Stronger English language requirements for foreign students

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2017

The Turnbull government will begin testing worldwide university students on the strength of their English skills from next year, in hopes of setting a very high "benchmark of assessment".

"Under the Turnbull Government's reforms, students who complete one of those English language courses will also have to be assessed at the end of that to prove and guarantee they have the English skills to go on and succeed at university, TAFE, or other educational institutions", he said.

Australia is tightening English language requirements for foreign students in what it said yesterday is a bid to improve standards across the country's A$28 billion (S$30 billion) global education market.

"That's what we're guaranteeing today: a further step of safeguarding and protecting our good reputation and standing as an worldwide education provider, a further step to ensure that Australia continues to be a destination of choice for students from around the world".

Now they will also have to take a new official test of their language skills before they can start such university or vocational studies to ensure they have reached the required standard, said Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

The courses are part of an intensive programme which includes at least 20 hours of scheduled classes involving face-to-face contact in English-language instruction.

Global students helped generate more than AU$20 billion (US$15.6 billion) in export income for Australia in 2015-2016, eight per cent more than the previous 12 months, with universities and other tertiary institutions making up more than half of that, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

Global education also supports more than 130,000 Australian jobs, according to the Universities Australia industry group.

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