UAE Forces Cambridge Exam Climbdown

One of the UK's leading examination boards has been forced into a reversal of policy by the UAE's school regulators. There will now be no exams held in the United Arab Emirates,
UAE Forces Cambridge Exam Climbdown
By James Mullan
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The combined force of the UAE's education regulators - the Ministry of Education, ADEK and KHDA - has come to bear on Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) forcing the group to abandon plans to impose GCSE and A Level exams on students across the country. 

While accepting an edict from the UK government that summer exams would not take place CIE resolutely sought to impose examinations on students studying for its exams overseas.  That situation has now changed with the intervention of the UAE's regulators.  CIE issued a statement last night: 

"Following a directive from the Ministry of Education in the UAE cancelling all international exams we will work with schools to ensure students entered for the June 2021 exam series can still receive grades using school assessed grades."  

CIE also confirmed that they will also cancel examinations in both Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  

Reflecting on the policy change, Matthew Morris, Secondary Principal at GEMS Wellington, Al Khail told

"Whilst this decision has come as a shock so late in the academic year, we are not surprised and have fully prepared for the likelihood of Cambridge examinations being cancelled since other examination boards confirmed the same in early January.

"The UAE has definitely made the right decision here. This has been a concern for us over the past couple of months; how to ensure parity and fairness for all students, regardless of examination board, subject and the country that they reside.

"The experienced schools in the UAE have had the initiative and foresight to plan for this, so students will not be penalised or negatively affected in any way, however it is a shame that Cambridge have insisted on persisting with examinations over the past few months when all others have been cancelled.

"It has added extra pressure and stress for schools to make arrangements for two unique and separate systems, but more importantly to the wellbeing of students who are already anxious about how they will achieve the grades that they have worked so hard for during such an unprecedented global pandemic.”

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