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How Cambridge International A Levels are preparing more students for top universities

Higher education  Research  

New research findings make the case for Cambridge International

As a university recognitions and admissions specialist, I am often asked by parents which qualifications their children should take to have the best chances of getting a top university place.

Many families I meet around the world – from Singapore to Brazil – are trying to decide between different educational options, all of them promising to be the best guarantee of a coveted place at a prestigious university.

In my experience, A Levels offer unrivalled levels of choice and flexibility for a student’s higher education choices and beyond.

They allow students to take unique combinations of very different subjects, depending on their interests. At the same time, the reputation of A Levels for academic rigour means that they can open doors to more degrees and more professions than many other qualifications.

New research from UCAS, the UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service,  is now proving this point specifically with regard to Cambridge International A Levels.

These new findings show that Cambridge International A Levels are preparing ever greater numbers of students to enter some of the UK’s best universities.

From 2014-2017, 95% of Cambridge International A Level students who applied to UK higher education institutions were offered places. This equates to over 67,700 offers!

Moreover, most of these applicants are getting into the UK’s top universities. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Cambridge International A Level applicants were accepted into ‘higher tariff’ universities, which include all of the Russell Group universities. These are the 24 most sought-after and reputable universities in the UK, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Durham and the London School of Economics.

A further 25% were accepted at medium tariff universities, and 13% at lower tariff institutions.

This breakdown shows that students who have taken Cambridge International A Levels are better placed than most other students to get top places.

When we look at the total figures of all students who applied to study at UK institutions, only 28% of all applicants get into the Russell Group universities – less than half the figure for Cambridge learners.

The figures also show that over the same three-year period 2014-2017, the number of Cambridge International A Level students applying to study in the UK almost doubled, as did the number of students who were offered places.

When it comes to our learners’ choice of degree subjects to study, the data shows that engineering and business studies were the most popular subjects for applicants with Cambridge International A Levels. These were followed by social studies, biological sciences, law, medicine, maths, computer science and creative arts.

While this data is providing a rich resource for further research, it shows very positive trends for students with Cambridge International qualifications who wish to study at the UK’s top universities.

In the meantime, I will be happy to tell any enquiring parent that 95% of our Cambridge International A Level applicants are getting offers to study at UK universities!

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