University of Leicester forges unique agreements to enhance English language learning worldwide

Posted by pt91 at Nov 11, 2013 10:43 AM |
Memorandum of Understanding signed by University of Leicester and Pearson (PTE Academic) to establish world class English Language Centres worldwide
University of Leicester forges unique agreements to enhance English language learning worldwide

University of Leicester: Building Bridges, Building Capacity in the new Iraq.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 11 November 2013

The University of Leicester has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pearson (PTE Academic), with the aspiration of establishing world class English Language Centres to support human capacity building projects worldwide.

Working within partner universities, Leicester will develop curriculum, assist teachers, deliver teacher training, and provide academic quality assurance. Teaching will be delivered in newly created English Language Centres in the host countries, culminating in students taking PTE Academic which is internationally-recognised and approved by the UK Border Agency.

The first such tripartite agreement is being forged between Leicester, Pearson, and the University of Kufa, a leading Iraqi institution.

“We hope to work with Kufa to give students in that part of the world an opportunity to learn English,” explains the University of Leicester's registrar, Dave Hall. PTE Academic will validate these students' English language competence to organisations, employers and universities worldwide.

This is particularly helpful in Iraq, says Roger Smith, director of Leicester's English Language Teaching Unit, because it would enable students to take advantage of a generous government scholarship for postgraduate study abroad.

“Because of the situation in Iraq, there are currently very limited opportunities for English language testing and training there. In order to study in the UK, Iraqi students need a minimum language requirement, both for the universities and for visa purposes. There’s a blockage in the system – and we're working with Pearson and local universities to resolve that,” he said.

Emma Stubbs, Senior Vice President,  Language Testing, Pearson, added: “We believe that this collaboration will help thousands of students across the Najaf region and beyond to earn an internationally recognised qualification, opening the door to future study, employment and success."

The development follows a visit to Kufa by University of Leicester and Pearson representatives, facilitated by the Iraqi Cultural Attache, Professor Al Mosawe, former President of Baghdad University. This was the first delegation of its kind to Iraq for more than 25 years.

The move is in line with the University of Leicester’s aspiration to assist regions emerging from conflict. The University also hopes to form lasting relationships with its partner universities, potentially welcoming graduates of English Language Centres into Leicester’s postgraduate programmes in future.

The University has previously engaged with the University of Kurdistan Hawler, establishing a successful English Language Centre there. Through this new MoU with Pearson, Leicester hopes to establish an English Language Centre with the University of Kufa in 2014, and is also in discussions with another institution in northern Iraq. The model will then be rolled out in other parts of the world in the future.

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