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UCOL’s English language testing recognised by Immigration NZ

By UCOL on Wednesday, 02 November 2016

Girl sitting at a computer with a head set on

The English language test offered by UCOL will soon be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency for some visa applicants.

From 21 November 2016, Immigration New Zealand will accept TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test) scores as evidence of English language proficiency for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. Currently, Immigration New Zealand only accepts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

UCOL became a TOEFL iBT testing centre in April. The test is administered online and measures individuals' ability to use and understand English at the tertiary level. TOEFL is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes, and is accepted by more than 9,000 organisations and tertiary institutions in 130 countries.

UCOL is only one of three TOEFL iBT testing centres in New Zealand, along with Auckland and Dunedin.   

UCOL Acting Head of School - Education Bridget Percy says Immigration New Zealand recognising TOEFL iBT is an exciting prospect for UCOL.

“As the only provider of the TOEFL test in the lower North Island we’re looking forward to seeing a lot more people coming through to take the test.”

The most recent TOEFL iBT testing session saw people travel from Wellington and New Plymouth to take the test for immigration purposes, while others were there to meet study entry requirements. UCOL is currently running testing sessions bi-monthly, with places for 12 people per session but can offer up to 30 spots per session if demand increases. 

“With a higher profile in this space we also hope to see more enrolments in our English Language programmes,” Mrs Percy says. UCOL offers a suite of New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) programmes Level 1 to Level 4, all approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). 

Eleven UCOL staff members have been trained as certified TOEFL Test Centre Administrators, while Bridget Percy is a certified Proctor.  

Image courtesy of Education New Zealand.
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