Coronavirus Pandemic

Cancelled Grade 12 exams: Dubai universities develop faster, easier admission processes

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 2, 2021

(PTI file)

Various certifications and extracurriculars are also being accepted to support students’ application.

With the cancellation of Grade 12 CBSE exams, universities in Dubai have eased students’ worries about admissions, saying their procedures and criteria have been adjusted based on the current scenario.

The authorities in India on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the Grade 12 CBSE and ISC board exams. CBSE students shall be evaluated based on a ‘well-defined objective criteria’ and it is likely that results will include a student’s performance in the past three years.

Any student who is not satisfied with the assessment will have an option to sit for examinations, once the situation permits, according to a notification communicated with all CBSE schools.

Though relieved, many students are now thinking about the decision’s impact on their university admissions.

UAE universities reiterated that in this unusual year, they have revamped some procedures and streamlined admissions based on the circumstances.

Michael Lawson, regional director for recruitment at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said: “Given that these are unprecedented times that call for change, and in order to support our community of parents and students, we announced some time ago that we would be making admission decisions based on school-assessed grades, such as grades during mock exams or pre-boards, as well as predicted scores.”

Universities believe these grades are good indicators of student performance, based on which they are able to make an informed decision.

“In fact, we have already admitted several students through this process, and we will continue to do so. Student interviews will be conducted with our faculty where appropriate. We have also introduced alternative English language proficiency assessment tests, like Pearson Versant and DuoLingo, where applicable,” added Lawson.

Capital University College is also developing an “easier and faster admission process”.

Sanjay Batheja, co-founder and director of the school, said: “Through this new admissions route (Aspire| Apply| Admit), we will now be accepting provisional or pre-board results along with the test results for further evaluation.”

Various certifications and extracurriculars are also being accepted to support students’ application, along with a personal statement, highlighting their interests, goals and how a programme can benefit them in the long run. Batheja said.

Scholarship opportunities are also being offered to support families amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Heriot-Watt University Dubai has rolled out Covid-19 Relief Scholarships, which offers a fee reduction of around Dh8,000 for students enrolling from India, Lawson said.  “Students will be eligible for an additional scholarship of up to 50 per cent over and above the Covid-19 Relief Scholarships. They will also be guaranteed transfer to the UK Campus after two years in Dubai as part of the University’s 2+2 programme at the Undergraduate level.”

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