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New “university” set to open in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 16:14 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:33 28 March 2013

A new “university” for teenagers is set to open that will teach youngsters vocational skills alongside traditional qualifications, such as GCSE courses.

Mulberry University Technical College (UTC) in Tower Hamlets will be one of 13 new-style educational institutions expected to open across the country in September next year, the government announced today.

The UTC, which will educate 14 to 19-year-olds, was proposed by Mulberry School for Girls, in Commercial Road in Shadwell, and will specialise in healthcare and digital technology.

Goldsmith College at the University of London will sponsor the UTC, which will also work with Barts and the London NHS Trust and businesses, such as the Bank of America and the British Film Institute, to ensure the curriculum is tailored to satisfy employers’ needs.

Pupils will be able to enjoy work placements with the UTC’s partners to further enhance their skills and give them a taste of the industries they may work in one day.

Five UTCs have already opened their doors to pupils in the UK, and Mulberry UTC and the other 12 new institutions will join another 27 that are preparing to open. It’s expected 27,500 students nationally will be trained at UTCs.

Schools minister Lord John Nash, who works for Michael Gove at the Department of Education, said: “I am delighted with the very strong field of UTC proposals we are progressing to the next stage.

“The growing number of top employers and universities involved in UTCs underlines the importance of making rigorous technical education an option for young people.

“It is vitally important that young people have the skills and experience wanted by employers, both for their own prosperity and to help us compete in the global race.”

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