Newly-launched international qualifications can help students in Southeast Asia prepare for studying in the UK


For students hoping to further their studies at higher education institutions overseas, taking an international qualification exam gives you a better chance.

For those of you who wish to study in the UK, the Oxford International AQA Examinations (Oxford AQA Exams) is one such exam.

The Oxford AQA Exams, which have just launched in Southeast Asia, are a joint venture between AQA, the UK’s largest provider of academic qualifications, and Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the University of Oxford.

The qualifications were created in an effort to provide high-quality English-medium qualifications to accommodate the needs of the growing number of students attending schools with a British curriculum.

Southeast Asia is the second region to benefit from the exams after they were introduced in the Middle East in November 2015. 

The GCSEs, A-Levels, and AS Levels curriculums will be available for teaching in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia from September 2017, and will initially focus on English, Mathematics, and Science. More subjects are expected to be added in coming years.

“These qualifications offer a new choice for schools and teachers, and new opportunities for students attending international schools,” said Managing Director of OUP’s Asia Education division Adrian Mellor in a statement.

Speaking at the official launch in Kuala Lumpur last month, AQA Chief Executive Andrew Hall said that in light of increasing global focus on educational outcomes, “our qualifications will really help young people in Southeast Asia to develop the skills they need to thrive in the world’s knowledge-based economies”, reported the New Straits Times.

One of the reasons that the Oxford AQA Exams stand out from other international qualifications is due to its inclusion of a unique research-based qualification, known as the Individual Project Qualification (IPQ).

The IPQ gives students an opportunity to extend their abilities beyond the A-level syllabus, better preparing them for tertiary education and their future career.

“Oxford AQA Exams is at the forefront of educational research. Our qualifications are based upon over 100 years of experience, academic research, and international best practices,” Hall told the daily.  

The exam papers test both practical skills and theoretical knowledge in one paper, and are specifically tailored to suit the needs of students residing outside the UK by using straightforward language and consistent phrasing.

UK NARIC,the British agency in charge for providing information, advice, and opinion on academic qualifications from around the world, has benchmarked the new international GCSEs and A-levels as being to the same standard as the British GCSEs and A-levels accredited by the UK examinations regulator, Ofqual.  

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