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University signs agreement to develop future military officers

Published: 6 November 2007

The University of Southampton has re-affirmed its partnership with the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) to continue to play an important role in the development of future military officers.

Rear Admiral Neil Latham, Commandant of the Defence College of Management and Technology (DCMT) and Professor Bill Wakeham, Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to renew the University’s commitment for the next five years.

The University of Southampton is one of five universities (the others being Aston, Loughborough, Newcastle and Northumbria) to accept Ministry of Defence sponsored students on the DTUS. There are currently 119 students studying courses in Engineering, Sciences, Management and Mathematics. The University's relationship with the DCMT goes back to 1994 with the establishment of the Royal Navy Engineering Sponsorship Scheme.

Students are supported at the University of Southampton by Thunderer Squadron. Commander Brett Burlingham, Commanding Officer, sees the scheme's mission to 'educate, develop and prepare' students by delivering additional military and adventurous activities as well as day-to-day administrative and pastoral care.

The first fully "Quad-service" graduation was in 2006 with the Unit expecting to grow to steady-state strength of 150 by 2009.

Professor Bill Wakeham said: "I welcome the opportunity to re-affirm the existence of Thunderer Squadron and the bold and positive decision to expand the University's already successful Royal Navy model. Having signed the first DTUS Memorandum in 2002, I am very pleased to sign this revised version in 2007, recognising the continuing benefits to both the University and MOD students."

Rear Admiral Neil Latham acknowledged the world-class nature of the academic training being delivered by the University as being of critical importance to Defence as a whole. He adds: "I wish to impress upon the MOD undergraduate students the importance of a strong academic background in their future careers. There will be times in their careers, as technical officers, where there will be a need to go "back to basics" in solving non-standard problems."

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