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University technology colleges in the news

March 1, 2011

There’s a big profile of Lord (Kenneth) Baker in the Education Guardian today (1st March 2011), focussing on his new role, at the age of 76, leading the government’s University Technology Colleges (UTC) programme.

The UTCs are part of the coalition’s new vision for education and training, offering young people between 14 and 19 a technical education in areas including engineering, product design, health services, construction, environmental sciences and food technology. The first UTC, opened in partnership with JCB in Staffordshire last year, is due to be followed by 100 by 2015, according to Lord Baker.

The curriculum will also include maths, English, science, humanities and languages, as well as IT and business studies. Students are expected to be at college 9 hours a day, 40 weeks a year and do up to 80 days’ a year work experience.

Colleges have to be linked to a university, as progression to degree level study is expected for many students. The UTC programme is led by the Baker Dearing Trust, and Dame Ruth Silver, previously Principal of Lewisham College is amongst the trustees. Walsall College Principal Amarjit Basi is also involved in the programme, with Walsall College set to be a sponsor of one of the next UTCs. For more information, see the website at www.utcolleges.org

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