What are University Technical Colleges?
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are schools for 14–19 year olds. They deliver an innovative, high-quality education that combines technical, practical and academic learning. In doing so, they offer students more than the traditional GCSE and A Level curriculum.
Key facts about UTCs
- UTCs are smaller than traditional secondary schools. They are not academically selective and charge no fees.
- A UTC curriculum includes one or two technical specialisms, which are linked to the skills gaps in its region. As well as their core academic subjects, students can study GCSEs, A Levels and other relevant qualifications matched to these specialisms.
- Each UTC is backed by employers and a local university who work with staff to develop a curriculum that gives students first-hand experience of what life is like after school.
- UTCs have a special focus on science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, and all their technical, academic and practical learning is designed to be applied in the workplace.
- UTCs offer state-of-the-art learning facilities equipped with the latest technology and equipment to maximise the learning potential of their students.
- UTCs operate a longer school day. Days typically start at 8:30am and end at 5:00pm. This provides the time students need to delve more deeply into their technical area of interest and to complete practical tasks.
- There are 48 UTCs open in England and more than 50 will have opened by 2018.
- Each UTC offers around 600 places; they are sub-regional and their catchment area may extend across a number of local authorities.
Inspiring young people
- By integrating three types of learning – technical, practical and academic – UTCs create an environment where all students can find their strengths and specialise in subjects that interest and engage them.
- As part of their study, students participate in projects with the UTC’s employer partners in real working environments, where they can apply their technical skills and creative thinking.
- All students take part in extracurricular activities linked to the technical specialisms, or in other areas such as sport, art or drama. Students may also have access to university sports facilities and equipment.
Why choose a UTC?
Watch this short film from students, employers, parents and teachers about why young people are choosing to study at UTCs:
The UK needs advanced technical skills at all levels if we are to prosper in the 21st century. Whether in manufacturing, wind farms, rail links or hi-tech hospitals we need a workforce that can develop new products, as well as work with existing resources to meet all the challenges of the future. University Technical Colleges inspire and equip young people with the skills they need to build the careers they want.
Lord Baker, Co-founder of the University Technical Colleges programme