Student Vincent Klint Yobhel Diola chose North West Regional College (NWRC) in 2017, because it gave him a direct path into Computing and I.T.
He’s now about to start Year 2 of a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Computing and I.T., and is considering progressing to a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Software Engineering with NWRC next year, allowing him to continue his education while earning at the same time
The 18 year-old said he realised A-Levels were not the right path for him when he attended sixth form and had to choose two other subjects alongside I.T.
He said: “The only subject I wanted to do was I.T. but there was this perception that A-Levels were the way to go so I went into Sixth Form. I had to do two other subjects I didn’t like. By the end of Year 13 I had an A, C and E, so I was doing well in I.T. but I didn’t want to continue with the other subjects.
“I decided to try North West Regional College because I had heard so much about it and I knew I.T. was popular. I did my research and found out that the Level 3 Extended Diploma was the exact equivalent of three A-Levels. This meant that I could do what I love and focus on it and still move to University or whatever I want to do next.”
One year in and Vincent said he hasn’t looked back.
“This has been a great year,” he said. “The Level 3 has suited me so much more. I also took part in a Career Ready programme which allows students at the college to have work experience.
“College life is very different, it took me a while to get used to not wearing a blazer or uniform, and it was also new that all my classmates were different ages.
“NWRC is great when you are 16 and you want to focus on one subject with a future you are sure about. The support at the college is great. I particularly liked Moodle, which is an online resource where students can access videos and recourses relevant to their course. College life at NWRC allowed me to become independent.”
A limited number of full time places are still available for those who have not yet applied and who are soon to be receiving GCSE, A Level or Leaving Cert exam results. Everyone is welcome and if you are planning to attend please remember to take a copy of your exam results with you.
Demand is high for full-time places, but the College is still accepting applications for the majority of the courses that will commence in just a few weeks.
Progressing from GCSEs, students may choose a Level 2 course to boost their qualifications, or move directly into a Level 3 Diploma in a career related area.
NWRC students are this summer celebrating having achieved the top results in the Level 3 Extended Diplomas. Many of these students are choosing to then move on to University or higher education at NWRC. For those with a clear occupation in mind, the College also has a range of new Training for Success options for local school leavers, which provide them with practical skills and a recognised qualification specialising in a vocational subject such as construction skills or hairdressing and beauty therapy. These students also receive a weekly training allowance and work placement opportunities as part of their course.
There has been a significant number of local students choosing higher education at NWRC, with courses now including a range of exciting choices at HND and Foundation Degree level. With lower tuition fees and more work placement than university options, Higher Education at NWRC is a quality route to gaining employment or progressing graduate level study.
Start with North West Regional College this September and let your learning experience take you anywhere. Call 028 7127 6000 or visit www.nwrc.ac.uk for more details.
For more information come along to the College’s Clearing Day events at either Strand Road, Derry-Londonderry, Main Street Limavady Campus, or Derry Road, Strabane, on Thursday 23th, and Friday 24th, and Tuesday 28th August 10.00am – 4.00pm – course information and careers guidance will be available.