International students will face new English languagetesting in 2018 following an announcement by Education Minister SimonBirmingham in Hobart last Thursday.
A formal assessment by English Language Intensive Coursesfor Overseas Students (ELICOS) will be required for entry into a tertiarycourse, replacing the current process where proof of passing isn’t necessary tobegin a degree.
The motive behind the changes is to address the issue ofstudents who struggle to engage in group assignments and class work due to alack of English proficiency. Each student undertaking an ELICOS course willneed to meet a minimum of 20 face-to-face contact hours per week and a teacher-to-studentratio of no more than 1:18.
"It is essential forthose international students and for the domestic students who they ultimatelystudy alongside in our universities, TAFEs or other education providers thatthey have the English language skills to succeed,” said Senator Birmingham.
Despite the majority of ELICOS students in 2016 (around150,000) achieving strong results, the move is projected to strengthenAustralia’s $28 billion international education sector.