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Middlesbrough College students celebrate near perfect pass rate

18 Aug 2022
Lola Beckett and Zoe Lewis

High-flying students and teachers at Middlesbrough College are celebrating yet another stellar set of results.

Hardworking students picked up their results today, which gave the College an overall A Level pass rate of 98 per cent, with almost half achieving A*- B grades.

In addition, more than 72 per cent of learners studying BTEC vocational qualifications achieved high grades. This continuing record of success is why the college is among the top further education colleges in the country for A Level and vocational study.

Despite this year’s race for university places expected to be one of the most competitive yet, more than two thirds of Middlesbrough College students secured their first-choice university place, with almost 20 per cent heading to Sutton Trust universities, some of the best ranked in the UK.

Following the challenges posed by the pandemic, this was the first cohort of students to sit exams since 2019, with the 2020 and 2021 student cohorts awarded grades based on teacher assessment.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College Group, said: “Our staff and students have worked really hard despite the disruption they’ve been through in recent years, and these latest results are testament to their ambition and dedication.

“So many students have told us about the great level of support they’ve received from tutors and staff and the confidence this support has given them to go on to their chosen next steps – whether that’s university, an apprenticeship or employment.

“We’re proud to play a key role in helping our students realise their ambitions and we’re looking forward to welcoming new students to our campus in September.

“We’re set for an exciting autumn term with students returning to new facilities such as our Higher Education Centre, Digital Centre, Construction Skills Workshop and our new ‘campus heart’ which provides a new welcome area to the college.”

This year’s success stories include 18-year-old Lola Becket from Skelton, who has secured a place at Durham University to read Japanese studies, having achieved an A* in English Language, an A* in English Literature and an A in Religious Studies.

Lola said: “When I was little, all of my friends loved watching Disney princess films, but I was more interested in watching Studio Ghibli animations. I’ve always admired Japanese culture and I’m so excited to immerse myself in the language at university.

“I was so pleased with my results as I’d revised really hard and tried to avoid becoming too stressed about the whole process. I think it’s important to give yourself grace if you make a mistake. It’s not the end of the world and you can always try again.”

Lola is one of a number of high-flying Middlesbrough College students off to prestigious universities across the country.

19-year-old Niamh Else from Saltburn achieved a Triple Distinction Star in Performing Arts and has secured a highly competitive spot at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Following in the footsteps of Judy Dench, Laurence Olivier and Andrew Garfield, who also studied there, Niamh will study Experimental Art and Performance for three years before hopefully studying for a Masters in Acting.

Niamh, who was home schooled before enrolling at Middlesbrough College, said: “I’ve been obsessed with drama and theatre for as long as I can remember, so to know I’m heading to Royal Central School feels like a dream come true.

“Like with any new experience, enrolling at college after being home-schooled all my life was slightly nerve wracking, and it took a little while to adjust, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

“Everyone was so welcoming, and my tutors have been amazing throughout my time here. From acting and directing to learning every aspect of the industry, I’ve already had so many opportunities to fulfil my passion and this course has really prepared me for my next steps.

“Seeing those results this morning felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I owe so much to Middlesbrough College and my tutors – I couldn’t have done it without them.”

As one of the largest colleges in the North East, Middlesbrough College offers a range of vocational and academic courses in every occupational sector area, from entry level through to Level 7 postgraduate qualifications.

As well as A Levels and BTEC vocational courses, it was formally chosen earlier this year to launch a full range of T Levels and is the only college in Tees Valley to deliver the two-year qualifications from September this year.

Middlesbrough College’s role in the North East Institute of Technology also means students have a choice of higher-level technical courses exclusive in the Tees Valley, including in sector areas such as electronic engineering, civil engineering and construction.

From the start of the new term, the College will also give free Microsoft Surface devices to around 4,500 new starters on full-time courses. The scheme is part of the College’s mission to eradicate digital poverty in the region and level the playing field to ensure every young person has an equal opportunity at the College.

Enrolment opens for the next academic year from August 25. Students and parents can call the course information hotline on 01642 333366 or visit the Enrolment page to find out more.

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