BAE Systems is to partner with The Open University (OU), helping to make education more accessible to disabled veterans.
The Company will contribute more than £200,000 to The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund, providing funding for at least 12 scholarships and life-changing educational opportunities for military veterans living with a disability, helping them to thrive in a post-service career.
Deborah Allen, Managing Director Operational Governance at BAE Systems said: “Providing support to our Armed Forces is central to what we do at BAE Systems. We appreciate the tremendous contribution our Armed Forces make to our society and we are proud to support active service personnel, veterans and their families.
“Our partnership with The Open University will play a key role in developing the wealth of talent and skills of our veterans, helping to make a positive impact on those who have dedicated their lives to safeguard our nation.”
One of the first cohort of students said: “People in the military, injured or not injured, have had a lot invested in their training and what they bring to the workplace is probably next to none. We’ll always turn up on time, we’ll always deliver and go further than we have to – it’s pride… and pride in what we do.
“It’s a pleasure to be on the scheme to begin with and an honour to be picked. My first aim is to embrace the knowledge that I gained from the military. The second one is to progress a career in computer science, which I’m doing, and live a full and happy life like anyone else would want.”
Jhumar Johnson, Director of Development at The Open University said: “We are proud and honoured to be partnering with BAE Systems on The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund. Their support will be integral to our ability to offer education tailored to the needs of individuals with a complex range of medical conditions and practical needs.
“The OU has over 24,000 students with a registered disability. We have expertise in providing extraordinary support to those students and recognise the value of our distance education to individuals unable to attend a traditional university.
“Our partnership with BAE Systems will help us to bring those benefits to veterans who are building new lives following the unplanned end of a military career.”
Upon leaving military life, veterans’ transferable skills – developed in a unique environment that demands excellence – can make a huge contribution both socially and economically. Higher education can be a valuable tool in identifying and harnessing those skills and carving out a new career path.
The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund is the first of its kind in the UK and is enabling disabled veterans to study for free and receive specialist disability support and careers advice. It is dedicated to furthering the education of individuals who have become disabled as a result of military service.
The Fund awarded 54 scholarships in 2018 and will fund a further 50 this year. The application window is now open until 28 June. Further information regarding eligibility for application is available on the main Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund page www.open.ac.uk/courses/choose/veterans.
Each year, BAE Systems gives more than £3.5 million in donations and sponsorships to Armed Forces charities, events and heritage activities. The Company also recently announced a two-year partnership with Invictus UK. As presenting partner, the support will help prospective Team UK competitors from across the country participate in a range of sporting activities, from training camps that help wounded veterans and serving personnel prepare for July’s Invictus UK Trials in Sheffield, through to the Invictus Games in The Hague 2020.
With strong ties to Armed Forces charities, BAE Systems employees across the UK will be taking part in fundraising activities next week as part of the Company’s celebrations to mark Armed Forces Day, an annual event that recognises and celebrates the commitments of the Armed Forces community.