When Aaron Jones applied to stay on at his college to take a course of A-levels he was devastated to be turned down. So it was an added insult when the 18-year-old saw his picture in South Downs College’s 2012 prospectus – being used to promote the excellent work its students achieve. The teenager, who has dreams of opening an engineering business, said he was shocked to see a photo of him with his bike wheel cap invention being used as promotional material for the college that ‘shut the door in my face’.
He said: ‘It’s totally hypocritical of them. South Downs let me down in a big way but now they’re using my project to make them look good. They rejected my application to do A-levels because they said they felt I wouldn’t commit to the course, but clearly they think highly enough of the work I did to advertise it.’ Aaron, of Tanners Ridge, Purbrook, achieved a pass in his Btec national diploma level three last year. He had the option of a two-year apprentice with the MoD starting next year, and working full-time at Ted Baker in Gunwharf Quays until then.
Instead he decided to apply for A-levels in business, biology and sociology at South Downs, that would lead to a business degree to fulfil his dreams of starting up his own engineering company. But it all went wrong when South Downs refused to keep him on, even after he appealed their decision. Aaron, who is now studying psychology, biology and sociology A-levels at Highbury College in Cosham, said: ‘My future was in South Downs’ hands and they took away a real opportunity for me. I’m very happy at Highbury but unfortunately they don’t offer business A-level.
‘I’ll still find a way to get my business degree – I won’t let this setback get in the way of my career ambitions. But I don’t think it’s right for South Downs to be using my image and my invention for their gain.’ A South Downs spokeswoman said: ‘The photograph was taken on April 1 at an engineering event for students to showcase their work. Aaron received a pass grade for this project. The prospectus is promoting the course he was on and completed. The prospectus was in print before Aaron applied for a different course.’
On the University of Ulster prospectus I was rather confused to see an ethnically diverse group of people smiling and sitting on some grass outside one of the main buildings.. Having studied at UU from HND to PhD I knew there was a car park in front of that building so just assumed they'd photoshopped the grass in. They hadn't.. They'd managed to angle the picture in such a way so that "students" were sitting on the 2' wide patch of grass on a roundabout in the middle of the road.
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