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Supporting our armed forces

The UK Government has called for universities to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Although not widely publicised, the University of Portsmouth signed up to the Covenant in March 2016 – one of only 57 UK universities to do so – to help remove barriers faced by members of the armed forces community in accessing public services, including education.

The University has a number of close ties with the armed forces in a number of areas, including:

  • British Army soldiers studying leadership and management degree apprenticeships
  • Tri-service officer cadets studying technical degrees, including instructing other students military leadership skills through a series of exercises
  • The £3,000 a year Greenwich Hospital Bursary for children of serving or retired Royal Navy or Royal Marine personnel, or for those who are a retired member of the Naval Service
  • Offering courses which are popular with armed forces personnel, who can use their Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) to cover all or part of the tuition fees.
  • Sharing local veterans’ personal experiences through drama and performance via the Veterans Project.

Lucy Jacobs

Final year BA (Hons) American Studies student, Lucy Jacobs, served for 8 years in the Royal Navy as an Able Rating Dental Nurse. Her service included Operation Herrick in Afghanistan and deployments with 42 Commando Royal Marines on HMS Ocean, HMS Albion and RFA Largs Bay.

Lucy has been supported by the £3,000 a year Greenwich Hospital Bursary to cover living costs, which she recently used to support herself for 4 months working as an intern at the prestigious Brookings Institute think tank in Washington D.C.  

Lucy said: “I enjoyed my time in the Navy, but I wanted to go to university, change career and go into teaching. I did look at other universities, but Portsmouth stood out and the lecturers here have been very supportive. I know many students at the University of Portsmouth who are ex-services, so there’s a real community here.”

Bernie Topham, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, added: “The University of Portsmouth is proud of its close ties with the armed forces and when some years ago we heard about the Armed Forces Covenant, and particularly its pledge to help and support veterans gaining access to education, we didn’t hesitate to put our name to it.”


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  1. The staff and students have always been very supportive and generous in supporting the Poppy Appeal in November. On Campus last year raising £1124. If you would like to help raise the profile of this years poppy appeal on campus, please contact Nigel Green Tel 3184 or email

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