Eight to ten UAE schools per year opt to utilise the Cambridge exam ((I)GCSE and A Levels) system.
Last year alone saw 14 percent growth in the number of UAE students sitting the British curriculum exams.
Waseem Al Hanbali, regional director of the Cambridge International Examinations, told Gulf News, “there are a total of 104 schools in the UAE with over 17,000 candidates that offer Cambridge programmes and qualifications and the number is increasing."
“We have been witnessing an average growth of eight to 10 schools per year in the last three years and this year we are expecting double digit [growth],” he said.
Six new schools are set to join imminently, including, Brighton College in Abu Dhabi and Westminster School in Al Ain.
Hanbali went on to note that students in the UAE achieved better grades than their counterparts abroad.
“For example, if 25 per cent of students got A to A* in Cambridge that percentage is normally much higher amongst UAE students. Students here are more serious and parents also invest in their children,” he explained.
Discussing the Cambridge selection process, Hanibali told the publication that not all schools who applied to the exam body are accepted.
Schools first go through a rigorous three month process which sees teachers and facilities assessed.
“Another mandatory requirement that schools have to meet is the security room. Every school should have a room with no windows and contain a safe where the exam [material] is kept. We give the exam [material] to schools three weeks ahead and we have regular inspections (to ensure that they are not leaked),” he said.