Students may lose global varsity slots


With the CBSE proposing to conduct class 12 examinations between July and August and declaring results in September, uncertainty looms over the future of thousands of students who plan study abroad and who will miss the deadlines set by their universities for submission of class 12 marks.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Sunday said it is considering conducting exams between July 15 and August 26 with the results to be declared in September. The board put forth two options: conducting regular exams for only major subjects at notified centres or holding shorter-duration exams at students’ own schools.

Other boards will likely follow the schedule adopted by CBSE. Most students and parents were hoping a decision would be taken to cancel the exams on account of the risk that comes from holding a large event. International boards such as IB (International Baccalaurate) have already cancelled their final exams.

The delayed timeline for exams has created anxiety among students who have applied and received offers from foreign universities because many institutes want them to submit their final class 12 marks and transcripts by July or August. Admissions in these universities this year has largely been on the basis of predicted grade or marks. But students have to submit final mark sheets before joining the course. In some cases, the offers are conditional on achieving a certain score.

Pratham Agarwal, 18, a class 12 student from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district said that he has got admission to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) . However, he has to submit his class 12 results by August 1. “Responding to an email sent by one of my friends who has also got admission in the same university, UIUC said that they will cancel our admissions in case our class 12 scores are not available by August 1. We will again have to apply next year. In case CBSE conducts class 12 exams in July and August, we will miss this big opportunity. Even after getting an admission letter from my dream university, I am uncertain about my future,” he said.

Sarita Prasanna, whose son has got admission to the University of California at Berkeley to pursue computer sciences, said they have been asked to submit class 12 marks by July end. “Most of the universities in the US have been demanding that students submit mark sheets before the beginning of the academic session which is scheduled to begin in mid-August. We are just planning to write to the university once we get some clarity from CBSE. We will request them to give us some extension. The government has to think about students like my son while making any decision about class 12 exams,” she said.

In some cases, students have to join the universities in mid-Aug. Ashwini Khandekar, the mother of a class 12 student who has got admission to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (United States) to pursue neuroscience, said that her daughter’s joining date is August 20. “It’s a very difficult situation for kids who have worked so hard for around four years to get into their dream universities abroad. She had received offers from over 20 universities abroad. She rejected other offers and finalized one university. She has not even applied to any Indian university yet. How will she join the university if she will appear in exams at that time?” she asked.

Kahndekar, a resident of Bengaluru, is compiling a list of class 12 students like her daughter who have got admissions in foreign universities and plans to petition the Center raising the matter.

Verdant Singh, 19, another class 12 student at Delhi Public School in Ghaziabad, said that he has got an offer from the University of Lancaster and four other foreign universities. “All these universities have fixed a time limit to submit our class 12 marks. At the University of Lancaster, we have to submit all formal documents by September 7 otherwise our admission will be rejected. I just don’t know how it will work if exams happen late,” he said.

Some students also expressed their concern about the money they will lose . “Along with the loss of scholarships, wastage of academic year, flights, cancellation charges, VISA charges, waste of all-related charges…,” said Mahira Gandhi, a class 12 student, who has to submit her final transcripts at a university in the US by July 15.

Experts said that similar issues are being faced by thousands of students who have applied to universities in the US, the UK, Singapore, and Australia. Sakshi Mittal, the founder of a career counselling agency University Leap, said, “Most class 12 students who have applied abroad for admissions are very stressed with the entire fiasco over board exams. While Universities in some countries such as Canada waived off the requirement to submit results, Universities in the UK and the US have set deadlines. Many students who have applied to Australia, UK, and the US receive conditional offers i.e they should score say 85% to get final admission. Right now they are not certain when results will come and if Universities will allow them to submit late results. Most other international boards like IB have canceled the exams. CBSE students are suffering due to our system being dependent on final exams.”

CBSE officials did not respond to calls and texts seeking comment.

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