The UKBA (UK Border Agency) and the DIAC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship), Australia, have recently approved the Cambridge English qualifications and examinations for student visa and immigration purposes.
A press conference was organized on August 19 in Kathmandu to announce this approval. It was organized by Planet Edu Nepal, the authorized test centre located in Nag Pokhari. The centre provided the facility of taking the IELTS tests since 2007.
The UKBA has made English language requirements mandatory for students applying for visa under Tier 4, Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories. Hence, all students planning to pursue higher education in the UK or migrate to the UK under any category must provide a proof of their language proficiency as per the UKBA requirements.
The press release also states that the UK Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, had said that under the Points-Based System, prospective students coming to the UK for courses of six months or more will have to demonstrate that their level of English is at least equivalent to Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference.
The approved list of Cambridge English Exams by UKBA includes KET, PET, BEC, Certificated version of BULATS, CAE, CPE, ILEC and ICFE.
In Australia, the DIAC has announced that the CAE will be recognized for Australian student visas. The new rules will provide those who want to study in Australia the opportunity to use this high quality, secure international qualification to prove that they have the language skills they need for academic success.
Previously, IELTS was the main English language test accepted by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for Australian visa purpose.
“I am very pleased Cambridge has been chosen as one of the new English test providers and I am confident they will provide a valuable service to student visa applicants,” Mr. Chris Bowen, the Australia Education Minister, said.
The exam is owned and run by Cambridge ESOL, the Department of Cambridge University which also produces the IELTS tests.
Dr. Mike Milanovic, the CEO of Cambridge ESOL, said the decision ensured a greater option in the English language tests available for student visas.
“CAE goes beyond simply providing a snapshot of the student’s knowledge of English. It gives an in-depth assessment of their ability to communicate in an academic environment. Most students who take CAE follow a preparation course, which means that they are really well prepared for studying in an English speaking institution.”
The Cambridge English exams can be taken on computer or as a paper-based exam.