RAF graduates prove they are high flyers academically

"The beauty of Staffordshire University is that it took into consideration my past and present military experience and qualifications and mapped them across to the MA Degree enabling me to get a positive head start when it came to studying."

Group Captain (Gp Capt) Mark Heffron

Over the last eight years, Wg Cdr Parkes has been instrumental in developing the partnership between the RAF, specifically the Personnel Branch, and Staffordshire University that supports Service personnel who want to further their careers. 

The award of Honorary Doctor of the University was bestowed upon Wg Cdr Parkes in 2014 in recognition of his dedicated work.

He said: “The military life offers a tremendous amount and is about developing highly skilled, motivated and committed individuals.

However, it is important that our military skills are complimented by respected and relevant degree level qualifications which are transferable to work outside the military.

“It has been refreshing to work with Staffordshire University, a University that understands the demands of Service life.  By using the latest technology and appreciating the varied military working environments, Staffordshire University has clearly shown that it is prepared to tailor its training and challenge conventional routes.

“It is a real 21st Century university that I have seen grow in confidence and stature to become, in my opinion, one of the leading Universities in its field.”

Group Captain (Gp Capt) Mark Heffron, until recently Deputy Head of the RAF Personnel Branch prior to moving to MOD London, was among those graduating in July after completing an MA in Strategic Human Resource Management. He praised the help and assistance he’d received from Staffordshire University.

“The beauty of Staffordshire University is that it took into consideration my past and present military experience and qualifications and mapped them across to the MA Degree enabling me to get a positive head start when it came to studying.

“I’ve learnt many new skills while studying for the MA and I’ve been able to use these new skills in my role in the Royal Air Force; currently in the Ministry of Defence in London.”

More than 500 military students commenced study with Staffordshire University last year. The majority of courses are delivered by distance learning with regular email correspondence and personal tutor availability throughout.

Gp Capt Heffron said: “The support has been outstanding all the way through, especially when you are away either on operations or you’re busy in a full time role. It does work but it does require a bit of discipline, but then we’re good at that!”

Discover more about Staffordshire University's range of HM Forces courses here.