Ministry Mulls Alternative to TOEFL to Evaluate Students

SHARJAH - The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is studying an alternative to the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), to evaluate students who seek admission to private colleges in the country.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Fri 12 Dec 2008, 12:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:13 PM

This was stated by SaifRashidAl Mazroui, Executive Director of Corporate Services in the ministry, during a telephonic conversation with Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

According to Al Mazroui, a unified measure for college admission is needed for private colleges in the country.

“Passing the unified test will be a pre-requisite for admission, as is the case in government colleges where passing a unified English language exam is mandatory to proceed with higher studies. However, private colleges currently apply TOEFL or IELTS exams with different scoring limits as a condition for admission,” he said.

“The proposal is under study, in coordination with all private universities in the UAE,” he added.

The Deputy Director of the American University of Sharjah, Salim Al Qaseer, told Khaleej Times that the minimum passing score of 530 out of 700 must be implemented for the TOEFL examination, until an alternative system is in place.

“There are several alternatives under study, and a unified exam for evaluating students instead of the TOEFL is one of them.

“However, the unified exam will be at the same level of the TOEFL, and will be a pre-condition for college admission. Knowing that the tendency of the Ministry of Education to enhance and develop English language curriculums will heavily contribute to qualifying students to pass the TOEFL or any unified exams expected in the future,” Al Qaseer said.

He was responding to questions raised by a large number of students at the AUS during the “Shura Youth Council” at the Ruler’s Court in Sharjah.

Al Qaseer also mentioned that AUS offers additional programmes to assist those who were not able to pass the TOEFL exam.

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