169 members, 23 of these are family members & 10 are First Responders.
90% are undergraduate students.
Ongoing activities include:
VEEP facebook community; Monthly VEEP newsletter; Veterans’ transition program – developed and delivered by veteran students in Week 1 SP2; Partnering with Soldier On to deliver employment pathways information/expo - Australian Student Veteran Association (ASVA) set up a chapter at UniSA
University of Western Sydney - Cultural Competencies
Progressing with participant recruitment for pilot study 'Does online mentoring support the wellbeing of current and ex-serving ADF Students?' The ADF Student Veteran Mentorship Program at Western Sydney University is designed to investigate the role of online engagement and mentoring through Zoom to support Student Veterans’ transition from military life into student life, by creating a peer and external support network while at university.
Western Sydney University, development of cultural competency training on veteran and military culture, ongoing.
Veterans on Campus - England - Forces in Mind Trust - Anglia Ruskin University
Developing a 'Veteran Friendly Campus' in England (or even the UK) is a novel concept with very few universities starting down that path. The very name is contentious with veteran being formally defined as anyone serving one day as a regular or reserve qualifying, but 'veterans' under that banner may not themselves self identify. 'Veteran' can also alienate the community, campus and faculty as a consequence of popular myth and misconceptions. All universities would, of course, regard themselves as 'friendly' to any and all student groups. One term that is being considered to overcome this problem is the Uniformed Services Connected Connected Campus, which would include not only veterans but those in regular service completing courses sponsored by Defence, students and staff who are reservists or veterans, service children (disadvantaged by parental moves) and service spouse or partners entering university.
Only one 'campus' has a bespoke pathway for veterans, The Open University which for over 50 years has delivered remote higher education has recently begun a Disabled Veterans Scholarship programme https://www.open.ac.uk/courses/fees-and-funding/disabled-veterans-scholarship-fund and a paper describing the experience should shortly be published in the Journal of Veterans Studies.
The University Salford (Manchester) is possibly one of the first in England to fund a post specifically designed to develop engagement with the Armed Forces to 'build upon the existing activities and expertise of staff from across the University to help lead the development of a strategy that focuses on cross-University collaborative teaching, research and enterprise projects, student engagement and recruitment, and the development of significant external partnerships to facilitate these activities'. Anglia Ruskin University is about to follow Salford, aiming to develop the campus to support the Armed Forces connected students by ensuring pathways into higher education (HE) are adapted to encourage children, veterans and family members to apply. That the campus has student support services on site to manage health, employment, housing and funding problems that may be unique to veterans and ensure remote learning is supported for a mobile community.
The Veterans Strategy and subsequent action plan
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/veterans-strategy-action-plan-2022-to-2024 produced by the UK Government is predominantly aimed at employment and relatively light on access to HE. This will need to be addressed in future strategic planning.
Finally for further information on Armed Forces education please see the appropriate snapshot and other information on the VFRHub https://www.vfrhub.com/