UAE: Students still stuck on remedial treadmill

Government efforts to end the need for remedial English and maths courses for most students entering federal universities have had a minimal effect so far, according to results for the UAE's university entrance examination released yesterday, writes Kathryn Lewis for The National. They show little change from last year's scores.

Maths results fell slightly from last year's results; marks in English remained steady. Experts said the scores indicated a need for more radical changes in the country's secondary schools. The vast majority of students have to enrol on a foundation course before starting their degree. Last year, 83% of Zayed University students went through its bridging programme, which lasts up to 18 months. Requirements vary between universities.

"We've seen improvements over the years, but it seems to me that in the last couple of years there really hasn't been much increase, if any, in proficiency across the board," said Dr Annie Brown, associate director for assessment and professional development at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. She called for major public school reforms.
Full report on The National site