Later this year the talented 19-year-old will jet set her way to England to embark on an MEng Design Engineering – a four-year master’s degree which fuses engineering expertise with design thinking.
“Imperial College has everything I’ve ever dreamed about in a university, and now I’m going to spend my next four years there,” says Yiyang. “I am so excited to meet students and teachers there and immerse myself in an environment with people who have the same goals and interests. London is an absolutely thrilling city and I can’t wait to explore it.”
The highly innovative degree programme produces engineers who are capable of working through the entire process of product development – from inspiration, to design, to production.
“It covers a lot of science subjects such as material, mechanics, computing, maths and statistics with more practical modules like design thinking, programming, MATLAB and data analysis to help future engineers open their minds and broaden their thinking.”
With her sights firmly set on an engineering career, it’s the perfect pathway, and one that Yiyang believes ACG Sunderland has prepared her well for.
“I couldn’t have achieved this without the indispensable support I received from ACG staff. My design and technology teacher Mrs Faumuina inspired me to take this direction, by making design and technology such an extraordinary subject. She gave up her spare time to tutor us and inspired us with her professional knowledge and skills. So many students in our year group have gone on to study design as a result of her classes.”
Ensuring ACG Sunderland was fully registered to offer Cambridge Assessment Admission Testing in time for her admission exam was also a crucial aspect of Yiyang's success.
"I had another exam on the same day as my PAT (Physics Aptitude Test). It would have been impossible for me to make the two-hour drive to New Zealand's other registered centre and get back in time for my other exam. ACG registered our school as an admission exam centre just for me and made sure everything worked perfectly. Every time I think of this, I feel so grateful to the school."
Yiyang was the first-ever ACG Sunderland student to complete her Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing on campus, giving her easy access to one of the world’s top universities, and the added benefit of sitting her test in familiar surroundings. This year, the school expects up to 10% of Year 13 students to take advantage of one or more of the Cambridge admission exams on offer.
Yiyang says this is one of the many reasons she’ll always look back on her time at ACG with such fondness.
“ACG Sunderland is such a friendly and inspiring school. The environment is great, there are plenty of tutorials even during the school holidays, and teachers are available all the time, ready to answer questions. Thanks to this support I was totally motivated to study.”
But it wasn’t just time spent in the classroom that has left a lasting legacy.
“The school badminton club provides another special memory. It taught me so much more than how to play badminton – it taught me about friendship, teamwork, and mentally preparing yourself to face challenges. One year I was team captain and assistant coach which showed me how to work and think like a leader. These are the invaluable lessons that ACG Sunderland teaches you outside the classroom.
“ACG Sunderland has given me much more than an offer to Imperial College - the lessons I learnt there will be with me for life.”