UK: Business-backed technical colleges to open

A new wave of comprehensive colleges backed by firms including the developers of the BlackBerry, Toshiba, Boeing and Rolls Royce will open in England next year as part of a new generation of vocational schools in which businesses will help shape the curriculum, write Jeevan Vasagar and Jessica Shepherd for the Guardian.

Known as university technical colleges, the schools include one in Newcastle with a focus on engineering; one in Liverpool specialising in life sciences and backed by the pharmaceutical firm Novartis, and one in Plymouth backed by the Royal Navy and Babcock, which manufactures defence equipment.

Research in Motion, which developed the BlackBerry smartphone, will be one of the business partners of a school in Buckinghamshire, which is also being backed by Hewlett Packard and Cisco. The schools, for 14- to 19-year-olds, are sponsored by universities, and the firms will help provide training that meets their requirements for skilled workers.
Full report on the Guardian site