Sanjeev Verma answers questions on international education exclusively for readers of Friday.
My daughter is studying in Grade 12 in Dubai. She is in the commerce stream and would like to pursue a degree in Chartered Institute for Management Accountants (CIMA). I would like to know which universities offer this course and what the job opportunities are after completing it. Can she do it as a correspondence course while pursuing her B.Com?
Deepa Manoj, Dubai
CIMA has an office in Dubai. I would suggest you contact it to find out who offers the course in the UAE. CIMA is an internationally recognized qualification in management and accountancy for business and prepares students for the business world unlike other accounting qualifications that would train you for tax, audit, etc. Many students usually pursue CIMA after their graduation. It is a great option for students with business or finance backgrounds but that said, those holding other degrees can also do this course. It is also possible to do CIMA while working; some companies may offer to sponsor your study. As to whether it is possible to study for two degrees simultaneously, I would say your daughter is the best person to answer this question. It could be challenging so she would need to think this through.
My child goes to a school that followed the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education/Indian School Certificate (ICSE/ISC) syllabus but recently decided to switch to the International Baccalaureate (IB) scheme. I would like to know how well the IB syllabus is suited for students preparing for competitive entrance exams for medical/engineering courses offered in India.
The subjects needed for pursuing engineering are physics, chemistry and mathematics at the higher level irrespective of whether your child intends to study in India or the West. The content of the IB course is similar to what is expected by engineering colleges in India. All credible and nationally ranked institutions recognise the IB curriculum. Colleges in the US are not specific about subject choices in high school, compared to the UK or Indian universities.
Your child will need to study all three science subjects - biology, chemistry and physics - if he/she is planning to study medicine in India. In the UK you need a minimum of two science subjects at the A Level, the third could be a science subject or maths. As you might be aware, in Canada and the US medicine is a postgraduate degree.
To study three science subjects for the IB, the school would have to get special permission from the IB board, which does allow students to do three sciences and drop another subject. I must mention that there are a few IB schools in India that offer the three sciences.
As IB results are declared later than Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) you may have to show professional colleges the predicted results when seeking admission. Many colleges in Mumbai do accept them as the predicted results tend to be fairly accurate. The student could obtain conditional admissions pending the results. You can also ask your school to request the IB board for a mark sheet showing the results in percentage.