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18 December 2020

King's signs Armed Forces Covenant

President & Principal Professor Sir Edward Byrne demonstrates King’s commitment to supporting serving and ex-services personnel and their families by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

military union jack

King’s has signed the Armed Forces Covenant pledging to support the university’s servicemen and women who study and work within our community in another step to recognise the vital contribution that the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom make to the defence of the realm.

The university already has a deep and longstanding relationship with the UK’s Armed Forces and the wider armed forces community both from a research and educational perspective. King’s Centre for Military Health Research is a leading civilian UK centre of excellence for military health research, informing government policy towards military personnel with research published in high impact journals such as the British Medical Journal and The Lancet. The university’s Defence Studies Department is another example. It is at the heart of security and defence education in the UK, offering outstanding teaching through the unique academic-military partnership between King’s and the UK Defence Academy equipping students with the knowledge and skills to respond to a complex and demanding working environment. The world leading international relations, security and defence academics within the department also provide evidence-based advice to the UK government and internationally on all areas related to defence, security, and strategy.

Professor Sir Edward Byrne, who signed the Covenant said ‘In signing the Covenant, we’re joining almost 500 local authorities and more than 5,000 businesses and charities, who pledge to help support both current and former serving military personnel. Our association with the Armed Forces is already strong. We recognise the value servicemen and women have and we’re proud to be a forces-friendly organisation and want to continue to support those working with us now and in the future from the services community.’

As part of the Covenant, King’s has committed to a package of pledges including:

  • continuing to undertake research to better understand and improve the health and wellbeing of military personnel and their families
  • supporting students and staff who choose to be members of the Reserve forces by accommodating their training and deployment
  • supporting local cadet and reserve units, based both at King’s itself and other London-based universities as well as local schools and colleges.
  • encouraging those within the wider King’s community to observe Armistice Day

Professor Nicola Fear, Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, together with Professor Wyn Bowen, Head of the School for Security Studies in the university’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy, will lead the work outlined in King’s commitment. Professor Fear said, ‘This is fantastic news for King’s as it is the first time the university has formally pledged its support for the Armed Forces Covenant. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with the Armed Forces community of King’s to deliver the pledges made.’

Professor Bowen commented, ‘King's has a long history of working with the Armed Forces community in the UK. Signing the Covenant reflects our institution wide commitment to ensure that those serving the country in the armed forces and their families, both students and staff alike, are not disadvantaged in any way at King's.’

The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives as a result of their military service.

In this story

Nicola Fear

Professor of Epidemiology

Wyn Bowen cropped

Professor of Non-Proliferation and International Security