Keep calm and seek advice says leading college

With just a week to go before thousands of students across Staffordshire receive their A-level results, Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC), the highest performing further education institution in the region, is reassuring students that whatever their results, there are options and support available.

Liz Wyman, Head of Learning Resources and Guidance at Newcastle-under-Lyme College said: “Understandably, students can get nervous in the run up to results day, even though the vast majority get into university, an apprenticeship or employment without a hitch.  These results are the culmination of two years hard work and there is often a lot riding on the outcome.  We would urge students to stay calm and seek advice if things don’t go to plan.”

“As a caring college, we want to ensure that students have the best support available, whether they have out-performed expectations, undershot or are simply having doubts about the choices they have made.  It is important that students, including those from other colleges, are reassured that whatever their results, there will be options available.”

On Thursday 18th August, NULC will open its doors to students collecting results and will have knowledgeable staff on hand throughout the day to give advice and guidance.  NULC’s support team will be joined by advisors from local universities and Entrust, who will be available to provide independent career advice.

In 2015 NULC celebrated record results, with an overall A-level pass rate of 99.2%. 173 students achieved A* or A grades and 31 subjects achieved a 100% pass rate.  For several consecutive years NULC has been the biggest provider of students to higher education in Staffordshire, with 860 students progressing to 91 different universities last year.

For those students choosing to stay closer to home, NULC offers progression opportunities through a range of university-level programmes including Foundation Years, Foundation degrees, Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs).  These courses are a perfect option for those wanting to study in a dedicated University Centre within a smaller institution that boasts first class facilities and fantastic student support.  It is not too late to apply for courses starting in September; there are a range of course options available, including HNC/Ds in Business, Sport, Performing Arts, and Health and Social Care.

NULC also promotes a broad apprenticeship offering with equally strong success rates, standing 11% ahead of the national average.  Currently there are around 70 local apprenticeship vacancies available through ‘The Workshop’, a dedicated apprenticeship hub, housed within the main reception area at the College’s Knutton Lane campus.

Giovanni Neglia, 19 from Burslem took AS levels, however, instead of going to university, he chose to step directly on the career ladder, undertaking a higher apprenticeship in business administration with Hanley Economic Building Society.  He said: “University is not the only option, being an apprentice means that I’m not building debts, I’m getting my qualifications paid for and I am progressing towards university-level qualifications whilst earning and gaining experience.”

Principal and Chief Executive of Newcastle-under-Lyme College, Karen Dobson said: “This is an exciting time of year as students across the country receive their all-important exam results.  For many, a university place will be calling, but for an increasing number of young people apprenticeships are becoming an attractive choice.  An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge in your chosen field, with the ability to study to degree-level, whilst earning a wage.”

To find out more about apprenticeships at NULC visit or contact the Work Shop on 01782 254287 or

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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