Changes forced by optional Grade 12 exams: UBC official
Fears of losing top students to other provinces has prompted B.C. universities to relax their admissions rules, reducing the number of provincial exams required to five from eight.
The changes follow last year’s decision by the provincial government to make all Grade 12 exams except language arts optional.
The University of Victoria adjusted its requirements last week, while the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University are expected to follow their lead in the next month.
Dr. George Mackie, deputy provost at UBC said yesterday that the government’s decision forced their hand.
"We were creating an unfair playing field in our own backyard," he said. "The changes made by the government were the beginning of the end for us requiring completion of those Grade 12 exams."
Mackie also said that results for provincial exams arrive in August while UBC typically grants admission by May. The gap allowed schools that do not require provincial exams, such as McGill and Queen’s to offer guaranteed early admission to B.C. students.
"While we still believe in the value of standardized examinations, we had a serious problem with timing," he said.