16th August 2018
More students are heading off to university with top BTECs than ever before, so why don?t we celebrate their success?
A recent report by Universities UK* shows that the number of students going to university with BTEC qualifications has doubled over the past decade. So, why do they not get the fanfare that A-level students get every summer?
Barking & Dagenham College, a large further education college with 12,500 students, of which 900 are studying Level 3 BTECs, thinks that should change. The College’s Director of Student Support Nicky Gibson comments:
Around 150 of our students will be heading to university this year and we believe that it’s a great achievement for each of them and something which should be celebrated. The fact that the numbers of students nationally who are progressing from studying BTECs to university is growing is a great thing, which shows increasing social mobility, and we should all be very proud of that. Although a BTEC is a very different type of qualification from an A-level, it doesn’t mean that it is a lesser qualification; in fact, those people who have gone through a vocational route before entering university, could be at an advantage in many ways; for example, the hands-on skills they learn in high-end technical learning environments, the wide exposure to a range of employers and the work experience they gain could really stand them apart from other candidates when it comes to getting a job.‘Student of the Year’ Jephta Asamoah is heading to Lancaster University to study Politics
In addition to studying for a BTEC in business Jephta also had opportunity to take part in the two-year Career Ready programme at college; this gave him lots of extra opportunities to develop work skills, including professional mentoring, a paid internship and work experience in the Czech Republic.
Talented Jephta impressed every employer he came into contact with, beating thousands of students across the UK to be named the Leidos & Career Ready UK Student of the Year.
Jephta comments: “I was a frustrated and angry young man, fed up of being told that I couldn’t do things because of my disability. Now, I’m working with directors and CEOs and I’ve just accepted a place to study Politics at Lancaster University.”IT whizz Edward has top grades and an impressive CV
19 year old Edward Flack has finished his level 3 BTEC at the College and he now has an offer to study Computing and IT at Surrey University. He’s hoping to secure triple distinctions in his BTEC – the highest grades possible.
At College he’s been able to take part in lots of valuable extra-curricular activities involving major employers and taken part in several exciting competitions such as: Earlier this year, he took part in a nine-week ‘live’ project set by the Career Colleges Trust with Amazon Web Services and Comic Relief. Competing against students from 4 colleges, Edward and two fellow students from his course were crowned overall winners for their idea for a malaria app. And, a few weeks ago Edward won the regional heat of the World Skills 2018 IT Support Technician competition.
Last month he had an interview for a coveted Degree Apprenticeship with Ford. He is one of a small number to get down to the interview stage for this amazing opportunity; a Degree Apprenticeship allows you to get a degree completely for free, as the employer pays all the fees. If successful, not only would Edward’s fees be paid, but Edward explains:
Ford also offers a very good salary whilst you are studying for your Degree Apprenticeship starting at £19,400 in the first year and ending at £28,000 in the final year.