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Technology Today - Indian Students Affected by Delayed Grade 12 Results Can Turn to International Education Platforms

Technology Today

Indian students aspiring to study overseas but affected by delays in the Grade 12 results due to the second wave of COVID-19 can turn to new edtech platforms, pathways and transnational education models to avoid disrupted study plans, according to an international education platform. 

Generally declared by May every year, the results were out in July this year after most of the final exams across the country were cancelled. Students from Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations were among the most affected as the two most popular education boards, with more than 15 lakh students. Thousands of others took the exams conducted by various state boards and state universities, the results for some of which were declared a few weeks ago. 

The delayed results and change in assessment methods will have little to major impact on students seeking to go to universities overseas, say industry experts. Countries such as the US, UK and Canada usually start their academic calendar in September to October, and entrance tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Testing and English language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL help secure admission abroad. 

While the final Grade 12 scores and final mark sheets prove crucial, a number of institutions have accepted provisional or predicted scores of Indian students for their applications to prevent delays. Many students also have the option of appearing in offline exams in the coming weeks or apply for re-evaluation. This, however, may mean further delay in overseas education plans, alongside greater competition as many students have secured high scores this time.

The delayed results are likely to have an impact for students who plan to start the Fall 2021 session in universities abroad, with rescheduled pre-screening tests such as the SAT and IELTS. The CBSE Grade 12 assessment method, which used internal assessment, pre-final, Grade 10 and 11 scores, among others, is something that universities will have to take into consideration this time, says Suneetha Qureshi, president of the Global Marketing Office (GMO) of international education provider M Square Media (MSM)l.“While the issue is likely to have little impact on Indian students applying to US universities which select students based on their overall performance, those planning to study in other countries including Australia or the UK might face other admissions-related procedures such as streamlining finances, completing documents, preparing admission and visa applications,” warns Qureshi. “Many students will also have to apply afresh for the next academic cycle for 2022. With travel and visa restrictions in place in many countries, they have to manage all this from home.”

To cope with these challenges, students can take help from specialists in the higher education space and dedicated tech-based platforms offering pathway programs, online courses, as well as continued application processes for on-campus programs. 

“India is the second largest student market worldwide, with immense potential, and recent studies have indicated an upbeat disposition in this group,” says Andrew Disbury, president of MSM’s UK business and who has counselled thousands of students in his 35-year career. “In working double time to help students cope and prepare for the next admissions cycle, it’s important we expose them to options for studying at home, online, and pursuing the path they want or graduating at a university abroad. Let’s emphasise that these are choices easily available to them.” 

Institutions are also using various resources for their recruitment needs, such as hosting online recruitment events, working with current international students in recruitment activities, and leveraging social media. Universities in the UK seeking to attract more Indian students are cognisant of the delayed results and travel curbs, Disbury adds. 

Latest research from the UK-based Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) suggests that as many as 3,850 Indians have bagged a chance to get their first choice university this year as of August 20 this year.

Canada is also a popular destination for Indian students. Per the Canadian High Commission in Delhi, between January and April 2021, about 100,000 study permits were issued to international students, up from about 66,000 in the same period of 2020. Until April 2021, early estimates showed that applications to US universities by Indian students have increased by 30 percent at over 9,600 applications, according to data by CommonApp. 

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