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(12 Posts)
hattymattie Wed 05-Dec-12 19:58:15

Hi - I wonder if anybody could advise me - me daughter is at an International School in Paris and will do the French Baccaulareate with Option International (in English). She will be applying to British Universities next year. There is a bit of a worry amongst parents this year as one girl who was exceptionally brilliant with an average of 18/20 in general was underestimated by the College Councillor and predicted 16. This girl consequently didn't get a single offer from a british university. The Careers Councillor is american and many feel she doesn't understand fully the British system. Could I ask if the prediction is meant to be confidential or should it to be told to the student. Also how well the Bac with Option International is understood by UK Admissions Tutors. Parents this year are verging on despair feeling their children has no hope of getting a place in a british university.

webwiz Wed 05-Dec-12 21:46:10

Each individual university will have information about "alternative qualifications" on their websites.

For example Edinburgh's is here:

I don't know how well understood the Bac is understood by UK Admissions tutors
but looking at DD2's university the entry requirements are 13-15 and this matches very high A level requirements so it seems as if there was something else wrong with the application of the girl who didn't get a place rather than just her grade prediction (reference? personal statement?)

My two DD's knew what their A level predictions where and they saw copies of the school's reference before it was sent off.

creamteas Wed 05-Dec-12 21:48:34

Usually the predictions are discussed, otherwise it would be difficult for students to target their applications.

The French Option International Baccalaureate is not that an unusual, and has always been on the lists I have seen as acceptable qualifications. So it shouldn't cause a problem.

I would suggest that once your DD has decided where she wants to go, check the websites. If it is not clear, contact the admissions tutors and see what they say. Many unis also have International Offices that might be able to help. Where I work one of their roles is to 'translate' qualifications into equivalent UK levels for us if we are unsure about them.

mummytime Wed 05-Dec-12 21:58:25

Oxford says it wants 15 or above Oxford University international qualifications. So I don't think it's grades, but the parents may have used that to cover something else up.

hattymattie Thu 06-Dec-12 08:26:40

Thanks for your responses - it does seem really strange as everybody knows this kid was brilliant and she's now at Science Po - at top french university and very hard to get into.

Am I right in assuming we should know what our grade predictions should be - this is not a confidential thing between the school and the uni?

webwiz Thu 06-Dec-12 10:19:23

hattymattie your DD needs to know her grade predictions or she won't know if she is applying to appropriate universities.

TheCollieDog Thu 06-Dec-12 10:50:22

This doesn't seem to me to be a lack of knowledge of the Bacc by university Admissions Tutors, rather a lack of professional expertise by your daughter's school, particularly the College Counsellor.

Universities all have ample information on their websites about the way that they convert international qualifications. I know that when I receive a UCAS form with an international qualification, our Admissions office (central administration people) have indicated what the university regards as equivalent English/Welsh A2 grades. Universities may differ slightly in the way they convert, but I think you need to take this up with your school. The French Bacc is a highly-regarded qualification (like the German Abitür, or the Australian HSC, or Scottish Highers) and generally universities are pretty experienced in dealing with such qualifications.

There is a bit of a worry amongst parents this year as one girl who was exceptionally brilliant with an average of 18/20 in general was underestimated by the College Councillor and predicted 16. Did she actually achieve 18/20? What did she achieve in the end? She'll be in quite a strong position with UK universities with a high confirmed set of results, rather than just predictions. Nothing to stop her applying for the next year.

fussychica Thu 06-Dec-12 19:09:11

My DS did a Spanish Bachillerato and wrote to each Uni he was interested in to see what they considered to be equivalent to their standard offer for his chosen course. It varied quite a bit between universities (for example the standard AAB could be anything between 7.5 - 9 at Bachillerato, which seemed a bit unfair) but all except one came up with a response pretty quickly.

He had no help from the school as they weren't interested in anything but him continuing his studies in Spain so he applied independently, with a reference supplied by his private IGCSE tutor, who explained his situation. He had no problems with his application & got offers from all the unis he applied to so your daughter should not worry that her chances will be scuppered by taking something other than A levels.

hattymattie Fri 07-Dec-12 15:08:58

Thank you Collie Dog and Fussy - Yes the girl did get 18/20 for her back - she is now at a top French university. It's just a shame she missed out on the UK system. Fussy - that is a good idea - I'll get my daughter to do this.

TheCollieDog Sat 08-Dec-12 08:21:36

Well, yes, Sciences Po is the equivalent of te LSE at least. But she could have reapplied with the 18/20 and with that qualification already under her belt.

Another good reason for a compulsory gap year of civic service for all young people leaving high school!

hattymattie Sat 08-Dec-12 12:18:42

collie thanks - and good news about Science Po - my daughter is doing a special sciences po class - so that may be an option for her here.

Bonsoir Wed 12-Dec-12 13:02:10

hattymattie - I know French children doing the Option Internationale who have applied for Oxbridge and not got offers and then gone on to get >18/20 in the bac, but no other universities in the UK are quite as demanding. 18/20 (and even 16/20) will get you onto demanding courses in good universities. For example, I know someone who got a 16 overall/16 in maths/16 in physics offer for Engineering at Imperial, two years ago.

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