Maximising the benefits of the ‘U’ in UTCs

Today we hosted a virtual seminar for the UTC family entitled ‘Maximising the benefits of the ‘U’ in UTCs’. Since the programme’s inception over 10 years ago, universities have played a fundamental role in their support for UTCs through marketing, mentoring, providing work experience, project-based learning etc. as well as helping to raise the credibility of a new education initiative. We are very grateful.

10 years later, with over 30 committed university partners, it felt appropriate to take stock of what we have learned and to understand better how universities and UTCs can collaborate. This is especially important at the current time as the technical education landscape for eighteen year olds and over is fast changing.

We were delighted that Professor David Phoenix, Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University (LSBU) could deliver the keynote speech. LSBU’s innovative group structure of a university, an FE college, and schools including a UTC, is an excellent model which maximises the opportunities for young people as they navigate the world of higher study and apprenticeships.

Lord Baker provided an historic perspective of technical education and the role universities can play. Simon Connell, Baker Dearing’s CEO, presented this year’s student leaver destinations which impressed: this year UTCs sent nearly twice as many young people to study science at university than national averages, and a much greater percentage of disadvantaged students from UTCs progressed to university compared with mainstream schools and colleges. At a challenging time for the economy, very few UTC leavers joined the ranks of the unemployed.