Students at UTC Reading, on the former Alfred Sutton School site in east Reading, were joined by Reading East MP Rob Wilson, who was given a guided tour of the £8m college in Crescent Road.
The UTC, supported by industry partners including Cisco, Miscrosoft, Network Rail and Reading University, boasts engineering workshops, computer science laboratories and independent learning spaces, plus a dance studio, gym and canteen.
It will provide technical education in computer science and engineering for teenagers aged 14-19, with the curriculum directly meeting the needs of businesses.
Mr Wilson said it was a delight and a privilege to be taken around the state-of-the-art facilities by principal Joanne Harper, and added: “The college is a testament to all those who worked so hard to make it a reality, it was just a dream a couple of years ago and I’m immensely proud of the part I was able to play in the process of making the dream a reality.”
The college is one of 12 opening in England this month, [September] taking the total nationwide up to 17, and will use a curriculum that incorporates work placements and industry equipment to give pupils a hands-on education.
Mr Wilson said: “The college is a big step forward for Reading and offers something completely different in the educational set up. The students will have an opportunity to learn in practical ways, equipping them with the essential skills and expertise that hi-tech industries up and down the Thames Valley vitally need.”