English Proficiency Policy
|Date Approved||3 October 2007|
|Date Last Amended||27 August 2013|
The University is committed to offering its educational programs to students from a broad range of backgrounds, cultures and languages. In doing so, it recognises its responsibility to ensure that students whose first language is not English, have sufficient proficiency to undertake the program of their choice.
The University of Newcastle therefore requires applicants for admission to a University of Newcastle international foundation, undergraduate or postgraduate program, whose first language is not English, to meet established English proficiency requirements. The setting and promulgation of English language requirements is in keeping with the expectations and requirements of the Code of Practice and Guidelines for Australian Universities on the Provision of Education to International Students.
2. Policy intent
The purpose of the policy is to set the standard of English proficiency required of an applicant, whose first language is not English, for admission to the University.
3. Relevant definitions
In the context of this document:
assessable qualification means a formal qualification which can be assessed as a basis of admission for any University of Newcastle program;
IELTS means International English Language Testing System;
CAE means Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English;
CPE means Certificate of Proficiency in English;
PTE means Pearson Test of English;
TWE means Test of Written English;
TOEFL means Test of English as a Foreign Language;
OET means Occupational English Test;
current IELTS or TOEFL score means the latest available result on an IELTS or TOEFL test completed within two years of submission of an application to study at the University of Newcastle.
ELICOS means English Language intensive Courses for Overseas Students;
EAP means English for Academic purposes course in ELICOS.
4.1. An applicant for a place at the University of Newcastle who does not speak English as a first language must demonstrate that they meet the University’s English proficiency requirement.
4.2. Applicants for entry to international foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate coursework or research higher degree programs whose first language is not English will be deemed to have sufficient English language proficiency if they satisfy one of the following requirements.
4.2.1. The successful completion of one of the following Australian or overseas qualifications within the five (5) years preceding an application for study at the University of Newcastle.
one or more full-time years of post-secondary study (or equivalent part-time) at a UoN recognised institution; or
a preparation course approved by the University of Newcastle as a basis for admission.
a preparation course approved by the University of Newcastle as a basis for admission; or
a senior secondary qualification normally accepted by the University as an assessable qualification for admission; or
one or more full-time years of post-secondary study at a UoN recognised institution; provided the course is undertaken solely in the English language in one or more of the following countries [See Note below]:
Papua New Guinea
United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland)
a senior secondary qualification, a post secondary Diploma qualification of at least two years, an undergraduate program of three years or more, or a postgraduate program of two years or more FT or more, undertaken in a non-English speaking country provided the study:
was completed in an institution which is listed in the International Handbook of Universities, World Higher Education Database, UK Naric Database or AEI NOOSR guides and
is confirmed by the institution as having been conducted and examined solely in the English language.
4.2.2. The five year timeframe noted in 4.2.1 may be extended, with the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) when an applicant can provide evidence that he/she has spent a significant proportion of the period since successfully completing the course, living and/or working in a country whose national language is English.
4.2.3. Attainment of results as listed in one of the following qualifications (Table 1, Table 2 or Table 3), completed within the 2 previous calendar years prior to the submission of the application to study at the University of Newcastle:
|IELTS (Academic)||ELICOS Exam[i]||CPE||TOEFL paper based test||TOEFL internet||PTE (Academic)||CAE|
|International Foundation||5.5 no subtest less than 5.0||65% or more in 3 skill areas and 60% or more in the 4th area of the Upper Intermediate exam||Not accepted||500 min of 4 in TWE||71 min of 16 in writing||47 with no subtest score less than 43||47-51|
|Undergraduate (except where specified below). Also see Table 3.||6.0 no subtest less than 6.0||Entry Level Pass (EP) in EAP exam||Not accepted||525 min of 4 in TWE||80 and no subtest less than 20||57 with no subtest score less than 50||52-57|
|All Undergraduate Laws||7.0 no subtest less than 6.0||Higher Level Pass 3 (HP3) in EAP exam||B Pass||600 min of 4.5 in TWE||101 and min 25 in writing||70 with no subtest less than 59||67-73|
|Postgraduate (except where specified below). Also see Table 3.||6.5 no subtest less than 6.0||Higher Level Pass 4 (HP4) in EAP exam||C Pass||550 min of 4.5 in TWE||93 and no subtest less than 21||64 with no subtest less than 59||58-66|
|Research Higher Degrees||6.5 no subtest less than 6.0||Higher Level Pass 4(HP4) in EAP exam||C Pass||575 min of 4.5 in TWE||93 and no subtest less than 21||64 with no subtest less than 59||58-66|
TABLE 2 - Table 2 was applicable for admission in 2012 only and was removed from the Policy on 19 November 2012.
The table below will apply for admission in 2013 and beyond for the identified programs:
|IELTS (Academic)||ELICOS Exam||CPE||TOEFL paper based test||TOEFL internet||PTE (Academic)||OET||CAE|
|The following Undergraduate programs:
B Medical Radiation Science (all strands)
B Nutrition and Dietetics
B Occupational Therapy
B Oral Health
B Speech Pathology (Honours)
Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
|An overall band score of 7.0 with no band less than 7.0||Higher Level Pass 2 (HP2) in EAP exam||B Pass||615 min of 4.5 in TWE||103 and min 25 in writing||73 with no subtest less than 65||Overall OET with grades A or B only in each of the four components
(The writing and speaking components must be profession specific.)
|Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)||An overall band score of 7.0 with no band less than 7.0||Higher Level Pass 2 (HP2) in EAP exam||B Pass||615 min of 4.5 in TWE||103 and min 25 in writing||73 with no subtest less than 70||Overall OET with grades A or B only in each of the four components. (The writing and speaking components must be profession specific.)
|Graduate Diploma in Dental Therapy||An overall band score of 7.0 with no band less than 7.0||Higher Level Pass 2 (HP2) in EAP exam||B Pass||615 min of 4.5 in TWE||103 and min 25 in writing||73 with no subtest less than 65||Overall OET with grades A or B only in each of the four components. (The writing and speaking components must be profession specific.)||67-73|
|Master of Pharmacy||An overall band score of 7.5 with no band less than 7.0||Higher Level Pass 1 (HP1) in EAP exam||B Pass||627 min of 5.0 in the TWE||106 min of 25 in writing||76 with no subtest less than 70||Overall OET with grades A or B only in each of the four components
(The writing and speaking components must be profession specific.)
4.3. Where an applicant’s most recent evidence of English proficiency is a result in a TOEFL or IELTS or ELICOS Test, their result in that test will override any other measure/evidence of language proficiency.
4.4. Other qualifications may from time to time be deemed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to demonstrate satisfactory English language proficiency. Approved qualifications will be listed in Schedule 1 of this policy. Schedule 1 is applicable only for general and non-specialist programs that require an overall band score of IELTS 6.0 or less. It is not applicable to programs listed in Table 3.
4.5. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or, in the case of prospective research higher degree candidates, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) may waive the English language requirement in accordance with the English Language Proficiency Procedure 000866.
4.6. Where the English language requirements are waived by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) under the English Language Proficiency Procedure, the following requirements may be imposed:
applicants for undergraduate or postgraduate coursework programs to provide by the end of the first term of enrolment, evidence of having attained the stated proficiency level; or
research higher degree candidates to provide within twelve months of commencement of study, evidence of having attained the stated proficiency level.
5. Essential Supporting Documents
SCHEDULE 1 - ENGLISH PROFICIENCY POLICY
Other qualifications deemed satisfactory for admission and deemed to be less than or equivalent to an overall band score of IELTS 6.0.
A. For undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs
1. Completion of International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum requirement of English A2 at the higher level or English A: literature or English A: language and literature.
2. Great Britain General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) - GCE’A’ - C pass in General Paper English, or other Humanities subjects (see Note 1 for list).
3. C Pass in the “Use of English” in Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination.
4. C Pass in English 920, 914 STPM (Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia-Malaysian Higher School Certificate).
5. Pass in "English" at University, for students from Scandinavian countries who do not meet the following standards:
- Grade of "4" in English in the final year of the Norwegian Vitnemal: den Vidergaende Skole
- Grade of "3" in English in the final year of the Swedish Avgangsbetyg < 1997 Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate. Offer letters are to recommend students enrol in ESL101 in their first semester of study. (NB: This should be reviewed in July 2003);
- A grade of "G" in English in the final year of the Swedish Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskolan > 1997 Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate;
- Grade of "9" in English in the final year of the Danish Studentereksamen.
6. Completion of Netherlands-Dutch Diploma of Pre-University education – VWO / HAVO with grade of 7 or higher.
7. Australian TAFE Studies – completion of an AQF Certificate IV or higher AQF qualification.
8. Completion of the University of NSW Foundation Studies Certificate with a C grade in English for all programs except Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Medicine;
- The Bachelor of Laws requires a B grade in English and the Bachelor of Medicine requires an A grade in English.
9. Completion of a one year full time equivalent Tertiary Preparation/Bridging Program as listed in the UAC Tertiary Preparation Schedules.
10. DAAD test – (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) – pass with a B in all 4 sections.
11. PSB CEP Level 5 (Advanced) English program: applicants must achieve the minimum requirements as set out below
a. HP - Higher level pass for most postgraduate coursework programs - Students must obtain 65% or more in three of the four examinations. Only one exam may be in the 60-64% range. Each of the four exams is of equal weighting.
b. EP - Undergraduate entry pass - Students must obtain 60% or more in each of the four examinations. Each of the four exams is of equal weighting.
B. For research higher degree programs
1. C Pass in the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.
2. Completion of the TAFE Tertiary Preparation Certificate.
Note 1: Specific list of A level subjects:
• Ancient History/Classical Studies
• Business Studies
• Communication Studies
• English Language/English Literature
• Drama and Theatre
• General Studies
• Government and Politics
• History of Art
• Media Studies
• Religious Studies
• Social Policies
[i] New grades were introduced in November 2011 for the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course in the Higher Pass (HP) category. The new grades equate to previous, as follows:
Higher Level Pass 1 – HP1 – minimum 75% x 3 subtests, 70% x 1 subtest
Higher Level Pass 2 – HP2 – minimum 70% x 4 subtests
Higher Level Pass 3 – HP3 – minimum 70% x 3 subtests, 65% x 1 subtest
Higher Level Pass 4 – HP4 – minimum 65% x 3 subtests, 60% x 1 subtest
[Note re section 4.2.1 ii c] This list reflects the list of countries identified by UAC in determining language proficiency standards.
|Approval Authority||Academic Senate|
|Date Approved||3 October 2007|
|Date Last Amended||27 August 2013|
|Date for Review||31 May 2016|
|Policy Sponsor||Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)|
|Policy Owner||Academic Registrar|
|Policy Contact||Manager, International Admissions|
27 August 2013 – Amendment to Table 3 approved under delegated authority [UB2] by the President of Academic Senate to incorporate the OET requirements for the Graduate Diploma in Dental Therapy.
24 July 2013 – Amendments to Table 3 approved by Academic Senate to include the Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) , the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and to update the OET qualifications for the Master of Pharmacy for implementation from Semester 1 2014, Academic Senate Resolution (AS13:82) 24 July 2013.
31 May 2013 - Amendments approved by the Acting President of Academic Senate under delegated authority - to include the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) as a recognised English Proficiency qualification and to delete the Combined Universities Language Test (CULT).
19 November 2012, Amendments to Schedule 1 approved by President of Academic Senate under delegated authority, to clarify revised English proficiency requirements for selected programs in the Faculty of Health and the Bachelor of Speech Pathology.
19 November 2012, Table 2 removed from this policy as approved by President of Academic Senate under delegated authority.
Amendment to Schedule 1, Clause A1 approved by President of Academic Senate under delegated authority, 3 July 2012.
Minor amendment to clauses 4.5 and 4.6 to remove reference to President of Academic Senate, to align with delegations, Governance and Policy, 26 March 2012.
Hyperlink updated to Code of Practice and Guidelines for Australian Universities on the Provision of Education to International Students 6 March 2012
Amendments approved 28 November 2011 by President of Academic Senate, under delegated authority to include the addition of PSB CEP Level 5 (Advanced) English program (with specified minimum requirements) - see point 19 under Schedule 1: for immediate implementation.
New grades for ELICOS approved 25 October 2011 by President, Academic Senate. ELICOS exam grades updated in tables to reflect new grades.
Amendments approved 25 October 2011 by President, Academic Senate, under delegated authority, to reflect revised English proficiency requirements for admission to the Bachelor of Speech Pathology for 2013 as approved by Academic Senate on 28 September 2011; OET equivalent scores also added to Table 3.
Amendments approved 14 July 2011 by President, Academic Senate, under delegated authority, to reflect revised IELTS and equivalents scores (Table 3) for programs in the Faculty of Health from 2013, as approved by Academic Senate on 8 June 2011.
Policy revision and the addition of the Pearson Test approved by Academic Senate - 20 October 2010 (Academic Senate Resolution Number: AS 10:124).
Amendment Clause 4.5 to enable DVC(R) to determine English language waivers for RHD candidates, approved PAS under delegated authority 12 October 2010.
Amendments to opening statement under Schedule 1 approved by PAS 30 June 2010 to ensure clarity of intent of statement.
Amendments to clause 4.2.3 ii and the associated Schedules approved by PAS 7 June 2010 to provide clarity – amendments do not affect intent of clause.
Revision to correct errors - approved by PAS 7 July 2009.
Terminology updated March 2009.
Revision approved December 2008.
Amendment to proficiency requirements approved in principle April 2008.
Amalgamation of two policy documents into single policy approved Academic Senate 3 October 2007.