University of Cambridge

Jump in Demand for Cambridge Pre-U


The recent accreditation of the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma structure and the most popular Principal Subjects by QCA has led to ajump in demand for the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma. Most of the places available for the Cambridge Pre-U INSET courses on 22 – 24 April have been quickly booked by teachers, leading organisers to schedule additional sessions for May and June.

Examination board, University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), does not ask schools to make formal registrations until they enter candidates for the Cambridge Pre-U examinations — the first session will take place in 2010 — but already a number of state maintained and independent schools have confirmed that they will be offering the Diploma.

Dr Kevin Stannard, CIE Director of International Curriculum Development, said: “Thirty schools have already told us that they start offering Cambridge Pre-U in 2008, with another 100 involved in trialling or INSET sessions and planning to offer Cambridge Pre-U within the next 2 – 3 years. Schools are under no compulsion to inform us of their plans, and clearly, many more schools are looking on with interest.

“QCA accreditation and the registration of the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma on Section 96 of the approved qualifications database is an important stage in opening up state schools’ access to Cambridge Pre-U as a route for students heading to university. Our aim has always been to ensure that the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma is as accessible to UK schools in the maintained sector as it is in the independent sector.”

CIE Chief Executive, Ann Puntis, said: “This is a Diploma that ticks all the boxes for students heading for university. The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma has a clear progression route, flexibility for schools, and well-designed and supported stretch and challenge for students. It meets the needs of young people, schools and universities.”

The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma meets both the government’s plans for 14 – 19 education and its long-term strategy for increasing the number of students who go to university.

Ann Puntis said: “We welcome the current phase of the Government’s strategy for 14 – 19 education and look forward to participating in its planned consultation. The first five years of adoption of the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma fit well within the timeframe of the Government’s promised 2013 review. As the level of demand for the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma increases over the next five years, the Diploma will take its place as a distinctive and valuable qualification in the UK educational landscape.”

To be eligible for the two-year Diploma, students complete three Principal Subjects and a Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) component — a course focusing on global issues, which leads to an independent research report on a topic chosen by the student. The Diploma is flexible enough to accommodate students who wish to import existing A Levels.

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