Thursday, June 05, 2008

Imperial College to set-up its own exams

it looks as though, another "myth" of the UK educational system is about to collapse.

According to the Guardian, one of Britain's most successful universities is developing its own entrance exam because it believes "grade inflation" has rendered A-levels useless as a means of selecting the best undergraduates.  
Sir Richard Sykes, the rector of Imperial College London, yesterday warned that the state education system was failing the country's most gifted children and called for radical action to "save" bright students. 
Sykes said: "Top institutions have great difficulty separating out the best students. Even if you interview all the students, you still have a problem." 
The new entrance exam will assess candidates' general intelligence and creativity. It could be brought in from 2010. 
"We are doing this not because we don't believe in A-level but we cannot use A-levels any more as a discriminatory factor," he said. "They have all got four or five A-levels. "[This] hopefully would become a national system if it was seen to be successful." 
He said it was frightening that 40% of his students came from private schools, which teach just 7% of pupils in the UK. 
Schools minister Lord Adonis insisted that educational standards are being maintained. "To further underpin the quality of the qualifications system we have established the new independent regulator, Ofqual."

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