Military Education Pathways Event
  • Devonport Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building, Plymouth University

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The Access to Higher Education Diploma can support successful transitions into civilian careers for Service Leavers, ex-Service personnel and Service spouses. Dr Mel Macer, Research Fellow from the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University will discuss her research on 'Understanding the journey to and through ‘Access to Higher Education Diplomas’ for adults with a Service background'.

This research was commissioned because of recurrent, anecdotal evidence of a decline in Access students with a Service background within South West England, a region that hosts about 25% of Britain’s Armed Forces. The report identifies a number of opportunities to improve the journey to and through Access Diplomas for these students, particularly for those from the lower ranks of the Army and for Service spouses from all three Service backgrounds. 

Among the findings, the report highlights that:

  • Improvements are needed to the quality and provision of Access Diploma-related Information, advice and guidance to the general population, not just to those connected with the Services;
  • The lack of currency of many military qualifications for entrance to Higher Education needs to be addressed; and
  • Further education institutions and higher education institutions should manifest their commitment as signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant by becoming more Service-friendly.

View the report on the Bath Spa University website (pdf)

This free event is open to all and will be of particular interest to admissions tutors and Service leavers. Please register attendance via the above link.

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Speaker biography

Dr Mel Macer is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University; a place where students, teachers, governors, researchers, support staff and everyone interested in education can come together in a community of research and practice. 

She has experience of working in community health development, school-led collaborations and interdisciplinary research. 

Her research interests focus on social justice issues in the education sector, specifically within the fields of student voice, widening participation and transitions - for learners of all ages. 

Previous research has included a scoping literature review on primary-aged children’s participation activities that influence adult decision-making and an evaluation of the Total Somerset High Contact Families Pilot Project, a multi-agency initiative exploring how agencies working with families in difficulty can work together more effectively. 

A recently completed research project, now in its dissemination phase, has illuminated a range of issues that can present as barriers on the journey to and through ‘Access to Higher Education Diplomas’ for adults with a background linked to the Armed Forces, including as a Service spouse. This research has produced recommendations for both civilian-facing and military-facing organisations to consider, to ensure that Access to HE Diplomas students are not disadvantaged by their Service background. 

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