Demand for international education is growing around the world. Economic development means that more families are able to invest in their children’s education, and there is a growing recognition that international education broadens horizons. It develops skills in English, creates opportunities for study and work around the world, and prepares students for the challenges of modern life.
At Cambridge International Examinations we work with over 10,000 schools in 160 countries. Last year, worldwide entries for Cambridge qualifications grew by 10% on 2015 – and this year entries will grow again.
We work with a diverse range of schools; from traditional ‘international’ schools teaching the children of families working overseas, to independent schools catering for local students.
Given this diversity, there are three important considerations when we develop Cambridge qualifications: allowing flexibility; ensuring appropriate content; and paying attention to practicalities.
Cambridge programmes are flexible, so schools can pick and mix to suit their needs. We offer over 70 subjects at Cambridge IGCSE and more than 55 at Cambridge International AS & A-level. We design subject syllabuses that stretch and inspire students of all abilities, and offer a variety of assessment techniques.
With syllabus design, we give schools flexibility to include locally chosen content, appropriate to their context and culture. Our syllabus design embeds the development of transferable skills within subject contexts. We also make sure our question papers test subject knowledge, not English language skills.
We pay attention to practicalities, for example the date of examination results. We offer June and November exams to suit the academic year in northern and southern hemispheres, and a March exam series in India to help students meet local college application deadlines.
With appropriate adaptation and flexibility, UK-style international education is undoubtedly in demand. It is a great privilege for Cambridge to work with such a diverse range of schools, and to create a global community where expertise can be shared.