Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Scottish grades get higher rating

Exam hall
The increase will affect students applying to universities in 2010

Scottish qualifications will be awarded a higher score when it comes to university entry to bring them in line with A-levels.

The University and College Admission Service (Ucas) will raise the tariff points given to Highers and Advanced Highers for applicants in 2010.

The move should make it easier for universities to compare Scottish students with other UK applicants.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) welcomed the decision.

Janet Brown, chief executive of the SQA, said there was a strong argument for upgrading Scottish qualifications.

I welcome the higher scores which have been rewarded as a result of this review
Fiona Hyslop
Education Secretary
She said: "The independent assessment and expert groups which conducted the detailed analysis of our qualifications came to the view that insufficient tariff points were being allocated to Higher and, particularly, Advanced Higher.

"They decided that there was a compelling case to be made for an uplift and this reflects well on the robust and appropriate nature of our qualification system and further rewards our candidates for all of the hard work which they put in."

The new tariff scores for Advanced Higher at A, B, and C are increased by 10 points, while the score for grade D remains the same.

Under the new system an A grade at Advanced Higher will be worth 130 points, compared with 120 for an A-Level. But pupils sitting A-Levels will have the potential to gain an A* from 2010 which will be worth 140 points.

A Higher at A grade will be worth 80 points (up from 72), a B will be worth 65 (up from 60) and a C will become 50 points (from 42).

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the review recognised the standing of Scottish qualifications.

She said: "I welcome the higher scores which have been rewarded as a result of this review, as good news for hard-working Scottish students and their teachers.

"These changes will ensure that their efforts are more appropriately recognised when applying for university courses, either in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK."

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