CAVC bucks the trend for university entries
Figures released last month show Cardiff and Vale College exceeding the national average for UCAS entry to universities in the toughest year to date. 67% of UCAS applicants from Cardiff and Vale College were placed at universities nationwide; 5% higher than the national average. 70% of these successful applicants opted to attend one of the local four universities: Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, Glamorgan or Newport. The national average for students opting to study within a 20 mile radius is approximately 45%.
Careers and Higher Education Manager at Cardiff and Vale College, Michelle Barry, said, “I am delighted that we placed such a high proportion of our university applicants again this year. This figure (67%) is a testament to the sound advice and guidance offered to university applicants throughout the application process by tutors, college careers advisers and support staff cross college.”
An impressive 90% of applicants from the Business and Professional Studies Faculty, 63% of student applicants from the Sport and Community Studies Faculty and 86% of student applicants from the Faculty of Lifelong Learning were placed at local universities. Four former Faculty of Lifelong Learning students at Cardiff and Vale College who studied on the Access Life and Biological Sciences course graduated from Cardiff University this year including 45 year old Clair Weinberg.
Diagnostic Radiography graduate Clair Weinberg will begin working as a Band Five Radiographer with the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, based at the brand new Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Hospital in Caerphilly on 1st November. She said, “Having worked in finance all my working life and with my 40th birthday approaching I realised that I wanted a more fulfilling and rewarding career and that’s why I decided to return to college. Also, two of my sister-in-laws had recently died from cancer and it really brought it home to me that if I was going to do something I needed to do it sooner rather than later. The step I took to study the Access to Life and Biological Sciences course provided me with a firm basis for university learning and I hope a few years down the line I can become a Reporting Radiographer.”
Other faculty areas of the College such as Engineering and Construction Technologies saw 89% of student applicants placed at universities nationwide, with 73% of applicants from the Creative and Digital Technologies Faculty and Faculty of Advanced Studies also attending university this year.
20 year old Sarunas Driezis of Cardiff and Vale College was one of around 300,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who received his A Level results this year. Sarunas, who was told his results live on BBC News, achieved three Bs in Chemistry, Biology and Maths and a pass in the Welsh Baccalaureate.
Lithuanian born Sarunas is now studying Biochemistry at Cardiff University. He said, “I lived in Lithuania for 17 years and finished secondary school getting an average mark of 9.4 out of 10. I was advised to do my A-levels in the UK, if I wanted to study in a UK university so I decided to come to Cardiff and Vale College. After doing some extra English language classes I continued my studies towards a degree in the UK. It was the right choice as I gained new experiences in a broad range of fields, cultures and customs.
“I studied subjects which were most useful for my course choices and I also benefited from a broader range of subjects through the Welsh Baccalaureate. I see Cardiff University and studying Biochemistry as the next step in my life towards my future profession.”
In 2010, Sarunas won the Welsh Baccalaureate Learner of the Year in the College awards for his communication, organisational and team working skills. In summer 2011 he was winner of the Advanced Studies Faculty Student of the Year Award, which praises students with outstanding performance throughout the year in their chosen subjects.
His former Biology lecturer at Cardiff and Vale College, Ceri Moore said, “Sarunas has been an exceptional student throughout his time at the College and I believe he had 100% attendance in Biology in his last year. He’s originally from Lithuania, so I guess he had a few extra hurdles to cover from other students. He was a fantastic and motivated student.”
Sarunas was one of 360 students in the Faculty of Advanced Studies who also achieved outstanding Value Added results. Value Added results provide a way to measure the effect a school or teacher has on student academic performance over the course of a school year or another period of time. Dr Barbara Prosser, Head of Faculty of Advanced Studies said, “Last year our Value Added performance was the best in Wales and looks like being so again this year. We have a mentoring programme which ensures continual support and to balance the pastoral care we have staff who are expert in their fields. Almost 60% of the staff who deliver approximately 30 different A level subjects have post-graduate degrees (MA; MSc; MPhil or PHD) and over 50% have contemporary experience of examining, moderating or publishing educational or academic texts.”
When students enrol into Cardiff and Vale College to study A Levels their GCSE results are sent to Durham University where The Advanced Level Information System (ALIS) works out the minimum grade of A Levels that the individual student should statistically achieve with respective number and grades of GCSEs. ALIS provides performance indicators for Post-16 students across all sectors of education, both in the UK and Internationally.
In the 2011 Value Added summary report for Cardiff and Vale College, it was recorded that students achieved an above average performance with a large effect Value Added score of 0.8 or above in the following subjects; AS Biology, AS Chemistry, AS English Literature, AS Government and Politics, AS Mathematics, AS Physics, AS Sociology, A2 Mathematics and A2 Physics.
AS English Literature, A2 Mathematics and A2 Physics have achieved an above average performance over the past three years and AS Biology and AS Chemistry over the past two.
Dr Barbara Prosser added, “There is more to success that just academic ability and the staff take pride in making sure the students reach their own maximum potential here at Cardiff and Vale College.”