Virtual Open Day » University Technical Colleges
Below are some common frequently asked questions about UTCs. Click on the question to show the answer.
What is a UTC?
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are government-funded (free to attend) schools that develop young professionals by allow them to study one or two STEM-based specialisms alongside a broader curriculum. In the case of Berkeley Green UTC, it’s specialisms are cyber security, digital technologies and engineering. UTCs are smaller than your typical secondary school, and are not academically selective. There are two entry points for students who want to study at a UTC – at the start of Year 10 and Year 12.
UTC provide a unique and relevant approach to education which addresses the changing needs of students and employers in the 21st Century. Alongside the academic curriculum and specialist technical pathways, students engage in projects set by employer partners, gain high-quality work experience and receive hands-on mentoring from industry partners.
Established by companies and universities in areas of high demand for talent, UTCs provide sought-after technical qualifications and benefit from industry standard equipment and specialist staff to provide students with the skills valued by employers – helping them stand out when it comes to apprenticeship, university and job applications.
Click here to read the 2019 UTC Impact Report which highlights student success from across the country.
Who are Baker Dearing?
Established in 2009 by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing to promote and develop UTCs, Baker Dearing Educational Trust created and owns the UTC brand and trademarks and licences their use to all UTCs. Over the past ten years, Baker Dearing has been the driving force behind new UTC openings and has provided ‘top-down’ direction to the programme, supporting new and existing UTCs to ensure the programme’s continued improvement and to embed UTCs firmly within the English education system.
The charity sits at the centre of the UTC network and is uniquely placed to provide co-ordinated support to, and advocacy for, UTCs as well as communications within the network and to a broader audience. It is a very small charity, with fewer than 10 part time staff, under the direction of CEO, Simon Connell. Lord Baker remains a very active executive Chairman.
What is the reason for starting at 14?
At age 11, students have not had enough exposure to the wide range of subjects that would allow them to understand their passions, interests and potential future careers.
What is the difference between studying A Levels at Berkeley Green UTC and any other further education college?
Typically, Post-16 education providers offer a wide range of A Level courses that are designed to support students in securing access to a higher education institution. In contrast, UTCs offer both traditional A Level subjects and technical qualifications (e.g. BTECs), but these are solely STEM-based subjects. Students are not limited to one type of programme, as our A Levels complement the technical qualification offer.
How do employer partners get involved with the UTC?
There are several ways in which they support the UTC, including:
- employer-designed or employer-led projects
- student mentoring
- visiting lectures or toolbox talks
- work experience
- support and advice on curriculum development
How many other UTCs are there?
Today, 48 UTCs are open across England, educating over 14,000 students, and supported by more than 400 employers and universities. We work with a number of them as part of the UTC Cyber and UTC Engineering groups memberships.