Welcome to the second IELTS News Tracker of 2023. There have been developments around the IELTS world since we left you in January.
Here is our round-up of what’s been happening in the last 30 days.
The Latest IELTS News
There have been a couple of interesting updates from the world IELTS since our last news tracker.
NMC Changes To English Language Requirements
In the UK, the Nursing & Midwifery council have agreed to restructure their requirements for the English testing of foreign nationals joining the NHS in clinical roles.
The council currently requires applicants to attain a grade of B on the Occupational English Test (OET). Alternatively, applicants would be accepted with a band score of 7.0 on the IELTS Academic test in each of the Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading segments.
However, with the announced changes from the NMC, applicants will be able to combine results across both of these tests, providing that no section of the test(s) is graded more than half a point below the minimum requirements.
The timeframe for which candidates will be able to combine test scores across both OET and IELTS will also be extended. Applicants with the NMC will now have 12 months (up from 6) to combine their scores and meet the minimum requirements to work in Nursing or Midwifery in the NHS.
If you are looking to improve elements of your IELTS band score in order to meet the NMC’s new requirements, get in touch with us today and see how our expert tutors can help!
IDP Education To Open 4 New Indian IELTS Centres
An independent report released by Redseer Strategy Consultants states that 1.8 million Indian students plan to study abroad in 2024. This is expected to increase the demand for IELTS tests in India significantly.
As a result, IDP has announced plans to open four new test centres. The four new offices will open in Delhi, Hyderabad, Khanna, and Hoshiarpu.
In the last few months, there have been more reports of cheating being prevalent at some IDP IELTS testing centres in India, and it is thought that new facilities with better surveillance should help to eliminate this.
International Migration News
The most common countries that IELTS test takers migrate to are Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Here is the latest immigration news for two of those areas…
Canada’s Hong Kong Program Extended For 2 Years
The application deadline for Canada’s open work permit program for citizens of Hong Kong has been prolonged by two years, and the eligibility criteria have been altered to include those who have finished their education within the last decade.
With Canada still amid a workforce deficit, the extension comes as part of a long line of Canadian policy changes aimed at plugging the gaps in the labour market with migrant workers.
Speaking to Canadian reporters Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser said: “Canada needs more people for economic reasons … and for demographic reasons. The reality is that we cannot meet the needs for the market with the existing labour force”.
UK Student Visas Could Be Considerably Restricted
The UK government is reportedly considering plans to severely restrict the number of international students eligible to apply for visas. This move is being seen as part of a wider push towards stricter immigration policies following Brexit and increased concerns over English Channel migrant crossings.
However, the proposed plans are opposed by several government departments, including the Department for Education and the Department for International Trade, as international students studying in the UK contribute significantly to the economy.
This development could impact many IELTS candidates working towards obtaining a student visa for the UK. It will make places harder to win and mean that applicants will need a higher IELTS band score.
See you in February!