Vice-chancellors across the Commonwealth have been urged to support proposals for the creation of a new baccalaureate that could act as a common entrance qualification for all of their institutions.
Leaders of the Association of Commonwealth Universities have pledged to encourage the ACU's 500 members to back the scheme, which will be considered by Commonwealth education ministers at their meeting in Edinburgh next month.
A paper by Bonney Rust, research director for the Association for Vocational Colleges International, proposes a modified version of the International Baccalaureate to create a Commonwealth Baccalaureate.
Dr Rust said he hoped to persuade an organisation such as the ACU to take on the administration and accreditation of the proposed baccalaureate. "The proposal is fairly idealistic, but it does open up the possibility of bringing together a range of access activities across the Commonwealth," he said.
Michael Gibbons, secretary-general of the ACU, said that although Commonwealth vice-chancellors might be reluctant to get involved in accreditation, they were likely to see the benefits of a common entrance qualification.
He said: "It is not only a good idea, it may prove essential if institutions are to cope with applications from a growing number of students who will come from all kinds of educational backgrounds."
The proposals have also been sent to former schools chief inspector Mike Tomlinson, who is considering the introduction of a baccalaureate-style qualification for post-16 education in the UK.