Covid-19 has continued to push forward developments in the field of language testing. It has also had big impacts on work and education – more details below.
The Latest IELTS & OET News
This month sees the launch of a second delivery mode for OET.
Until now it has only been available in a paper format – but this month you will be able to take the test on a computer.
As with the paper test, candidates take this version of OET in a test centre. However, bookings for this version are currently by invitation only, and there is only space for 10,000 candidates this year.
Next month, OET will be adding a third version of the test called OET@Home. It has undergone extensive testing and candidates will take this version of OET in their own home. Some may find the use of a remote proctor intrusive as you will have to give them a guided tour of the room where you take the test.
If you would like to make yourself familiar with the computer-delivered test, OET has made a sample version available here.
IELTS already offers a version of its test which can be taken at home – this time without a proctor.
Despite the absence of proctoring, hundreds of international universities accept the test. The British Council have published a full list of institutions which accept Indicator here.
The British Council continue to describe this as a temporary test – available only while Covid-19 restrictions are in place. Analysis of their booking page shows that the available dates for this test are continuing to drop.
If you are interested in taking this test, you should take it sooner rather than later.
International Employment Opportunities
Dramatic Increase In Overseas Candidates Searching For UK Jobs
As unemployment grows around the world, there has been a surge in the number of people looking for work in the UK.
By contrast, UK workers have hunkered down, preferring the safety of home to foreign destinations.
Significant Shortage Of Nurses In The UK
The NHS has a significant shortage of nurses. There are currently 40,000 vacancies in England alone.
The UK government has put in place new initiatives to support the well being of new staff and is also offering a £5,000 maintenance package to students.
If you are looking for work within the UK medical field – there has never been a better time than now.
Displaced Talent Mobility Programme
The UK business community and policymakers are currently discussing the introduction of a new work visa for refugees.
A survey of businesses showed that if such a visa is introduced, 73% of employees will look to employ people from this pool.
It is not clear whether this visa will be available to those who have been forcibly displaced but currently reside outside of the UK.
Student Numbers Dropping
Recent studies by QS and the European Association for International Education have revealed new trends in international education.
Due to the impact of Covid-19 on international travel, fewer students are travelling. This is having a big impact on institutions in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
It will make places at these universities less competitive and easier to obtain – providing an opportunity for students who have failed to gain entry in the past.
Increased Funding For STEM Subjects
Another impact is an increase in funding of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Opportunities in the future are more likely to be found in medical fields than in the humanities.
Move Towards Digital Modes Of Teaching
Finally, we are seeing a move towards virtual and digital teaching methods replacing more traditional modes of teaching. Mastering digital skills is likely to become increasingly important.
Some UK Universities Launch Own COVID-19 Testing
A number of UK universities have started an in-house Covid-19 testing service. This should speed up test results in these institutions and thus reduce the risk to their populations.
The universities include Imperial College London, the Universities of Leicester and East Anglia, the University of Oxford and the Universities of Cambridge and Exeter.
See you in October!