‘Learn English for varsity admission’

DUBAI - A number of students, especially UAE nationals, are being denied admission to accredited UAE universities after failing the mandatory English proficiency tests required to secure seats.

By Preeti Kannan

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 25 Aug 2008, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

Colleges are urging high school graduates, especially locals, to take up preparatory classes and improve their “reading skills” before appearing for the tests and avoid losing out on a semester.

The UAE’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research stipulates that students should either clear International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to enrol for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Colleges are now urging students to attend preparatory classes well ahead of the tests, so accredited colleges do not have to turn them away.

Skyline University College officials say that in every semester at least 120 students enrol for the threemonth IELTS English Foundation classes after failing to get the 5.0 scores.

Victoria Verne, Head of English Language Centre at the college, told Khaleej Times, “At least 50 per cent of the students who do not clear the exams are locals. This is because their reading habits are low and there is a sudden transition from an Arabic environment to English. They find the reading section in the exam the toughest. They should enhance their reading and even listening skills.”

Verne said that even listening regularly to English news channels could help them enhance their listening skills. College authorities from the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) also advised students seeking admission in the university to attend IELTS or TOEFL preparatory classes well ahead of the tests. UOWD is one of three authorised IELTS centres in the UAE.

“It is imperative that students start preparing for the IELTS and TOEFL exams well before applying for admission,” said Sandra Lee, Registrar and Manager Admissions, UOWD.

“It is unfortunate to see so many good students being turned away because they failed their IELTS or TOEFL.”

“At UOWD, we received a record number of applications for the autumn intake, but shockingly nearly half are facing rejection because they did not meet the IELTS or TOEFL criteria. A little planning on the part of students could have helped them in getting admission to the university of their choice,” said Lee.

Students denied admission for failing to demonstrate their English language proficiency may re-appear for IELTS or TOEFL exams, time permitting. They also have the option of joining the Spring intake after clearing the IELTS or TOEFL exams.

“Students should not take the tests lightly as they are running the risk of being denied admission to a university of their choice for failing to meet the admission eligibility criteria,” said Lee.


More news from