UKiset is proud to have recently assessed its 5,000th candidate since launching in September 2014. The product, which was developed by Prospects has now generated over £1 million of revenue.
UKiset was designed to address the myriad ways independent schools were recruiting international students. As experts in international education consultancy, Gabbitas, part of the Prospects Group, were aware of the need schools had for a recognised benchmark for international students’ abilities, and uniquely aware of the challenges faced by international parents in applying for more than one British independent school.
Each school had their own system, largely assessing what the applicant knew about the British curriculum using tests devised, arranged and marked by their own staff. Prospective families navigated their way through each school’s policies and waited weeks to find out about their fate. Agents and consultants would do what they could to promote (or sometimes hide) their clients’ strengths or weaknesses using a mix of historic connections, charm and skulduggery.
Today, many of the same schools use UKiset to assess international applications. UKiset provides an objective test of underlying academic potential and English language skill, allowing schools to judge candidates on a level playing field and spend their valuable time on the most suitable applicants. Using standardised, age-related scores, UKiset provides a direct comparison between the candidate’s abilities and students in the UK - both nationally and within the independent schools sector.
Looking to the future, increasingly British curriculum schools overseas are keen to demonstrate they are as good as their British counterparts and UKiset is a good measure to see how they compare. Further innovation in looking deeper at applicant skills will also extend the kind of profiling entry testing can achieve. Schools are becoming interested in considering and assessing soft skills such as social acuity, resilience and attitudes towards learning. Future tests might include modules designed to look at a wider range of skills in order to assess the right fit for the right environment.
Ahead of the Independent Schools Council census figures published next month on the state of independent schools’ student numbers, UKiset has seen a steady growth in international students applying for coveted places at British independent schools. With increased competition for limited places, an assessment to differentiate applicant qualities has become increasingly necessary.
One reason UKiset is popular with families is it allows multiple applications from one entrance test, and just one registration fee. The UKiset data can also be used by families, agents and admissions teams to help everyone understand why a child might not be the right fit for a particular school.
One American parent comments: “My son found UKiset to be a challenging, interesting examination. It gave him a concrete idea of what level of knowledge a British independent school expected from him. The results provided clear, factual data points showing where he stood in relation to his UK peers. As a boy from Alaska, performing well on it gave him additional confidence in his ability to hold his own at an international level.”
Alison Stanbury from Waldon School writes: “It is difficult to know what international applicants are really like in terms of future potential (even those who are already studying here because they have often not been here long enough), so UKiset helps enormously in this way. It is also a good message to send to overseas students and agencies that the school takes testing seriously.”
Anastasia Hatvany, Registrar at Downside writes: “All of the information is hugely helpful. We accepted a Year 10 boy from Hong Kong on UKiset alone and looking at his most recent report, UKiset was an excellent indication of promise.”
To find out more about UKiset visit https://www.ukiset.com/.