The awarding of an honorary degree to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week was dependent on his performance in an entrance exam, it has emerged.
University admissions director, Cameron Bridgeworth, said: “In line with our new policy, all our applicants must now take an entrance test and eminent world statesmen are no exception. Despite his record at the United Nations, Mr Ban has never taken a single AS exam so it would have been irresponsible to award this degree without getting a true picture of his strengths and weaknesses as a candidate.”
Dr Emily Milton, Chief Examiner, said: “Mr Ban has already done a lot of interviews but we needed to see how he would perform in a written assessment. Despite a waffling essay about the Syrian Civil War, this candidate offered a well-structured and persuasive response to the question: ‘North Korea is the better Korea. Discuss’.
She continued: “Our new examination process is so rigorous that it is uncertain if past recipients would be awarded their honorary degrees today. Nelson Mandela would have had to have done a lot more than just end Apartheid to receive his.”
In light of the recent Sutton Trust report, which branded the Oxbridge admissions process as ‘intimidating’, the admissions department is hailing Ban Ki-moon’s degree as a triumph for diversity and international students in Cambridge.
Bridgeworth said: “If a man from a small farming village in South Korea can get a degree from Cambridge, then anyone can.”