
    There will be an informal launch of the new PGCE programme at 2 pm at the University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton on Friday 21 May 2004. There will be an opportunity to photograph Professor Peter Gregson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor with Brigadier Mark Filler, Director of Educational and Training Services (Army), together with some of their colleagues. If you would like to attend, please contact Sue Wilson for further details.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.

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