Students seeking admission in Australian educational institutions will soon be able to take language tests other than International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The monopoly of IELTS as the only acceptable English language test will end on November 5, 2011.
After the IELTS monopoly has ceased, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) case officers would start considering results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Pearson’s PTE Academic test and the Cambridge English Advanced test.
Currently, the student visa applicants from the “high-risk” countries such as India and China are required to provide IELTS test score as an objective evidence of English proficiency skills. Australia’s IDP and British Council jointly own IELTS. It is also used as a standard for all the work and skilled migration related Australian visas.
DIAC has been working with other test providers to determine various standards of English proficiency. The changes are likely to impact the two largest international student source countries – China and India.
The international education industry in Australia has for long been asking for opening up of English language testing system.
The popular English language tests such as TOEFL and PTE are accepted worldwide and international students will benefit from taking a test that is accepted in many other countries, not just Australia.