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HRH The Duke of York, KG opens UTC Reading

UTC Reading was officially opened (6 December) by The Duke of York.

UTC Reading was officially opened (6 December) by The Duke of York. 

HRH unveiled a plaque to mark the opening before meeting staff and pupils on a tour of the UTC. 

During a speech to guests, including some our 140 students, The Duke said: "The purpose of education is to give young people the opportunity to be employed or to employ others after they leave. UTC Reading is responding to the skills needs of local businesses, namely those in computer science and engineering. This is about giving young people opportunity but also giving them challenge, because education is always going to be challenging. 

“This is an organisation that doesn't want to teach; it wants its pupils to learn. This is different way of thinking about and approaching education. I would suggest that the more you learn, the more you will discover and the better your education will be. 

“One of the key features of the UTC movement is bringing in businesses to provide project-based learning. Without that business input how are you going to have the skills and knowledge to go into the workplace and be useful? Education and training are different things but if you can combine them you will develop the employability skills that will make you really useful in the future and might even encourage you to employ people within your own business." 

The Duke met pupils working on projects in electronics, robotics, science and computing. 

James Monahan, aged 16, was among those involved in the visit. He said: "I have always been interested in computing so this College is the ideal place for me. When I found out about it I was really motivated to get good grades in my GCSEs so that I could get in. 

“It was a real privilege to meet and talk to The Duke. I told him about the components that go into a computer and about RAM and he was really interested to hear more about our computing challenge." 

Principal Joanne Harper said: “We are delighted that The Duke was able to visit us. It has been an exceptional first term at the UTC and this visit serves to motivate our pupils even further.

“We are delighted to have exceeded our initial recruitment targets and to now have pupils waiting to join us. The success of the UTC is due largely to the support and input of our industry partners who are helping to shape a curriculum that will lead to successful employment for our students.”

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