AFTER OPENING two years ago, University Technical College Portsmouth has been eagerly awaiting its first set of results – and they weren’t left disappointed.
The overall pass rate for A-level and diploma courses was 99.1 per cent, with 70 per cent of students getting a good pass grade of an A* to C or the equivalent distinction to merit.
With all students having gained university or apprenticeship places, principal Ciaran O'Dowda believes the results vindicate the faith shown in the college by its first intake of students.
'I’m over the moon with our results,’ he said. ‘These are the first cohort of students who took a chance on us and it has paid off. A number of students have gained apprenticeships with our partner companies such as Airbus.
‘These are examples of why UTC Portsmouth is here and is part of the reason, six years ago, we took on the challenge to help fill the chronic shortage of STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, maths) in the area.'
One of those students to benefit from the college’s business links was 18-year-old Charlotte Rust, who beat 2,000 applicants to gain an apprenticeship with Airbus in Portsmouth.
Charlotte, who got a double merit (equivalent of two Bs) in her engineering diploma, said: 'This confirms UTC was the right choice for me as it provides career pathway with its partnership companies. If I had gone down the traditional A-level route then I wouldn't have got the same practical hands-on experience.'
It’s a sentiment shared by Joao Drain, 18, who gained a Distinction* in his engineering diploma as well scoring B grades in maths and physics.
Joao said: 'The engineering components allowed me to get hands-on practical experience working with professional equipment which I wouldn’t have got with a traditional A-level path. I’m so pleased to have got the grades to go to Reading University where I am going to be studying biomedical engineering.'
UTC’s results day was attended by cabinet member for education, Suzy Horton, who was keen to praise the college.
Suzy said: ‘They have had amazing results with the subjects they offer which absolutely vindicates the decision to build a technical college in Portsmouth.’