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CIE O and A Level results 2013

CIE results make some happy, sadden others
Karachi, Aug 15: For some the Independence Day celebrations were cut short but for many the joy was doubled as the Cambridge examination results were announced on Tuesday.

More than 8,000 students across Pakistan sat for the O- and A-Level exams in the May-June session. The students had to re-take the papers of O-Level Islamiat and Pakistan Studies after questions were leaked out in Pakistan. But the marks for the two papers were issued with the overall results.

Anxious parents and students crowded outside schools as early as 10pm. Many students had spent sleepless nights before the announcement.

"You don't understand. This is the most important day of my life. This will make or break my future," said Marium Ahmed, an O-Level student.

For many students getting good grades meant availing the numerous scholarships that A-Level schools offer. "I managed to score two 'A's in my Advanced Subsidiary Level," said an overjoyed Muzna Tauheed, who studies at The City School. "This means I get a scholarship in the second year [of A-Level] as well."

Generally, A-Level schools guarantee scholarships to O-Level students if they are able to score good marks.

"This calls for two celebrations tomorrow Independence Day and my results," said Moiz Ahmed, an A-Level student from the Beaconhouse School System who managed to get two 'A's in his A-Level.

Muzna Gufran from the Foundation Public School was content with having achieved two 'B's. "I am happy. Parents need to understand A-Level is tough. A 'B' is a very good grade," she said.

While schools were still tabulating results till this report was written, some of them agreed to share their views.

Mahvish Abrar, the assistant regional director at the City School said: "We are very happy with our results. The criterion for giving out scholarships is still under discussion."

The City School has eight O-Level and four A-Level campuses in the city. "From Karachi, the highest number of students appeared from our schools."

Huma Thaver, the principal of the recently launched A-Level section at the Dawood Public School, said: "I am very happy with my girls. They have made me proud. We received 100 percent results in most subjects."

The Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) are offered at 500 schools across Pakistan. In a statement published on the CIE website, CEO Michael O Sullivan said: "We are honoured to be trusted with such an important role in the education of the young people of Pakistan. We take very seriously our duties to ensure that all the examinations which students take are fair and that all candidates receive a valid result."

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UK issues warning to Pakistani students seeking study visas
Karachi: The United Kingdom government has issued a warning to all students applying for a study visa to be particularly aware of any agents promising a speedy visa process, as many of them are involved in forgery of documents.

"In 2012 alone, the UK received around 3,000 applications from Pakistan with forged documents," said Mandy Ivemy, the UK Regional Manager for Visas and Immigration, while speaking at a press conference at the British Deputy High Commission on Wednesday.

She said that an urgent need was felt for the meeting as, after the Advanced Level examination results are released next week, frantic students will be embroiled in a race to meet deadlines for university admissions.

"If a visa application is found to have forged documents, the applicant is immediately banned for 10 years," said Ivemy, "It takes a maximum of three weeks, or 15 working days, to process a visa application, and students often disregard this fact, resulting in unnecessary panic ensuing."

She maintained that, while the British government has and will always welcome 'genuine students and visitors', it is also taking concrete steps to discourage 'those who cause harm to the country'.

Ivemy stated that the UK authorities may conduct online interviews of applicants to ascertain their English speaking skills, followed by another interview at the British High Commission in Islamabad, if needed. "English skills of students are already checked through exams such as the IELTS, so this interview is just a quality assurance measure," she said.

"There is no exact checklist but factors such as financial status and English-speaking skills are considered important," replied Ivemy, when questioned about the criteria students must meet to qualify as 'genuine'.

"Students are also expected to be able to afford the first year of their university degree, which means the bank statement they submit should prove it," she said.

Ivemy also highlighted illegal overstays as another pressing concern with regards to Pakistani students. "Those who receive a student visa are expected to leave as soon as they finish their studies but there have been instances when Pakistani students have overstayed illegally. In any such case, we have no choice but to deport them," she stated.

In response to a question regarding the 3000 deposit that students are sometimes required to submit, Ivemy said that it was a pilot project by the UK, aimed at establishing whether these financial bonds from immigrants can benefit the country's economy. "However, only a small proportion of applicants are asked to submit the deposit," she claimed, adding that New Zealand and Australia also follow the same policy.

Ivemy concluded by stating that, while student applications have decreased after introduction of stricter immigration policies, the number of international students in UK universities has gone up, 'indicating that the genuine students have not been turned away'. The news

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Updated: 13 Sep, 2014
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