Students at Suffolk New College and Suffolk Rural have been reflecting on the reasons why they chose to study these qualifications that were introduced by the government in 2020.
The college was one of the first to offer these pathways three years ago and so far has seen around a hundred learners pass programmes that are equivalent to three A levels.
Ketija Tekenberga is studying on a science laboratory T Level at Suffolk New College. Ketija said: “I mainly chose this course because of the work experience that comes with it. You get 315 hours (work experience) and in reality that will look really good on any application you go for. I would definitely recommend T Levels. I did do A-levels, but everyone learns differently, and I found I learn better when it is practical work, especially when on a placement, so a T level provides that.”
Courtney Ricketts is also on the science laboratory T Level. Courtney said: “The highlight has to be able to go and work in the hospital and work in real-life scenarios with people who have been doing it their whole lives.”
Eduardo Fernandes, 17, from Ipswich is on a T Level digital production and design pathway at Suffolk New College. Eduardo said: “T Levels are good for the CV and you get a working knowledge of how the industry works. With A levels you don’t get the work experience and hopefully, this will give me an advantage when it comes to getting a job. You get to work and learn at the same time.”
Grzegorz Sternik, 16, Ipswich is also on a T Level is digital production and design. Grzegorz said: “It’s the middle ground between A levels and apprenticeships so you get the best of both worlds.”
Hetta Whitney, 16, is from Woodbridge and is on an agricultural T Level at Suffolk Rural. Hetta said: “I did alright in my GCSEs and chose a T Level as I wanted to do agriculture and never wanted to do A levels. This seemed to be the best option for me. You get more of the physical learning as well as the exams.”
Ruby Bloom, 17, Colchester is studying on an agricultural T Level as well. Ruby said: “I didn’t want to be sat in a classroom all day every day so it’s a nice mix of practical work with the academic part of it and it has been going very well. It’s good to learn something and then put it into practice.”
Also this week as part of the celebrations, the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Lynne Mortimer popped into the college to meet with principal and CEO Alan Pease.
Mr Pease said: “We have invested a great deal of time, money, and resources into our T Level programmes and seen huge numbers of successes in terms of students progressing to university and employment. We were proud to be one of the first colleges in the country to offer these programmes and it’s great that this campaign has shone a light on these important qualifications this week.”