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8th September 2014, 1:44pm
New UTC opens its doors in Lincoln
Lincoln UTC A new college aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineering and scientific talent in the region has opened today in Lincoln.

The Lincoln University Technical College (UTC), which is jointly supported by Lincoln College, the University of Lincoln and Siemens, specialises in engineering and core science for 14 to 18-year-olds.

UTCs offer high-quality technical schooling and are supported by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust. Each UTC is sponsored by a university and employers are involved from the start in shaping the curriculum. The Lincoln UTC is one of 13 opening across the country this month.

The first classes were held today (Monday 8th September 2014) in the newly refurbished Chad Varah House in Lincoln’s historic Cathedral Quarter, which will be home to the UTC for the next year while purpose-built premises are completed at nearby Greestone Centre on Lindum Hill. Around 160 pupils will enrol for the 2014/15 school year.

Around £1 million of technical equipment has been installed, giving students the chance to develop state-of-the-art scientific research skills. This includes autoclaves, spectrometers, electrophoresis devices, spectrophotometers and DNA extraction tools.

Dr Rona Mackenzie, Principal of Lincoln UTC, said: “I am privileged to lead Lincoln UTC and excited to welcome our students here today. They have a unique opportunity – to train as scientists and engineers in the exciting context of real-life industry experiences.

“Today’s opening is hugely exciting for both our staff and students as they take that next step in their education and training. Our students will be immersed in theoretical, technical and practical learning activities from the outset. Our goal is to produce graduates who are well rounded, confident and articulate, and ready to move seamlessly into employment, training or higher education.”

Professor Andrew Hunter, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Science at the University of Lincoln, said: “The City of Lincoln has a proud history as a centre for engineering excellence. Through our industrial and educational partnerships and expansion of core science subjects, we are working hard to ensure our city’s businesses have the talent pool they need to compete globally.

"We are proud to support the new Lincoln UTC, which adds another important dimension to educational provision in the city and which we believe can inspire even more young people to pursue careers in engineering and science.”

Chief Executive Officer of The Lincoln College Group and Chair of the Board of Lincoln UTC, Gary Headland, added: “Today is the culmination of many months of hard work and first-class leadership by Dr Rona Mackenzie and her team.  

“The students that are welcomed here today are the first of many, and enjoy the very best teaching, support and facilities. On behalf of the Lincoln UTC Board of Governors, and colleagues in the Lincoln College Group, I send the students and staff the very best wishes for their opening day and of course for the future.”

Students will spend two days a week on practical study and three days a week on academic work including GCSEs, A Levels and Cambridge Technical qualifications.

Paul Birt, HR Director, Siemens Lincoln, said: “I am delighted that after several years of intensive activity supported by Siemens, the University and the college, along with many other local businesses and the local community, we can see the opening of this fantastic resource.

“I am personally proud to have been part of the team that made this happen. University Technical Colleges will play an important role alongside other training routes in helping us develop the talent required for tomorrow’s economy.”

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