Students face new high in English

Central Station | 13 Oct 2017

Foreign students hoping to make their mark in Australia - and more than 550,000 are now in the country - face tougher lines in English.

The message is spelled out in a program to improve standards in the lucrative international education sector, now worth A$28 billion (HK$171 billion) and therefore the third-largest export earner.

Currently, prospective overseas students can take an intensive English course to prepare for further studies if they do not already have other qualifications showing an ability to study in the language.

The top three nationalities on pre- studies language courses are Chinese (27 percent), Brazilian (12 percent) and Colombian (8.7 percent). And 16 percent of total international enrolments are for such language courses.

Soon there will be a new test of language skills before students can start university or vocational studies, Education Minister Simon Birmingham says. Details of the test are yet to be revealed, but Birmingham says a standard will be enforced by the national education regulator.

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