26th September 2001

 

RAF ENGINEERS LEARN NEW MANAGEMENT SKILLS

 

A new link-up between the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside and the RAF is bearing fruit, with over 100 RAF officers across the UK and abroad studying for a degree in engineering management.

 

The RAF and the university signed an agreement last summer which allows RAF engineers to study a unique work-based learning package with the university - and now 121 officers are enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Engineering Management programme.

 

The course is open not only to newly commissioned RAF engineer officers who train at RAF College Cranwell, near Sleaford, but also to the hundreds of qualified RAF engineers up and down the country who now have the chance to upgrade their Engineering HNC/HND (Higher National Certificate / Diploma) to an honours degree.

 

Among the current cohort are RAF personnel based in Canada and Saudi Arabia who are making full use of the university’s Virtual Campus to study at a distance.

 

The hope is that by next summer 20 officers will be ready to graduate in full dress uniform at Lincoln Cathedral.

 

“The RAF is under pressure to become ever more businesslike,” says Chris Thompson, a senior lecturer at the university’s Cottingham Road campus in Hull who teaches some of the course units.

 

“This degree emphasises the managerial aspects of an RAF engineer’s job. As engineers they get very little encouragement to reflect or to generate their own ideas. They’re used to having a list of instructions in front of them, but the brief we give them on this course is to explore.

 

“It’s a very valuable management development process,” Mr Thompson added. “We’re improving their confidence, they’re improving their networking amongst their own ranks and they’re benefiting from our input as management consultants.”

 

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (tel: 01522 886042)

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk