One-hundred-and-ten students have started the new term at a brand new college with a new outlook on education.
UTC@harbourside, in Newhaven, opened its doors to the first intake of 14-16-year-olds on Monday (September 7).
The university technical college specialises in science, technology, engineering, maths and computing and will join forces with employers to give students a taste of the working world.
The students are expected to work ‘business hours’, staying until 4.30pm or 5pm rather than taking homework home.
They will study for GCSEs, A-Levels and technical qualifications such as an engineering diploma. In addition, they will combine their academic studies with learning through challenge projects set by employers.
This week, students will enjoy taster lessons and practical tasks such as boat building, bridge building, robotics and team-building exercises.
UTC@harbourside is based in converted Grade II listed marine and carpenters’ workshops at Railway Quay, Newhaven.
Student Kim Claerhoudt-Stroomberg, 14, of Saltdean, saw the historic buildings being converted as she passed them on the bus, and soon transferred to UTC@harbourside.
Kim said: “It was offering the kind of things I wanted to do. I hope I’ll get more experience in the working world.”
Aymen Belhadj, also 14, of Worthing, said: “I want to study engineering, electrics and chemistry. I’d like to be an electrician or something in the electrical world.”
Sara Hinton, 16, of Hailsham, is studying biology, physics and maths A-Levels with the ambition to become an equine vet.
She said: “I like the fact that the UTC is science-focused and that we can do stuff outside, not just in the classroom.”
Principal, Jonathan Clarke said “It is inspiring to hear the aspirations and ambitions of our young people and to see their enthusiasm to explore and learn through science and technology and by solving real-world problems.
“I thank our sponsors and the Department for Education for backing UTC@harbourside and making it a reality.
“I look forward now to making it a centre of excellence, preparing our students for exciting futures in which they can make a real difference to the world.”