IELTS and OET news: February 2021

Feb 10, 2021 | Australia, IELTS, IELTS News, IELTS Test

Attitudes to migration and labour market needs in English speaking countries are changing, and with them, government policy too. All of which is good news for those looking to live, work and study overseas in 2021 – here’s why. 

IELTS news

The British Council has launched a new push to help in-demand, English speaking workers from the Middle East and South Asia to meet UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) language requirements. 

The Council is now offering digital IELTS testing for the first time in Qatar, opening a new IELTS test centre in Sahiwal, Pakistan and working with the Indian government to prepare 10,000 nurses to pass the test.  

International IELTS Job News

International employment opportunities

The majority of UK citizens now don’t want to see lower immigration, say pollsters

Attitudes to migration are changing in the UK. According to a new report by polling firm Ipsos Mori, more people are now supportive of immigration than concerned about it. While in 2016, around two thirds (67%) of Brits wanted immigration levels to fall, that number had reduced to 49% by November 2020.

Meanwhile, a separate survey found that up to 1.3 million overseas nationals may have left the UK in the last year. This is viewed as a short-term impact of the pandemic and shows there will be plenty of opportunities once it is over.

The shift in UK public sentiment echoes that of Canada, covered in our November 2020 issue, where people are also feeling increasingly welcoming towards new arrivals from abroad. 

Ontario needs 162,000 new immigrants over next two decades, according to federal government report

There’s more good news for those looking to migrate to Canada: the state of Ontario now needs 8,100 more migrants every year until 2031 to maintain its “historical, healthy ratio of dependents to workers”, according to new research commissioned by the federal government. 

Australian government reviewing migration policies, with opportunity for skilled English speakers

In Australia, where skilled English speaking migrants are in high demand to address labour market shortages caused by the pandemic, the government is looking to loosen the rules on skilled migrant visas. The review begins this month.

Major changes to US immigration rules under new administration

Looking to the States, President Joe Biden has set about reforming US immigration policy with positive changes to the H1-B visa requirements for skilled migrants. The US Citizenship Act 2021 aims to diversify the US immigrant population by favouring migrants from underrepresented countries, increasing the number of visas available and incentivizing higher salaries for H1-B visa migrants so as to avoid displacing lower-paid workers. 

New routes to Australia, Canada & UK migration all open for Hong Kongers

Citizens of Hong Kong now have several more options to move to an English-speaking country. The five million Hong Kongers who hold a ‘British National (Overseas)’ passport are all, as of 31 January, eligible to resettle in the UK, while Australia and Canada are offering new work permits to Hong Kongers too. The UK looks to be the offer with the most interest, with around 300,000 people anticipated to make the move and HK migration agencies reporting extremely high demand

IELTS International Study

International study news

Students from around the world now more likely to secure university places in the UK

February brings good news for English speakers looking to study in the UK. The government’s updated International Education Strategy seeks to attract more overseas students to Britain and foster more international student exchanges, with new funding and eligibility rules as well as the £110 million Turing Scheme, designed to replace the Erasmus EU student exchange programme.  

Four of the five most desirable destinations for international study are English speaking countries, research suggests 

A new study has found that the USA, Australia, the UK and Canada are now the top four most popular nations for students looking to study internationally, in that order. Australian border closures and Covid-19 numbers in the US and UK haven’t, it seems, dampened overseas demand for places at those countries’ universities, with many looking to study abroad hailing from India, Nepal and China