The Student Room Group

contextual admissions for Unis as intl

when they say they consider your GCSEs with the average grade at your school and whether it was underfunded/private, does this apply to international students. ik they obviously r asking higher from private skls and I go to a private boarding school in the UK alr but will apply to UK unis as an international so wondering if my gcses would still be contextual
Reply 1
No doesn’t apply to international.
Original post by antique-prescrip
when they say they consider your GCSEs with the average grade at your school and whether it was underfunded/private, does this apply to international students. ik they obviously r asking higher from private skls and I go to a private boarding school in the UK alr but will apply to UK unis as an international so wondering if my gcses would still be contextual

Generally speaking, contextual offers would only be made to UK applicants attending a state school who then meet whatever contextual criteria the university has in place. So you would be ruled-out on both of those criteria, I'm afraid.

However, you will find the occasional exception. For example, University of Nottingham have just introduced reduced international offers for a limited number of undergraduate courses. See their International contextual admissions for (limited) details. I still think the fact that you attend a private boarding school would rule you out though.
Original post by DataVenia
Generally speaking, contextual offers would only be made to UK applicants attending a state school who then meet whatever contextual criteria the university has in place. So you would be ruled-out on both of those criteria, I'm afraid.
However, you will find the occasional exception. For example, University of Nottingham have just introduced reduced international offers for a limited number of undergraduate courses. See their International contextual admissions for (limited) details. I still think the fact that you attend a private boarding school would rule you out though.

What I meant was that because they contextualise gcse results they have higher expectations for people going to private school because academic results are obviously higher hence needing me to get higher results than other applicants from state schools. this does apply to UK applicants just wondering if they would bother looking at the school you went to for your GCSEs/six form if you are applying as an international
Original post by antique-prescrip
What I meant was that because they contextualise gcse results they have higher expectations for people going to private school because academic results are obviously higher hence needing me to get higher results than other applicants from state schools. this does apply to UK applicants just wondering if they would bother looking at the school you went to for your GCSEs/six form if you are applying as an international

OK. Understood.

The vast majority of universities don't contextualise gcse results in the way you've described. I suspect that you've read this page on the Cambridge web site and assumed it applies to all universities. It does not.

If we take a look at what Cambridge do, it wouldn't apply to you anyway. Let me explain why...

Cambridge use data from the National Pupil Databse (NPD) to establish whether your school's GCSE performance is below the median and append an "is lower-performing GCSE school" flag to your application if it is. This is school-level data, so whether you as an individual are international or not makes no difference. Also, I suspect that your school's GCSE performance is not below the median! So whether or not they look-up your school's performance (as you're an international applicant) would make no difference anyway.

Secondly, when the calculate your "adjusted GCSE score" (typically a simple count of how many GCSEs you have at grade 8 or 9), if your school is a poor-performing one (which I think we both know it isn't!) then they also include any grade 7 GCSEs in this count. Again, school-level data, so not impacted by your international status. And unlikely to have any impact anyway, so whether they look it up for you will make no difference.

Thirdly, they'll use the data within the NPD to establish how well you did in your GCSEs compared to others at your school. They can't do this for independent schools because the NPD only contains pupil-level data for state schools. (Independent schools provide data to the NPD at school-level only.) So again, your international status has no impact.

You will note from the above that the assertion that "they have higher expectations for people going to private school because academic results are obviously higher" is not accurate. They have the same expectations of all candidates, but don't set the "is lower-performing GCSE school" or include grade 7s in the "adjusted GCSE score" for those at high-performing schools, regardless of whether those schools are in the state or independent sector.

Or are you referring to a university other than Cambridge? Oxford likely has a similar process, although I'm not familiar with it's details.

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