Podcast - Examination expansion overseas

Examination expansion overseas

22 Nov 2020 (2:49)

Download this podcast (mp3, 1.9mb)

Examination expansion overseas - an extract from Chapter 2 of 'Examining the World: A History of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate', by Andrew Watts

As part of a special series of short podcasts, Cambridge Assessment's Group Archivist Gillian Cooke shares a unique insight into the history of exams.

Find out more about our Archives & Heritage

Podcast transcript

Alana Walden: [00:00:06.74]

Hello. Welcome to the Cambridge Assessment Podcast.

Alana Walden: [00:00:10.54]

I'm Alana Walden and I'm here to introduce a special series from Cambridge Assessment's Archives and Heritage.

Alana Walden: [00:00:18.64]

In each episode, our group archivist Gillian Cooke shares short extracts from Examining the World: A History of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. Our publication that shares a unique insight into the history of exams.

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:36.24]

Examination Expansion Overseas by Andrew Watts.

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:40.54]

Very soon after the Local Examinations had started in England, representations were made that they should also be run elsewhere in the world.

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:48.34]

In December 1862 there was a request from Trinidad 'for some extension of the University action, to schools in the Colonies'.

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:56.34]

At first the Syndicate thought that 'the difficulties in the way of such an extension were 'insurmountable' but in 1863 ten candidates sat the Cambridge Locals there.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:06.41]

In 1869 a similar request came from South Africa in Natal and it was agreed to extend the Syndicate’s examinations there the following year.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:14.74]

Further applications were received in the 1870s from Mauritius, New Zealand and Demerara and in Jamaica the Junior Locals were first held in 1882.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:25.94]

The expected difficulties in running international examinations certainly did present a challenge.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:32.90]

In 1875 the papers for December had to be set by Easter, so that they could be printed and despatched in September and early October.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:40.38]

In 1897 the papers from the Gold Coast (Ghana) did not arrive back in Cambridge because both the Acting Director of Education and the Acting Colonial Chaplain had died and no-one knew where they had put the candidates' completed scripts.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:54.44]

Eventually, a 'key put away among a heap of papers' was found which could open a box in which the missing papers were stored.

Gillian Cooke: [00:02:00.02]

In 1898 in Mauritius Cambridge week had to be postponed from 17 to 27 December, because the steamer carrying the papers had been delayed.

Gillian Cooke: [00:02:12.54]

This gave rise to the claim that the delay had enabled two papers to be cabled to a candidate in Mauritius, from a centre which had already taken the examination, a charge which the Syndicate dismissed as ‘wildly improbable’.

Alana Walden: [00:02:26.34]

Thank you for listening to the Cambridge Assessment Podcast. You can find more of our podcasts on our website, just search for Podcast Gallery. Or you can find us on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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