Chai Vongseenin, Loughborough University

Chai is a Year 13 Extended Diploma in Engineering student at UTC Oxfordshire who is also taking A-level Maths. He plans to go to Loughborough University to study engineering.

What was the process you had to go through to get an offer of a place?

“It was through UCAS. You send off a personal statement letting them know why you think you’d be suited to the course. For my university options they haven’t asked for an interview, they will just accept me once my results come through.”

When does the course start and how long does it last?

“The course starts in September and is for three years. I can study for another two years if I want to progress up to a master’s degree.”

Do you know what kinds of things you’ll be learning?

“A broad engineering degree with many options to specialise. I hope I will get high enough grades while I am at university to allow me to apply for a good graduate role after my course. After the first year I know that you can specialise your learning more, but I’m not sure which route I want to go down yet.”

What made you decide this was what you wanted to pursue?

“My parents really wanted me to go to university. I know that I thrive in a focused learning environment, so it seemed the right choice.”

What are your plans for after you have finished your university course?

“Hopefully find a job; I think that the university will help me with that. I think civil engineering might be an area I’m likely to go into as I want to travel and I think this will allow me to do that.”

When did you join UTC Oxfordshire and what made you decide to join?

“I joined in September 2015. In my case, I didn’t do too well in my AS-levels at my previous school. I think because they were all theory based and not relate to engineering so I struggled to excel. The UTC really helped me to get to grips with engineering as it was ‘hands-on’ and I think the BTEC made me more confident in my learning. I enjoyed not having the pressure of exams as well; I only need to sit a maths exam this year. The facilities mean I can take my understanding further, as at a secondary school you only learn the basics.”

Are you glad you decided to join the UTC and do you feel it has helped you prepare for your future?

“I’m definitely glad about coming here. The teachers are all really experienced and passionate about what they do and I think that helps with motivation.

“Being at the UTC itself really helps when applying to university; I think it puts you one step ahead of other applicants. It shows that you’re already dedicated to engineering and have taken the decision to pursue this career wholeheartedly.”