England

Royal Air Force personnel to train at Portsmouth and Cranfield

Two universities have won a £5.3m contract to train Royal Air Force officers for at least five years.

The University of Portsmouth Business School is to work with Cranfield University, which has campuses in Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire.

The universities will give initial officer training and senior officer development to 3,700 personnel a year.

Officers will continue to receive in-house training at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

Portsmouth Business School dean Professor Gioia Pescetto said: "We have respect for what the RAF does and is aiming to do and we fully expect this to be a real partnership.

"We know that we will learn a lot from them as well. Working closely with organisations from outside the university informs and improves all we do, from research to teaching."

The course will be led by six to eight military experts and supported by 34 others with specialist leadership knowledge in other areas.

The contract could be extended to seven years, depending on future government policy and spending.

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