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'I did a BTEC – now I’m heading to a Russell Group uni!'

SHE DID IT HER WAY: Sarah Oluwapelumi Babs-Apata

A SOUTH London sixth-former is heading to one of Britain’s most prestigious universities to study a subject normally dominated by men.

Sarah Oluwapelumi Babs-Apata will start a course in civil engineering with architecture at Leeds University after achieving a triple-starred distinction in her engineering BTEC.

But The Christ the King Sixth Form College pupil was initially dissuaded from pursuing a BTEC, believing it would not lead to a top university place.

Sarah said: “A lot of people, especially my family, thought that as I’m a very academic person I should do A-levels in sciences or the law…but BTECs are really under-rated. People don’t know how beneficial the course is.

'In my BTEC I studied physics, maths and further maths along with engineering. The course gave me the foundation of knowledge to really progress in this field [of engineering].”

The star pupil admitted that she was initially worried she would be overlooked by top universities, but her own fears were unfounded after getting the nod from Leeds.

Sarah added: “I felt universities were going to be prejudiced against BTECs – and I think some of them still are. At first I was in the [anti] BTEC mindset but now I’m going to a Russell Group university!'

The teenager’s sixth form was celebrating A-level pass rates about the national average for the 18th consecutive year.

Its 600-plus A-level students have a pass rate of 98.3 per cent against a national average of 98.1 per cent.

In addition, 360 students achieved a BTEC pass rate of 99.7 per cent.

Principal Dr Jane Overbury said she was delighted with the results and was particularly proud that the majority of students got their first-choice university.

She said: “We had over 600 students doing A-levels. This is a really phenomenal achievement and I salute our young people for their hard work and dedication, and of course our fantastic teaching staff, too.”

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