The verdict's out in Hong Kong: English proficiency is high on the agenda for undergraduate students.
Hong Kong's University Grants Committee (UGC) recently announced that a record high number of final-year undergraduate students had registered for a voluntary IELTS test this year. Over 12,000 students registered for an IELTS test under the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme (CEPAS). This figure represents an increase of about 2.3% from last year.
Paulina Leung, of the CEPAS Management Unit said, "This outstanding result is indicative of the value students are placing on their English language skills, particularly because the Scheme remains voluntary."
"It's clear that students value an IELTS result on their resumes. There is a strong understanding that the future is bright; the doors are opened to hundreds of employers seeking skilled workers who are proficient in English language."
Since the establishment of the IELTS CEPAS Testing Centre in Hong Kong in 2002, over 67,000 UGC-funded students have completed the test. The Testing Centre was jointly set up through the offices of IDP Education and British Council in Hong Kong. Robust communication between the Test Centre, the UGC and university registrars also takes place, ensuring the candidate registration process runs smoothly.
The University Grants Committee is the non statutory body which advises the Hong Kong Government of the SAR on the funding and strategic development of higher education in Hong Kong.