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Developing the British Army’s intellectual edge

Developing the British Army’s intellectual edge

Henley Business School has won the contract to continue to deliver the Army Higher Education Pathway (AHEP) with the first module going live from November 2023 – an innovative and flexible pathway designed to optimise Army Officers’ professional development. Delivered in partnership with the University of Reading’s School of Politics, Economics and International Relations (SPEIR), the multi-million-pound contract will deliver the pathway over the next nine years. 

The Army is renowned for creating iconic leaders and has developed the perfect partnership with Henley to educate its future leaders. AHEP provides an excellent opportunity for Army Officers, non-graduates and graduates, to complete a fully funded degree pathway in conjunction with a top global institute. The AHEP is designed for selected Officers in their early career and those at a more senior level of leadership to achieve a degree qualification in Leadership and Strategic Studies. It also provides expert learning opportunities for non-graduates to achieve a BSc, graduates to achieve a MSc and selected Majors to pursue a MSc (Exec). 

The AHEP introduces an amazing new opportunity for up to 450 senior soldiers selected for Officer commission at Captain level to complete the Senior Soldier Entry (SSE) pathway MSc Exec. As part of the Army’s drive for even greater inclusion this unique pathway broadens its offer of funded degree-level programmes to a more diverse populace.

Colonel Caroline Emmett, Assistant Head Learning & Development, British Army, says:

“This is another exciting opportunity for the British Army to attract, develop and retain talent, by continuing to offer outstanding, fully funded learning opportunities through the AHEP programme with a top globally renowned institution. Delivering higher education pathways across our Officer-leader cohort is about investing in our people to build their careers and equip them with the skills required to win in the era of global systemic competition.

“AHEP improves awareness of the context and environment in which a professional officer-leader must operate and upskills our workforce offering real competitive advantage which a higher-skilled workforce brings. Starting from the moment officers join, the Army sees great benefit in developing appropriate transferable skills of its officer-junior leaders – such as critical thinking and analytical skills – these are critical for employment in the Information Age. It is also a fantastic way to gain a degree, free of charge concurrently to developing the top-level leadership and strategic skills a commission and service in the British Army will provide.”

Karis Burton, Head of Corporate Development at Henley Business School, says:

“We’re thrilled to be able to deliver the AHEP for a further nine years. Henley has a long history of working with the Armed Services, going right back to our foundation as the Administrative Staff College in 1946, when our purpose was to re-train demobilised Officers after the war. Since then, we have continued to deliver work with a higher sense of purpose, and the AHEP programme further demonstrates this. 

“As an institution committed to education for all and not the few, we are delighted to be entrusted to help develop the SSE pathway as part of the AHEP. By making education available not just to those that are selected for Sandhurst, and regardless of socio-economic background, race, or gender, we create a more level playing field, providing everyone with an equal opportunity to realise their full potential. This leads to improved socio-economic mobility, with individuals getting the chance to acquire the skills required for better prospects and higher earning potential.”

Pathway delivery adapted to the demands of military life

Key to the success of the AHEP is its flexible delivery along with the opportunity to integrate learning within the practical demands of military life. It takes into account that officers will be deployed at times during their career and enables them to plan their studies accordingly. 

Learners can study at their own pace, while on regimental duty in the UK or when deployed overseas, due to the very latest in digital learning delivery which can be accessed through multiple digital devices. There is a dedicated AHEP Portal which houses all the practical elements of the programme: enrolment, tutor and First Reporting Officer support, assessments, learning materials access and individual/group learning activities. 

All officers are given the opportunity to study for a free of charge degree through the AHEP, 1503 learners are expected to gain their degree over the course of the AHEP contract.

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