Greetings and welcome to the IELTS News Tracker for March 2023. There have been some exciting developments in the IELTS, OET and International Migration world since we last left you.
Here is a comprehensive summary of the latest developments that have taken place since February 12.
The Latest IELTS News
Since we last left you in February, there have been more developments than usual in the world of IELTS. Stretching from the Philippines to The Middle East, there have been some positive new stories for candidates looking to use the test as part of their migration.
British Council Brings Back IELTS Fairs In The Philippines
For the first time since 2021, the British Council has announced it will once again be running IELTS Fairs in the Philippines aimed at helping aspiring candidates better understand the test and its requirements.
Since 2016 the organization has run annual events in the archipelagic country, which provide information and guidance to students and professionals planning to take the IELTS test. IELTS Fair also gathers representatives from various educational institutions who will share information about their courses and programs with IELTS candidates.
Speaking with the Manilla Times, Samantha Smith, the Regional Exams Manager for the British Council in Southeast Asia, said: “The British Council aims to help Filipinos take advantage of global opportunities that are very much available to them. Through events like the IELTS Fair, we provide tools and assistance to help as many people as we can to reach their goals.”
The fair will run across 4 dates in March at different venues in the country. You can see the dates and locations below:
- March 4 – Ion Hotel, Legarda Road., Baguio City
- March 11– Quest Hotel, Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City
- March 18– Crowne Plaza, Ortigas Centre
- March 25– Pinnacle Hotel, Poblacion District, Davao City
Computer-Delivered IELTS Options In Malaysia Expanded
Good news for IELTS test takers in Malaysia, as the Australian Centre for Languages (ACL), has announced it is opening a new computer-delivered IELTS centre in the southeastern coastal city of Tawau.
The ACL will be conducting the computer-delivered IELTS tests twice a month, with a capacity of up to 30 candidates per session.
Malaysia has seen an increase in demand for IELTS tests in recent years. With a lack of computer-delivered test centres, many candidates had to wait extended periods for their results as typically, the paper-based tests take longer for examiners to mark.
However, the computer-delivered version of the test means results are normally received within 5-7 days; this will provide greater convenience and flexibility for candidates who need to take the IELTS test for study, work or migration purposes.
Qatar University & Army Language Institute Partner To Create Better IELTS Support In The Gulf
In 2022, demographic data released by IELTS showed that Qatar had one of the lowest numbers of high scorers, with only 11% of candidates achieving a band score over 7.0.
To counter this, The Language Institute of Qatar Armed Forces and Qatar University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This aims to create a partnership which will improve language proficiency and allow candidates to achieve those higher band scores.
Working in partnership, it is expected that the two organizations will organize joint events, workshops, seminars and IELTS training to help boost the country’s performance in the IELTS exam and help thousands of Qataris realize their dream of living and working abroad.
International Migration News
With IELTS being part of the migration process, we have rounded up important migration developments from the United Kingdom & Australia below—two countries with a strong connection to the IELTS exam.
Survey Finds The UK Amongst The Most Welcoming Countries For Foreign Workers
According to a new survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, the United Kingdom is now one of the most accepting countries for foreign workers. The survey analyzed how openly accepted foreign workers are in Britain by assessing many criteria and ranked the country 7th out of 190.
Typically, this has been different when similar surveys have been carried out in the past. For example, the UK placed 26th in 2014 when the exact same survey was conducted.
Professor Bobby Duffy, Director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, told The Guardian: “It was unthinkable a decade ago that the UK would top any international league table for positive views of immigration. But that’s where we are now, with the UK the least likely, from a wide range of countries, to say we should place strict limits on immigration or prohibit it entirely.”
The survey’s authors suggest that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has led to a more inclusive attitude towards foreign workers, with employers recognizing the value and importance of an international workforce.
Australia To Boost Post-Study Work Rights For International Students
We mentioned in our News Tracker back in January 2023 that Australia was looking at reforming large sections of its migration system as it is facing shortages in labour post-covid.
Some of those reforms are now starting to be implemented by the Australian Government, who, last month announced there would be changes to the post-study work rights of foreign students.
Post-study work rights will be increased where a degree is judged to fall within an area of verified skill shortages. This list is extensive, so we won’t be able to detail all of them here, though you can read this list in full by visiting The Australian Department of Education here.
In summary, most subjects focus on the medical sciences as Australia continues to need additional support in staffing its health service. However, subjects such as Teaching/Education, Engineering & Cyber Security will benefit from the extended rights.
The extensions to how long international students may reside and work in Australia, should they be studying an applicable degree, are as follows:
- Two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees
- Three years to five years for select Master’s degrees
- Four years to six years for all doctoral qualifications
However, these changes could make student placements more competitive to achieve in the first place. So, if you are looking to study in Australia and need help with achieving a high IELTS band score, contact us today!
See you in April!