Soldiers occupy campus

November 26, 2004

Northumbria University's latest student recruits are soldiers who have signed up as the result of a shake-up of the Ministry of Defence's education programme.

Eleven trainee engineering officers from the Army are the first cohort to join an undergraduate scheme for the Armed Forces that has been transferred from the Royal Military College of Science at Cranfield University's Shrivenham campus.

Five universities - Northumbria, Newcastle, Southampton, Aston and Loughborough - have been chosen to run the course and to give recruits a better all-round student experience than they received at the military college.

The students will get a bursary in addition to support from a campus-based unit run by a commanding officer and a serving senior engineering officer.

They can engage in the same activities as other students, but they will also follow a programme that includes adventure training, work attachments and projects tailored to the Service they are expected to join.

Peter Hockley, who is studying mechanical design technology at Northumbria, said: "I've learnt a lot in just five weeks at the university. At Cranfield, you live and breathe the Army. At Northumbria, I can live my own life but, paradoxically, the experience has made me more committed to a career in the Army."

The Forces selected Northumbria as a partner university because of the quality and breadth of courses in its School of Engineering and Technology as well as its student support network.

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