Dubai’s American University Will Accept School-Based Assessments

A university in Dubai will be accepting students for the September 2021 intake on the basis of their school-assessed grades and not the final Grade XII board results, which could be published as late as September.

Final board exams such as those for India’s CBSE Grade 12 have been postponed as a Covid safety measure. The exams are to be held, if at all, after the Covid situation is “reviewed” on June 1.

Michael Lawson, Regional Director – Recruitment, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said: “We recognise that this is an unprecedented step; however, these are unprecedented times that call for change. Therefore, to support our community of parents and students, we will be making admissions decisions based on school assessed grades.”

School-assessed grades include those during mock exams or pre-boards, as well as predicted scores. “We believe these are a good indicator of student performance, based on which we are able to make an informed decision.”

When asked about the reason for the same, he added: “Across the world, governments, education boards, schools, parents and children are grappling with when and how to approach the next phase in their education. Given that these challenges are far from over, the majority of education boards have either cancelled or delayed their final exams.

“This will likely result in a delay as far as September in final scores awarded. By offering admissions based on predicted grades, we believe it will make the transition to higher education smoother and less stressful for prospective students and their families.”

Lawson said if a student is unable to maintain the school-assessed grades in the final results awarded by the board, the university “would neither downgrade nor retract our study offer”.

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