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Sit for SAT: India’s private universities open new doors

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Criteria so far used by American universities; Ashoka University and Azim Premji University among eight to adopt method so far. 

New Delhi: Indian private universities are set to start admitting students to undergraduate courses through SAT scores from the next academic session.  So far, eight private universities have formed an alliance with the College Board, the American organisation that conducts the examination.

The SAT tests, traditionally used by American universities to admit students, are hour-long admission tests based on secondary school syllabus. They cover five subject areas: mathematics, languages, sciences, history and English. The scoring is on the 200-800 scale.

To start with, Ashoka University, Azim Premji University, Manav Rachna University, Ahmedabad University, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, NMIMS University, BML Munjal University and Flame University, have tied up with the College Board to devise a common entrance process for their courses.

While the usual process of entrance in these universities will go on, students who have taken SAT will be admitted through a common process and will not need to take individual tests for these universities. For Indian students, the board is also giving scholarships to students who are financially not well off. Through this alliance, these universities want to focus more on tier-three cities, officials said.

The American partners in this alliance are: Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, Pomona College, Pomona University, Purdue University, McGill University and University of Hong Kong.

The board plans to get more Indian universities on board. Linda Liu, Vice President, International, at the College Board said, “While the College Board has delivered SAT in India for decades, the time is right for us to work closely with innovative universities in India to provide more access to underserved populations, rethink admissions in an Indian context, and ensure India’s leading universities continue to shine on the world stage.”

According to the official data of Ministry of Human Resource Development, 300 million students pass out of schools in India every year. While about 25 per cent of them opt for skill training, the rest are absorbed by the higher education system, which means that a large number of students apply for colleges and universities for graduation in India.

Manoj P, Registrar, Azim Premji University, said, “As a founding member of this alliance, we are excited to share ideas and learn from other institutions, both in India and abroad. We hope that this will open up opportunities for diversifying the applicant pool and enable access and equity.

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