The University of Nottingham (UoN) has been visited 15 times in the past two years by recruitment teams on behalf of the army, air force and navy, according to figures obtained by Impact.
The number of invitations taken up by the recruitment sector of the armed forces gives UoN the fourth highest number of visits amongst over 70 UK universities in the academic years 2012-13 and 2013-14; trailing only the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds and Leicester.*
“Recruitment drives from the armed forces seem to have become commonplace at university careers fairs and events.”
In light of this information, a first year Law with French Law student commented:
“Recruitment drives from the armed forces seem to have become commonplace at university careers fairs and events.
I have had numerous friends describe how employment with these organisations is portrayed to be safe, secure and rewarding. Evidently this is the attraction for many students and future graduates.
Having seen for myself the presence of the army at Freshers’ Fair earlier this year, I would definitely say that UoN should consider reducing the frequency of visits. Fifteen [visits] seems excessive and unnecessary.”
“Students should not simply associate the armed forces with front-line military service”.
A UoN Politics and International Relations student took a different stance by emphasising the wealth of job opportunities available to students with military organisations, he said: “Students should not simply associate the armed forces with front-line military service. You cannot pin the blame on the armed forces themselves. After all, the University has made the political decision to allow them on campus.”
UoN Young Greens Society President, Duncan Davis, told Impact that he feels uncomfortable with armed forces recruitment on campus.
“The military shouldn’t be trying to convince people to join”.
“On the issue of recruitment there is a big problem with the military presenting their work as glorious and an adventure.
I don’t think students are made aware of what military work entails and it isn’t made clear that those in the forces have greatly reduced employment rights when compared to other workers.
The military shouldn’t be trying to convince people to join – it should be presenting all the facts, positive and negative. People should make an informed and active choice to join the armed forces and I don’t think that is the case with current recruitment practices.”
The East Midlands Universities Air Squadron (EUAMS) stressed that their organisation does not recruit directly into the RAF, but revealed that 27 current members came from The University of Nottingham; 21 of whom were recruited in the aforementioned two year period.
Furthermore, the East Midlands Universities Officer Training Corps (EUOTC) made clear that some recruits do go on to join the Army as an officer, whilst others use skills acquired in a wide range of employment sectors.
A spokesperson for UoN’s Careers and Employability Service told Impact:
“Like with many Graduate Recruiters, The Armed Forces (Royal Navy, Marines, Army and Territorial Army) have chosen to interact with our students at a variety of different events. These vary from the very large Summer Careers Fair, to other sector specific events where there is an interest in a particular specialism.
The number of events arranged by the Careers and Employability Service over the past 9 months has increased, due to our adoption of a faculty based structure.
However the level of attendance at these events by The Armed Forces is not unusual when compared with some of the other large graduate recruiters.”
*Figures corroborate with a Freedom of Information Request by The Guardian.