INZ welcomes new English language test centre

The English language test offered by New Zealand’s University College of Learning (UCOL) will soon be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency for some visa applicants.

From 21st November, Immigration New Zealand will accept TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test) scores as evidence of English language proficiency for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. Currently, Immigration New Zealand only accepts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Located primarily in Palmerston North, but with campuses also in Whanganui and Wairarapa, the UCOL is a government owned tertiary education institution. It became a TOEFL iBT testing centre in April, becoming one of only three testing centres in New Zealand, along with Auckland and Dunedin. The test is administered online and measures individuals’ ability to use and understand English at the tertiary level.

UCOL Acting Head of School – Education Bridget Percy says Immigration New Zealand recognising TOEFL iBT is an exciting prospect for UCOL.

“As the only provider of the TOEFL test in the lower North Island we’re looking forward to seeing a lot more people coming through to take the test.”

The most recent TOEFL iBT testing session saw people travel from Wellington and New Plymouth to take the test for immigration purposes, while others were there to meet study entry requirements. UCOL is currently running testing sessions bi-monthly, with places for 12 people per session but can offer up to 30 spots per session if demand increases.

“With a higher profile in this space we also hope to see more enrolments in our English Language programmes,” Mrs Percy says. UCOL offers a suite of New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) programmes Level 1 to Level 4, all approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Eleven UCOL staff members have been trained as certified TOEFL Test Centre Administrators, while Bridget Percy is a certified Proctor.

Article published 2nd November 2016