Australia sets new English-language standards for int’l students

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SYDNEY — International students in Australia will have to meet new English-language standards next year to help ensure that they are ready for tertiary education, according to Australian media reports.

The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students will be used to gauge direct entry to a tertiary course, and the requirements will cover university, vocational and training courses.

Australian Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham told ABC Radio on Thursday that there have been “anecdotal instances that you hear of students not being able to fully participate in group work or struggling through the class work that is set for them.

“It is essential for those international students and for the domestic students who ultimately study alongside in our universities… or other education providers that they have the English language skills to succeed.”

The courses are part of an intensive program which includes at least 20 hours of scheduled classes involving face-to-face contact in English-language instruction.

International students helped generate more than 20 billion Australian dollars (USD 15.6 billion) in export income for Australia in ‎‎2015-2016, 8 percent more than the previous 12 months, with universities and other tertiary institutions making up more than half of that, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

International education also supports more than 130,000 Australian jobs, according to the Universities Australia industry group. Xinhua

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