13 February 2008
We have made substantial progress towards receiving QCA accreditation for Cambridge Pre-U.
Submission of Cambridge Pre-U for QCA accreditation began over a year ago and early stages took longer than expected. Now, crucial milestones have been passed without compromising the characteristics that make Cambridge Pre-U distinctive. We are discussing funding parameters with DCFS and LSC, to make sure maintained schools can start teaching Cambridge Pre-U from September 2008.
QCA accreditation is not required for university recognition or adoption by international and independent schools - but it reflects CIE's determination to make sure Cambridge Pre-U is available to all schools, both state and independent.
Over 1000 sixth formers are trialling Cambridge Pre-U assessment material in over 30 schools, providing an evidence-base for benchmarking Cambridge Pre-U to A Level performance at the critical A/B and E/F grade boundaries. We can reassure schools that students who currently perform at the lower end of the A Level pass range will find Cambridge Pre-U accessible.
Evidence of linear qualifications - all exams at the end of a two-year course - suggests that candidates of more moderate ability can and do improve their overall performance through linear style assessments which allow for more teaching time and more coherent progression in learning.
The core component of the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma, Global Perspectives and the Independent Research Project (GPR), is now available as a stand-alone certificate for students who wish to combine it with A Levels.
Universities tell us that GPR is an excellent preparation for undergraduate study as it gives real evidence of independent, critical thinking. Many schools see huge value in GPR as part of their curriculum enrichment programmes, as an excellent alternative to Critical Thinking, General Studies or the Extended Project.
We are in discussions with UCAS regarding a tariff for Cambridge Pre-U that reflects the size and linearity of the individual Pre-U Principal Subjects, and the added value and size of the unique core component, Global Perspectives and the Independent Research Report. The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma is increasingly recognised as an unrivalled preparation and springboard for success in higher education.