Stellenbosch University: Final preparations for first set of IEB-ISC exams

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​It is nearly all systems go for the first set of examinations for the South African Independent Examinations Board’s International Secondary Certificate (IEB-ISC) – a new, affordable yet quality African-centred school-leaving certificate. Learners will write the first examinations at the end of 2022, which means that the first cohort of IEB-ISC school leavers will be applying to universities across the globe in 2023.

The IEB has entrusted the quality assurance of the qualification to Stellenbosch University (SU). SU’s Unit for International Credentialing has been hard at work appointing 35 external moderators to evaluate the examination papers for the 32 subjects on offer. This is crucial to ensure that the IEB-ISC assessments are valid, fair and reliable. SU has also established three expert committees to oversee curriculum and assessment, standardisation and quality assurance governance respectively. Ultimately, this will enable SU not only to verify the quality of the qualification, but to certify it as well.

According to a 2021 assessment by UK Ecctis, which represents the United Kingdom (UK) in all matters relating to international qualifications, the IEB-ISC is comparable to the UK’s AS-levels, Australia’s Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, and Kenya’s Certificate of Secondary Education. Universities South Africa (USAf) also concluded that candidates who obtain the IEB-ISC with merit or at an advanced level, and are offered a place at a South African higher education institution, will have met the minimum requirements for admission to a degree programme.

Currently, the certificate is being offered in schools in Namibia, Eswatini and Mozambique, with the potential for further roll-out to other countries.

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