For those wishing to study abroad, scoring well in an English language proficiency test is said to be a pre-requisite. Though a good IELTS, PTE or TOEFL score cannot assure you a visa, it’s true that a low score can prove to be a roadblock in your plans. Yet this is not the end all of your dreams. Not only is it tiresome reattempting the tests to achieve a perfect score each time, but it also is wastage of time and money.
Are these high-stake tests worth all that hype?
The short answer would be No! Given below are a few options that may help you fulfill your dream, without having to go through all the hassle of preparing for and taking an English language proficiency test.
Study Abroad without IELTS/PTE or TOEFL:
Some institutions have designed their own English courses to meet the requirements of an international candidate. A candidate who doesn’t meet the English language skills would need to take this course in lieu of the IELTS, PTE Mock Test or TOEFL test.
Following is the list of countries where you can avail the opportunity to study without having attempted any of these tests:
Australia: A few universities such as the University of Queensland accept applicants without IELTS/PTE/TOEFL if they have worked for at least five years in an organization where English is the primary language of conversation. They also accept an applicant if she has completed a full-time course where the medium of instruction was English. Other universities which accept applications without an English language score as follows:
- Bond University
- Macquarie University
- The University of Adelaide
- Swinburne University of Technology
- The University of New South Wales
- The University of South Australia
- The University of Southern Queensland
These universities may have their own courses that would be mandatory for international students to meet the English requirements.
Russia: It is not necessary for an applicant to have attempted any of these tests to study in Russia. There are many universities in Russia which don’t ask for IELTS/PTE/TOEFL score.
Canada: Canada is also a preferred destination for those who want to study without giving English language tests. Following are a few universities that accept such applicants:
- Brock University
- Concordia University
- Carleton University
- Memorial University
- University of Regina
- University of Winnipeg
- University of Saskatchewan
In most of these universities, this exemption is provided if one has completed a minimum three consecutive years of study, exclusively in English. It may also be required that the previous institute is registered with the International Association of Universities‘ World Higher Education Database (WHED).
United Kingdom (UK): List of the universities that exempt candidates from such tests:
- London Southbank University
- Robert Gordon University
- The University of Bolton
- University of Bristol
- RIGA Technical University
- University of Geneva
These universities may evaluate competency of a candidate on the basis of her score in English in matriculation and senior secondary. A telephonic or video interview may also be conducted.
Hungary and other EU countries: Many of these countries don’t demand an English language proficiency test score.
USA: Following universities open doors for candidates without these tests:
- Drexel University
- University of Iowa
- University of Dayton
- University of Missouri
- University of Arkansas
- University of Delaware
- University of Wisconsin
- University of North Texas
- California State University
- University of New Orleans
- State University of New York
In place of the IELTS/PTE/TOEFL tests, these universities allow candidates to appear for the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), which is a program designed to teach the required language skills.
Malaysia: Malaysia is one of the Asian countries that allow applicants to get admission into various courses without IELTS/PTE/TOEFL.
India: Many high-class Indian Universities don’t ask for these tests. Medium of instruction in most of the courses of Indian Universities is English. A few top-notch universities accepting students without IELTS/PTE/TOEFL:
- University of Delhi
- University of Calcutta
- Banaras Hindu University
New Zealand: Many institutes of New Zealand accept applications without the English test scores.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has granted such exemptions for international students aiming to get enrolled with non-university tertiary education providers in New Zealand.
Additionally, institutes under Category-I have customised courses to analyse the language competency of students.
So, even if you are unable to attempt or score well in the English language proficiency tests, you still have bright chances to pursue your dream to move overseas. Many of the universities mentioned above also appear in the list of best institutes of the world.
A 3-decade ‘moving picture’ of young Australians’ study, work and life, thanks to LSAY
The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) unpack the lives of young Australians as they leave school, enter further study or the workforce and make the transition into adulthood.
The latest findings are now available for the group of young people who completed their first questionnaire back in 2009 at age 15. This group’s 11th and final survey shows young people are completing university at higher rates than ever before, while participation in apprenticeships and traineeships is taking a dive.
The information collected from these groups of students, or “cohorts”, is used to better understand what helps or hinders this transition. This includes things like the effect of schools on year 12 completion, whether government benefits like Youth Allowance help students complete their studies, and the factors that help a young person find full-time work sooner.
Each cohort starts with about 14,000 students in the first survey, or “wave”. From the age of 15 to 25, they complete a 20-minute survey once a year to share what’s been happening in their lives. LSAY asks about their experiences at school, their post-school study and work, as well as their health and home life.
Six cohorts have taken part so far. The recent release of findings from the fifth cohort’s final survey is a milestone, with LSAY data now available across three decades. This means we can study generational changes in transition patterns.
To capture the many changing events or factors that affect young peoples’ transition, the survey has added questions about caring responsibilities, volunteering activities, participation in the gig economy, their personality traits and whether they have access to social support.
Data dating back to the ’70s
LSAY is one of Australia’s biggest and longest-running panel surveys. More than 60,000 young people have been surveyed since 1995. It’s recognised as one of eight core longitudinal data assets in Australia.
The surveys grew out of the Youth in Transition (YIT) studies in the 1970s. The decade’s oil price shocks caused unemployment to soar, with young people hit the hardest. This created a need to better understand their school-to-work transition in the face of global technological and economic change.
Then came the Australian Longitudinal Surveys (ALS) and Australian Youth Surveys (AYS) in the 1980s. One of the more prominent pieces of research using these data found the aptitude of new teachers fell substantially as teacher pay declined compared to other salaries.
These three longitudinal studies were combined to create the LSAY program.
Researchers mine LSAY for insights
More than 300 published research papers have used LSAY data. The report 25 years of LSAY: Research from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth showcases some of the highlights.
LSAY research has shown working just a few hours a week while at school improves prospects of getting a full-time job. But working long hours has a slightly negative effect on school completion. The research also found females are better at balancing school and work than their male peers.
Research has also shown that students participating in school-based vocational education and training (VET) had higher rates of school completion, full-time employment and incomes in their first year after school than non-VET students with similar characteristics. Ex-VET students were also more likely to be in a job they liked as a career. These benefits were associated with school-based VET programs with a workplace learning component.
The Productivity Commission used LSAY data to investigate the demand-driven university system. Many disadvantaged students successfully attended university as a result of the expansion of the system. However, those with lower literacy and numeracy were more likely to drop out. The study recognised schools and universities need to do more to prepare and support students, and that university might not always be the best option.
LSAY has been an important source of evidence for policy. National reviews and inquiries informed by LSAY data include the COAG Reform Council’s reporting on youth transitions (2009), the Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008) and the House of Representatives inquiry into combining school and work (2008-2009).
The recent Education Council Review of Senior Secondary Pathways, released in July, draws heavily on LSAY to establish how students can choose the best pathway for their transition from school.
LSAY has a high degree of comparability with international youth surveys. These include the Transition from Education to Employment (TREE) study in Switzerland, the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) in Canada, the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) in the United States, and Next Steps in the UK.
Most of these have a starting sample of about 9,000 individuals. Next Steps has 16,000. LSAY’s starting sample of 14,000 young Australians makes it one of the largest surveys of its kind in the world.
Tracking lives through the GFC and COVID-19
These datasets enable us to transform a snapshot of a person’s life into a moving picture. Compared with cross-sectional studies, these longitudinal datasets provide a much clearer picture by accounting for personalities, life events and pathways.
Combining a longitudinal study with cohort studies sheds more light on this picture by controlling for inter-generational differences, or crises such as wars, financial downturns or natural disasters.
For example, using data from four LSAY cohorts, one study found the well-being of those whose transitions occurred during the global financial crisis (GFC) was much worse on several measures, including standard of living, home life, career prospects, social life and independence.
The extraordinary challenges Australian youth face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be documented when the sixth LSAY cohort, now aged 20, complete their sixth survey in 2020 and further surveys in the years thereafter.
By providing a valuable resource to explore the longer-term effects of this crisis, LSAY continues to stand the test of time.