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March 30, 2016

Business | Third Level | Japan

Pearson Strengthens Alliance with Nikkei Inc. on Business English, Versant

Japanese newspaper publisher Nikkei Inc. and Pearson Japan, a subsidiary of British educational service company Pearson Plc., have announced that they will further strengthen their alliance in the Business English industry. As a part of this, Nikkei Inc. has obtained the sole rights to distribute the Pearson-owned speaking test “Versant" as well as Pearson’s customized business English courses in Japan. The new arrangement starts on April 1st, 2016.

Centered around the online learning program "Global English Nikkei", launched in April 2013, this alliance provides a one-stop English learning solution for businesses, providing focused, customized training and four skills assessment.

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December 10, 2013

Australia | Online | Third Level

ELT MOOC launched in Australia

The long-awaited first MOOC to offer a free online English language learning course was recently launched in Australia.

The first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for English language learners was launched in Brisbane, Australia on December 4. Fifteen colleges and universities in Queensland collaborated to develop the more than 50 lessons currently offered by MOOEC (the E is for English). Like all MOOCs, the course can be accessed free and the initial aim is for a high take-up within Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Lessons are organised into established levels of proficiency and approved by a committee of professional English language practitioners providing quality assurance oversight of the content.

The MOOEC is an initiative of International Education Services, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of international education. They say an additional 100 lessons are planned for release over the next six months. Other Australian higher learning institutions have expressed a strong interest in getting on board.

IES Managing Director, Chris Evason said, “The movement towards free, online education is a key development in Higher Education and the MOOEC intends to play an important complementary role in bringing language learning to a wider audience. We are seeking to use our extensive network of 20,000 industry professionals worldwide, to help us reach learners in every country in the world.”

While a stated aim of MOOEC is "to reach individuals who currently have limited means to access high-quality, on-line English Language tuition" it will not replace face-to-face instruction. Indeed it is viewed as a means to encourage students to eventually enrol at one of the partner institutions and to do so with a "substantial learning profile."

The MOOEC website
The International Education Services website

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December 04, 2013

Third Level | Europe

Europe: Shift in attitudes towards English-taught HE

role-of-emi-conference.jpgThe PIE (Professionals in International Education) News reports on a recent European conference on the role of English as a medium of instruction in higher education.

English as a medium of instruction in higher education across Europe provides marketing opportunities for non-native speaking countries and is becoming more widely accepted by governments and institutions, according to discussions in Spain last week.

A two-day event organised by the British Council and Madrid-based IE University brought together EU policy makers and university leaders to consider the role of English in institutions. While attitudes toward EMI are shifting, delegates concluded that further guidelines and principles are necessary to maintain quality standards.

English tuition is on the rise across Europe, with an increase of 30% in the number of degrees taught entirely in English in Spain alone, according to the Spain’s British Council director, Rod Pryde. He added that 52 of 89 Spanish HEIs now offer English-taught Bachelor’s programmes.

According to research by the Institute of International Education, fully or partially English-based programmes now account for almost a third of taught Masters courses in continental Europe. The number of English taught Masters programmes listed on the course listings website Mastersportal.eu rose by 38% to 6,407 between December 2011 and June 2013.

Read the full article from The PIE News.

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June 28, 2013

UK | Third Level

UK policy makes foreign students ‘feel less welcome’

Studying-English-in-UKTimes Higher Education reports that the UK government's plans to reduce net migration are making more than half of international students in the UK feel less welcome, according to a new survey.

The survey of 510 students from more than 100 institutions, carried out by polling firm YouthSight for Regents University London, suggests that the public debate around immigration is harming international students’ perception of the UK.

Fifty-three per cent of students from Asia and 46 per cent from North America said the policy made them feel less welcome.

Aldwyn Cooper, Regents vice-chancellor, said that the migration policy “risks alienating overseas students in the UK”.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has repeatedly stressed that despite the overall target to cut net migration, there is no actual cap on the number of students who can come to the UK.

Read the full story from Times Higher Education.

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May 16, 2013

Czech Republic | Third Level

Native-speaking English teachers in decline in Czech Rep.

Teaching-English-in-Czech-Republic"The Prague Post recently reported on the diversity of language teachers disappearing from state schools amid budget cuts.

Kirsty Mooney, 40, was fresh out of university when she decided to leave her hometown of Rochdale, in north England, and move to the Czech Republic.

Mooney quickly found work teaching English to Czech students. But for the better part of two decades, her career, like those of many native-language teachers here, has been fraught with difficulties. She sums up the current state of foreign-speaking language teachers at Czech state schools as dire, leaving many to contemplate a career change.

Read the full story from The Prague Post...

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Denmark | Third Level

Teaching in English creates problems for Danish universities

Teaching-English-in-Denmark"Danish universities are increasingly teaching in English in order to remain attractive to international researchers and students, but the development presents challenges for the teachers and students for whom English is a second language.

To address these challenges, a collection of Nordic researchers have been studying the effect of increasing English-language teaching on university education in their countries.

According to the researchers, one of the major problems is that while most students adapt to being taught in English within a year, the introduction of English often makes students more passive during lessons and less willing to communicate in a language that is not their mother tongue.

Read the full story from The Copenhagen Post...

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May 15, 2013

France | Third Level

Mais non! French academics say No to teaching in English

Teaching-English-in-France"A recent article in The Guardian looks at the issue of teaching through English at French universities.

Socialist ministers have been accused of sabotaging the French language by relaxing a ban on English being used in French universities.

Jacques Chirac once stormed out of an EU summit because a French business leader was speaking it, Nicolas Sarkozy lamented his lack of it and François Hollande makes small talk in it but is conscious of his accent. The global spread of the English language has long been a sore point in Paris politics. Now a new battleground has appeared in the linguistic war as the Socialist government wants to allow English to be used as a teaching language in French universities, sparking a rift in academia.

Read the full story from The Guardian...

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