UAE pupils to have A-Level grades restored after backlash, Cambridge International rules

Downgraded marks to be bumped up to predicted grades

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August 12, 2020.   Pupils receiving their A level results.
-- Razaan Ganatra
Victor Besa /The National
Section:  NA
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Pupils in the UAE who had their A-Level results downgraded will have their original teacher-predicted marks restored after a widespread backlash, Cambridge International said on Monday night.

The qualifications provider said the decision would affect all qualifications it issued as part of the June 2020 series, including the IGCSE, AS-Levels and the Pre-U.

“Since we released our results on August 11, we have been listening to feedback from our schools and students," a spokesman for Cambridge International said.

"We have carefully considered this feedback.

“It is important to us that Cambridge students can compete on an equal basis with students who have similar national or international qualifications, and that their hard work and achievements are compared fairly.


"We recognise the urgent and practical need to help Cambridge students get on with their education and their lives.

“We have decided that the grades we issued for the June 2020 series will not be lower than the predicted grade submitted by their school.

"Where grades issued last week are higher than the predicted grade, that higher grade will stand.

“We will issue new provisional grades to affected students as soon as possible and will share these with universities and admissions organisations as soon as we can.”

Of the 295,000 pupils at Dubai’s private schools, 109,894 attend UK curriculum schools, making it the most popular curriculum in the emirate.

Globally, more than 950,000 grades were issued by Cambridge International, to almost 4,000 schools in 139 countries when the results came out last week.

This year, when exams were cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers were asked to predict the grades of their pupils and determine a rank order for the candidates.

Predicted grades were higher than in the previous years, Cambridge International said.

It then moderated the grade through a controversial and complicated standardisation process that took into account how successful the school had been in the past.

There was a great backlash last week when just under half of grades were revised, most of them lower.

The decision by Cambridge International follows a similar a reversal by the British government for A-Level and GCSE students in England.