UTC colleges are government funded new type of colleges focused on educating students for various engineering fields highly required in regional industries. It is non-selective and students are free to sign in when 14 to 19 years old. UTC colleges provide excellent academic and technical education and qualifications to all students, so they can meet the requirements of leading industry employers. The education quality at these colleges meet the highest academic and technical criteria, thus engineering branches don’t have to worry about the upcoming generations of engineers, scientists and manufacturers.
The government funded this university to provide future employees in regional leading industries to enhance the economic growth and UTC’s reputation made it attractive academic choice among many young people considering their academic future. After the completion of education at this university, students are completely trained and equipped to start working in their chosen branch, but also have numerous further paths to choose if they prefer advances education and academic career.
Curriculum is created by university experts and it consist of mandatory subject and additional subject students get to choose freely according to their personal skills, preferences and talents. Main subjects include physics, science, graphic and industry design, various manufacturing workshops, robotics, software engineering and many more. As the addition to regular scientifically and technically oriented curriculum, students are free to take various art classes.
The UTC colleges have sufficient stuff consisted of reputable experts in their fields and branches and teaching assistants and the mere facility hosts fully equipped classrooms, labs and premises for scientific research, manufacturing and diverse skills practicing. All the teachers are dedicated and available to students, the curriculum keeps up with the latest scientific and technical standards and students get plenty of practical work to develop their talents, skills and knowledge. In association with the regional leading industry employees, UTC colleges provide practical assignments and tours through the industry facilities for all interested students, so they can get familiar with their future jobs during the education years. This comes as priceless experience for skills development, as well as for making mature decisions regarding their future academic career.
There’s been a lot of worldwide discussions regarding the more and more obvious need to change our educational systems. With all the fields of industry and science and other aspects of modern life changing rapidly, education isn’t catching up anymore with the modern progress and trends since it hasn’t adapted or changed for ages. The market is in shortage of educated manufacturers and many other skilled professionals, while our educational system keeps producing straightforward academics and students mostly focused onto theoretic knowledge.
Also, the foundation of current educational system is mostly based upon measuring scores at various tests, which turns schooling into competition for higher grades instead of program for gaining functional knowledge and applicable skills. The gap between the curriculum assigned to students during their classic education and the requirements imposed to them once they face their first job after schooling is huge and has to be addressed to.
Lord K. Baker, former education secretary, has been under the spotlight over the last few years due to his action plan and proposition regarding radical changes in educational system. He is also known as one of the founders of the group of UTC (university technical colleges) that provide significantly different educational approach. His primary idea is to distinct students with purely academic aspirations from students more focused onto practical skills, engineering and manufacturing and provide two different educational system for both of these types of students.
Lord Baker’s plan proposes opening dozens of so – called career colleges designed to educate pupils age 14 to 19 in various field, so their final educational knowledge and skills wound meet market criteria and future job requirements much better than academic education manages at this point. Addressed branches would include digital technology, robotics, catering, engineering, health care providing, industrial design and many more deficient branches.
Another part of his plan refers to different distribution of government’s funding for education and laws that would establish legislative aspects of these changes. Significant aspect refers to inclusion of career colleges into primary and secondary schools, in the form of occasional presentation, so the children would get the change to consider these colleges timely.
Although academic results of each student at every college significantly depend on their individual traits and are influenced by their private lives as well, measuring the average success of students at a given college gives us the preview of the educational quality provided in a given college. The more detailed and thorough analyzes are the better insight of educational quality we get. However, the scales have to be objective and comparable among different colleges and equally applicable to all students.
Progress 8 was designed as a new way of measuring educational performance and it should meet various criteria regarding several major aspects of educational quality. The outcome is presented in the form of GCSE score and compared to average GCSE score of other students. This measuring method works quite well for regular secondary schools where students join the program attheir 7 year and finish when they are year 11. The results shown at the Progress 8 testing represent the effect of the five years of secondary education onto the overall academic score of tested students. However, when it comes to UTC colleges, Progress 8 isn’t quite applicable.
Namely, students sing in UTC colleges at the year 10, which means that Progress 8 will show the accumulated results of their education gained at UTC, but also three years of their education prior to signing in UTC. The measurement has been tested so far and it gave inconclusive results. When tested at the Year 10, students showed lower success compared to their colleagues from other colleges and their general rate rated below the average at the national level. This was explained by failures in their education prior to UTC. When measured at the Year 11, these students showed significantly higher results and overall score rated above average national score.
This clearly shows the quality of UTC education and its strong impact onto academic level of its students during the years of studying at these colleges. It also signifies the necessity for upcoming with better way of measuring results of these students in order to compare their success with students from other colleges.