Published on April 21, 2022

In this Meet the Team interview, we sat down with Charles Nyanyira, one of NHC’s expert science tutors, to find out more about his journey into teaching at NHC. Charles’ experience not only spans an impressive area of the science field but also a range of different countries too!

Now a chemistry tutor on NHC’s Extended Degree in Science, Access to HE, BTEC Applied Science, and BTEC Forensic Science courses, Charles brings his unique experiences and impressive accolades to his lessons. Keep reading to find out more about Charles’ experience so far, and his journey to teaching at North Hertfordshire College.

What did you use to do before joining North Hertfordshire College?

“In my early career I used to work as a Forensic Scientist, which gave me a lot of experience that I can bring to my lessons and share with my students. Prior to joining NHC as a chemistry tutor, I also worked as an Analytical Chemist within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in the Netherlands. I’m really proud of my work in this role – the group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for its ‘extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons’.”

Why did you decide to move into teaching science?

“I wanted to move into teaching as it’s an opportunity to transform lives and I find that the students are focused, and they really know where they are going in terms of what they want to do in their future careers. I also want to help pass on my knowledge and experience to help the future generations of scientists.”

What happens if a student changes their mind about the direction they want to go in?

“The best part of the learning process is that it provides many alternative opportunities and pathways to take when students change their minds. As long as students have the passion and the drive, they’ll be able to follow that to wherever they need to be. It’s not all doom and gloom if you want to do something else after your course. I’ve had students who enjoy other topics outside of the core course taught, and they were able to transfer the skills over.”

What do you enjoy the most about working at the College?

“The most enjoyable moment for me has to be when each student has that ‘lightbulb’ moment – that perfect point when the penny drops, and they finally understand the scientific concept that they would have been struggling with. Seeing the students happy, overcoming their challenges and succeeding academically is the ultimate satisfaction.

“It’s all about helping the students. They know what the next step is in their career path, and I’m here to help them get there. You feel like you are changing the world for the better whilst helping the students grow.”

If you could say anything to someone that’s thinking of applying to a science course at NHC, what would it be?

“I would tell them that this course will give them a sound foundation for careers in various scientific fields. The course will equip them with all the tools needed to thrive in this field and a strong scientific knowledge base. For example, in Forensic Science, students get hands-on practical experience in attending and collecting evidence from a (fake) crime scene which we create using available resources.   This prepares students for real scenarios. They’ll not only know what they need to do but why it’s important.

“Also, at NHC, we adapt to what students need. People come here from different backgrounds, and each one of those students will have different obstacles to overcome. It’s about catering to individual needs and making sure we’re there to support them. Those obstacles don’t have to be barriers; we’ve had one student who studied here who was partially sighted. She studied chemistry which is a challenging practical subject for student who is partially blind. Through our support tailored to her special needs, she successfully progressed to University for further studies having succeeded in the Extended Degree in Science course which we provide at the NHC.”

Any closing thoughts?

“This is a challenging job, but it’s worth it. I’m in this job because of the students, because I want to help them get to where they want to be in life. I really want to see them thrive. The silver lining is the extensive impact that our teaching at NHC has on our students’ futures, seen in their successful progression to Higher Education and various chosen careers they end up in.”


If Charles has inspired you to explore a qualification in Science, be sure to check out North Hertfordshire College’s available science courses. We offer a variety of courses across a range of different levels, from school-leavers up to higher education courses!

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