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An engineering student says he is looking forward to starting a university degree in the second or third year when he finishes his Higher National Diploma (HND).

Naing Win Hlaing, who is taking an HND in Electrical/Electronic Engineering at Uxbridge College, is expecting to take up a place on a degree in the same subject.

The qualification will enable him to jump at least a year and a half of full-time study at university, and his fees to take the HND are around half of what he would have to pay at university.

Naing said: "It is expensive to go to university and that's the reason I came to the College. The first and second year of an HND are the same as university so why go to university and pay their fees?

"The course here is really good. The teachers are really good, they are friendly and committed and most of them come from industry."

Naing (25), a full-time student, attends classes two days a week - and is also Uxbridge College's part-time electronic technician. He came to the UK from Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 2003 to study, and has achieved distinctions in all his subjects so far.

Naing, who lives in Southall, said: "My achievements are down to determination. I work, I do my study and that's it.

"After university maybe I will work for industry. I want a better future. It gives me opportunities if I am educated and qualified. I will go home once there is progress in the country - then I will be in a good position to be successful and may even make my own company.

"I am the kind of person who always needs something to do, I like to be busy. I don't really want to work for someone else - I must have my own business and I want to be retired at the age of 50."

Naing studied electrical/electronic engineering before coming to the UK, and completed a computing qualification before starting the HND.

His previous jobs include working as a telecommunications technician putting up satellite dishes in Myanmar, as a manager for McDonald's in Uxbridge - and making and selling kites to other children at the age of eight.


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