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Die Petition wurde nach „Empörung“ bei der Weigerung der Cambridge International Examination, IGCSE- und internationale A-Level-Prüfungen abzubrechen, gestartet.

Background: Students demand international GCSE and A Level examinations are cancelled as Cambridge International Examination refuses to change course. 

International students worldwide are in uproar following the refusal of Cambridge International Examinations to cancel this year’s Summer IGCSE and A’ Level examinations. Its decision has set it on a collision course with the British government and the two remaining international examination boards, OxfordAQA and Pearson Edexcel, which haben cancelled this year’s Summer examinations in favour of results being awarded on the basis of teacher assessed grades.

The British government and OFQAL had openly stated they wanted to avoid the risk that would follow international examination boards choosing to go ahead with examinations as it would result in a two tier system in which thousands of students faced being unfairly and unequally treated next to their peers. Cambridge International Examinations has ignored this arguing that:

“We know exams are the fairest and most accurate way of assessing students’ performance.”

Cambridge International Examinations 26 February 2021.


Petition: Cambridge International Examinations is profit-motivated

Following a launch of a petition on, today more than 32,000 signatories disagree, claiming that: the decision of Cambridge International Examinations is purely “profit motivated” rather than being guided by any genuine interest in the welfare of students, schools or their families.


Cambridge International Examinations, which already charges more to enter examinations than either OxfordAQA or Pearson EdExcel, bills, through schools, every UAE student fees for each subject entered, these ranging from around AED 350 to AED 700 dependent on the subject. 

In distinction, both Oxford AQA and Pearson Edexcel have promised to look at at least partial refunds for every student and their families, following their decision to “do the right thing” and “trust teachers.”

“We’d like to reassure you that we will be passing on any net savings, where they exist, to you after the Summer assessments.”

Pearson Edexcel. Statement. 26 February 2021.

“We will review our fees for the May/June 2021 series when more detail is known about the Teacher Assessed Grades process and the costs of delivering it.”


Cambridge Assessment International Education generates its revenue as “the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds” – with around 1 million students and more than 10,000 schools studying for their qualifications in more than 160 countries. The organisation is a division of Cambridge assessment which is not-for-profit – but both organisations carry significant fixed costs.

The petition can be signed by clicking hier an. petition to force Cambridge International Examinations to cancel international GCSE and A Level Examinations



Beyond Cambridge International Examinations being purely driven by revenue, the petition argues that:

  • “Following the UK cancellation of A levels in 2021, international students are at an unfair disadvantage as their UK peers have [had] their A Levels and IGCSE [examinations cancelled.]
  • “There may be a high risk of inflated grades [where} Teacher Assessed Grades [are used], while [..] international students are left to sit for exams. This will leave us an a disadvantage as we are also competing to enter universities also in the UK.
  • “UK students will have it easy as they sit back and relax with their biased teachers grades.
  • “CIE said that, although they won’t give us an advance notice of topics or reduce our syllabus content , they will make sure grading is aligned with the UK grading system but now, their exams are totally cancelled. This means it can no longer be possible for this to work.”
  • “In addition to the inequality in grades, CIE is not taking into consideration the state of students’ mental health, difficulty of access to online resources, attention disorders, and overall motivation to fully grasp the material taught in this 2 year period. While having been in quarantine and undergoing online learning since Feb/March 2020, many students are faced with the challenge of fully understanding the curriculum whether due to technical difficulties, an incredible decline in the teaching quality, or the mental state of students.”
  • “Online learning has imposed a large variety of issues in a student’s daily life, and it would be extremely unfair for CIE to not provide the same treatment to UK students and international students by grading us the same way.”
  • “We understand that COVID-19 cases vary from country to country, but we must address other issues regarding the fairness and comparability of this ‘standardised’ testing, student’s mental health, education inequality, and the risk of being exposed to the virus.”

The petition continues:

“We ask for CIE to not act upon discrimination and provide the same treatment to their UK and international students by using the same teacher assessments grades for IGCSE and international A Levels for the May/June 2021 session as a “student friendly board”.

Many international students will attempt to enter UK universities, and now have an uphill battle against students who, due to not having to sit exams, will in most cases be awarded grades they would not necessarily get if they were to sit exams. As such it puts International students at a competitive disadvantage.”

Petition to Cancel International A Level & IGCSE Exams 2021. February 2021. 

(Editors note: the quotes above have been changed to reflect the fact that Pearson Edexcel have now cancelled examinations in favour of teachers assessed grades.]

Cambridge International argues:

“In setting exam standards, we take very seriously our responsibility to make sure students are assessed fairly and can progress with their education. Exams offer consistent, reliable and fair measurement of attainment, and we have highly effective processes for managing standards in the grades from exams. We will manage standards in 2021 with the aim of ensuring that grades are comparable whichever route a student takes.”

Cambridge International Examinations. February 2021. 

However, without the support of the other Examinations Boards, or OFQUAL, or the UK Government for this outlier approach, Cambridge International will need to delay its results until after the other boards have reported their results so that it can “””adjust””” results upwards or downwards to even attempt consistency. As one school told us: “if it wasn’t so damaging to students, it would be laughable.”


OxfordAQA and Pearson EdExcel – all Summer examinations cancelled 

OxfordAQA International A Levels und GCSE-Prüfungen abgesagt. Kinder sind dem Chaos durch die Absage internationaler GCSE- und A-Level-Prüfungen ausgesetzt

Oxford AQA hat internationale GCSE- und A-Level-Prüfungen abgesagt.

Sie werden durch vom Lehrer bewertete Noten ersetzt.

Im Gegensatz zu Cambridge International, das auch internationale A Level- und GCSE-Prüfungen anbietet, argumentieren sie:

"[Prüfungen in diesem Jahr abzusagen] ist das Schönste, was wir tun können."

OxfordAQA-Prüfungen. 28. Januar 2021.

The full statement argues:

„Seit der Ankündigung, dass Prüfungen in England abgesagt werden, haben wir den Ansichten von Lehrern, Eltern und Schülern auf der ganzen Welt aufmerksam zugehört.

Viele Schulen haben uns gesagt, dass a Ein konsequenter Ansatz würde bedeuten, dass kein Schüler in einer Schule oder einem Land benachteiligt wäre Die gleiche Bewertung aller Schüler ist der einzige Weg, um sicher zu sein, dass die Noten vergleichbar und fair sind. “

"Jeder, auch wir, hätte es vorgezogen, im Sommer zu einer normalen Prüfungsserie zurückzukehren.

But it has become clear that this just won’t be possible, and the fairest thing we can do is ensure a level playing field for all students, and follow the same approach to assessment as in England. We know how crucial Fair Assessment is in preparing students for their futures and enabling them to progress to the next step."

Sadie Visick. Geschäftsführer. OxfordAQA.  

Pearson Edexcel followed:

„Heute haben wir drei wichtige Updates bestätigt:

  • Wir werden im Mai / Juni 2021 einen robusten Ansatz verwenden, der auf der Beurteilung der Lehrer für die internationale GCSE- und die internationale AS / A-Bewertung basiert, und die Prüfungen werden nicht wie geplant durchgeführt
  • Wir werden später in diesem Jahr eine zusätzliche Prüfungsreihe für International GCSE anbieten
  • Die Prüfungsreihe International AS / A Level October wird wie geplant durchgeführt. “

Pearson Ausbildung. Februar 2021.

Unlike the chaos caused last year by mooted algorithms, schools, this Summer, will be free to award grades entirely on the basis of their knowledge of their own students – an approach has always argued is the only rational and fair approach to the awarding of results during the pandemic. The Examination Boards have committed to only minimal cross-examination for consistency – and given that teachers invariably know their students best, in practice we see it as unlikely that teacher-assessed grades will be questioned.


Unsere Ansicht: A Levels und GCSE-Prüfungen abgesagt. Dieses Durcheinander schmerzt Schulen und Schüler in den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten.

The move leaves Cambridge International globally isolated in insisting that International A Level and GCSE Examinations proceed. Cambridge International stubbornly continues to insist that schools and teachers across international schools want the examinations to proceed, a claim disputed by many schools.

Whatever else, and quite extraordinarily, a non governmental, non statutory regulatory, private sector body is single-handedly creating a two tier system worldwide that will impact on every student, international or otherwise, sitting for examinations this year. 

Cambridge International weigert sich entschieden, den Kurs zu ändern:

Am 4. Januar 2021 kündigte der britische Premierminister neue nationale Beschränkungen für England an, einschließlich der Schließung von Schulen und der Absage der meisten Prüfungen für Juni 2021.

Als internationale Organisation mit Sitz in Großbritannien möchten wir unsere globale Schulgemeinschaft nach dieser Ankündigung über unsere Position in der Prüfungsreihe 2021 auf dem Laufenden halten. Eine Reihe von Schulen hat gefragt, ob sich unsere Richtlinien ändern werden.

Wir arbeiten mit Schulen in 160 Ländern zusammen und die meisten unserer Schulen teilen uns mit, dass sie im Juni 2021 Prüfungen durchführen möchten und dies voraussichtlich gemäß den Anweisungen ihrer nationalen und regionalen Behörden tun können. “

Cambridge International. Januar 2021

Die Ansichten von Cambridge International sind völlig uneins mit denen von OxfordAQA und jetzt Pearson:

„Viele Schulen haben uns gesagt, dass ein konsequenter Ansatz bedeutet, dass kein Schüler in einer Schule oder einem Land benachteiligt wird und dass die Bewertung aller Schüler auf die gleiche Weise der einzige Weg ist, um sicher zu sein, dass die Noten vergleichbar und fair sind.

Eine unserer Schulen sagte uns: „Es muss ein System und eine Bewertungsmethode geben, die für alle Studenten auf der ganzen Welt gilt. Dies ist eine globale Pandemie, und obwohl die Situation von Land zu Land unterschiedlich war und die Anpassung an den Unterricht ebenfalls sehr unterschiedlich war, waren diese Schüler alle großen Veränderungen und Störungen ausgesetzt, nicht nur in ihren Erfahrungen mit Schule und Lernen, sondern auch in ihrem Zuhause Umwelt und die mentalen Auswirkungen, die sie hatten, müssen ebenfalls erkannt und anerkannt werden. “

OxfordAQA 2021

It is students in the UAE, and worldwide, not Cambridge International Examinations, that will pay the price for results that risk being at the least inconsistent and, at worse, open to significant misunderstanding.

As we said in our earlier article, many UAE schools are extremely unhappy that Cambridge International is laying the justification for their decision squarely as a response to the wishes of schools – and in the process making it appear that UAE schools are working against the perceived interests and wishes of their students and parents.

OFQUAL, a statutory government body, has been clear that allowing international examinations to proceed would in their view result in unfairness, inconsistency and confusion.

An exceptionally astute analysis of the impacts, issues and repercussions that follow from the issues surrounding examinations during Covid, written by Michael Lambert, Headmaster of Dubai College, can be found hier an.

GEMS Bildung kommentierte:

„Wir sind uns der heutigen Entscheidung von OxfordAQA bewusst, internationale GCSE- und A-Level-Prüfungen abzusagen, und unsere Schulen werden allen Schülern, die von dieser Entscheidung betroffen sind, Anleitung und Unterstützung bieten.

Darüber hinaus stehen wir weiterhin in engem und regelmäßigem Kontakt mit allen relevanten Prüfungsausschüssen, um sicherzustellen, dass unsere Schüler und ihre Eltern in dieser Situation gut informiert und umfassend unterstützt werden. “

SchoolsCompared does not believe that this two tier system, created entirely by Cambridge International Examinations, is fair, rational or prudent. Worse, it risks damaging student opportunity, the perceived integrity of British education and the vital relationships and trust between schools, parents, universities and governments worldwide that underpin this.

It is time for Cambridge International Examinations to change course, and urgently. 

© 2021. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Hinweise für Eltern, Schüler und Schulen:

Die vollständige Erklärung von Oxford AQA, einschließlich Informationen zu der von ihnen geleisteten Unterstützung, finden Sie hier Hier klicken.

Die Position von Cambridge International kann gefunden werden hier an.

Informationen zur Kehrtwende von Pearson finden Sie hier hier an.

More reporting on this can be found in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) hier an.

Über den Autor
Jon Westley
Jon Westley ist Herausgeber von und UK. Sie können ihm eine E-Mail an jonathanwestley [at] senden

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