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Are international curricula recognized for admissions in Indian Universities?

Indian students going abroad to destinations like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and even China is not an uncommon knowledge but did you know that India too attracts a fair share of students from abroad? In fact, India is a stand-out as an education hub among developing countries.

And not just for foreign students. There are many Indian students too who have studied either fully or partially outside India and relocated back to their home country. So how do these students cope with admissions to Indian schools and colleges.?

Luckily Indian Universities recognize and appreciate international curricula, whether the student has studied in India or abroad. Also, there is an increasing number of schools in India affiliated to foreign boards. As per a study conducted by the National University of Educational Planning & Administration, as of 2013, there were 478 international schools in India affiliated to three foreign boards: the International Baccalaureate (IB) headquartered in Geneva, and the two UK based ones, Cambridge International Examination (CIE) and Edexcel. The number of schools with IB has grown from a mere 11 in 2003 to almost 107 in 2013. Other international school programs too have gained popularity in India. Maharashtra leads the table with 41 IB schools and 96 CIE schools.

The difference between these programmes and the ones offered in India like the CBSE, ICSE and State Boards is largely in the methods applied to teaching or rather the pedagogy. Most of the international curricula focus on the students assimilating knowledge of the subject, its practical applications and scope for higher studies. They are encouraged to think out of the box and focus on individualized research. Additionally, A level students (IGCSE +2) are exposed to multiple choice formats that are the entrance exam formats for some universities.

Indian curricula, on the other hand, focus on theory and concepts. They are geared towards the requirements of entrance examinations making it easier for the students to get admission into Indian Universities. Students studying under the international curriculum would require additional coaching to crack the entrance examinations as the syllabi is definitely very different. Universities in India however do not discriminate between curricula, Indian or international, when applying admission criteria to student applications. While some colleges consider final percentage or percentile (no extra credit is given for the international Board and there is a conversion process), some colleges go one step further and offer a scholarship if the candidate has scored straight A’s in A-level. The IB Programme is recognized by the Indian Government, and most universities in the big metros will accept students who have successfully completed the course with suitable scores.

Many such institutions have in fact actively welcomed IB trained students into their classes, because they consider these students to have a very different work ethic than students from conventional Indian schools, making them more focused and involved with their academics.

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