The Royal British Legion


Universities in Support of Wounded, Injured and Sick (UNSWIS)

Universities in Support of Wounded, Injured and Sick (UNSWIS) was established in 2012 and has grown to a network of 36 Universities across the UK providing short unpaid work placements, taster visits, open days and education and training advice for wounded, injured and sick (WIS) personnel assisting them in their transition to civilian employment. Veterans, spouses, partners and close family members may also need support in gaining employment in order to address changed family circumstances.

Before UNSWIS there were no formal partnerships with universities designed to support rehabilitation and resettlement of WIS personnel through work experience placements. Universities are a major contributor to the UK economy. Higher education in the UK generates £73 billion per annum and directly and indirectly employs over 750,000 people.

Universities are diverse businesses requiring staff at all levels to keep them functioning efficiently and productively making them ideally placed to offer meaningful rehabilitation work experiences and subsequent full time employers for WIS personnel, veterans, their spouses, partners and close family members.

What We Do
  • Network of 36 UK Universities
  • Assisting WIS Armed Forces Personnel make the transition to Civilian Employment
  • Providing WIS Personnel, Veterans, Early Service Leavers & Families with:
    • Short Unpaid Work Placements
    • Taster Visits
    • Open Days
    • Education & Training Advice
Who We Are

University Project (Not Charity) based at University of East London (UEL) which is run on part time basis by:

  • Professor Wendy Drechsler – Project Leader
  • Professor David Rose – Project Coordinator
  • Christopher Jones – Project Administrator
Evidence of impact

Todate UNSWIS has:

  • Processed 130+ requests for work placements, taster visits & advice
  • 28 of the 36 UNSWIS Universities have received requests
  • 50% of requests resulted in University activity for WIS personnel
  • 30% of personnel visiting universities have provided feedback (See Testimonials )
  • Processed over 130 work placement request, taster visits


“Things are going well at Manchester Metropolitan University and I have found the experience rewarding and it certainly has helped give me an idea of working outside the military environment.”

From WIS participant

“I was introduced to Northampton University through UNSWIS. The staff were so supportive of me throughout the application process, reassuring me and smoothing the path, that they made what was a huge step for me as easy as possible. Thank you!”

From WIS participant

“We have many more soldiers who are keen to look at work attachments with UNSWIS. Each university is home to a huge number of skills and trades, HR, Finance, IT, Catering, Welfare, and Leisure. The list is endless. We are delighted with the UNSWIS scheme and thank everyone involved for their help and guidance.”

From a Special Employment Consultant (SEC)
UNSWIS Universities

UNSWIS Universities - Click to Enlarge

Contact Us

Phone: 020 8223 4728

The Royal British Legion - Live On

 0800 009 8015

PO Box 375
SG12 4FH

Employers and Service Providers: 0845 680 0838