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English Language Proficiency for Admission Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University requires all applicants for admission, including those whose first language is not English to meet established English language proficiency requirements.

(2) This Procedure supports the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy and Standard and must be read in conjunction with those documents.

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Section 2 - Intent

(3) The intent of this procedure is to ensure a consistent approach in the application of the English language proficiency requirements and in any variation to or exemption from that process.

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Section 3 - Relevant Definitions 

(4) Recognised qualification’ means a formal qualification listed on the Register which has been assessed in English and where successful completion indicates a person has met the Standard for admission at the University.

(5) ‘Register’ means the register of Recognised Qualifications issued from institutions listed in formal qualification concordance publications including: the International Handbook of Universities, World Higher Education Database, UK Naric Database or AEI NOOSR guides. The Register of Recognised Qualifications is maintained by the Academic Registrar. 

(6) ‘Standard’ means the English Language Proficiency Standard of the University of Newcastle expressed as IELTS qualification but recognising other relevant qualifications and concordance.

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Section 4 - English Language Proficiency Standard

(7) Applicants must satisfy the requirements of the Standard by demonstrating completion of a Recognised Qualification, unless an exemption or variation is approved in accordance with the Policy and this Procedure.

(8) The Register of Recognised Qualifications will be kept for reference during admission decisions.

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Section 5 - Exemptions

(9) Exemptions may be applied in exceptional circumstances, on a case by case basis, where it is considered that the applicant meets the Standard by a means other than through a Recognised Qualification.

(10) Application for exemption must be accompanied by documented evidence such as at least two years professional work experience carried out in the English language and undertaken within two years of applying to the University.

(11) Requests for any exemptions must be lodged with the Office of the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), using the approved form.

(12) Exemptions are approved on a case by case basis and any exemption approved cannot be deemed to establish a precedent for admission into a program.

(13) A copy of any exemption approvals will be sent to the Academic Registrar who will prepare a combined report for Academic Senate annually on behalf of the DVCS.

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Section 6 - Variations

(14) Additions to the Register of Recognised Qualifications may be approved by the relevant DVC, where there is documented:

  1. evidence to justify the variation; and
  2. support from the Director, English Language Foundation Studies Centre or the Dean of Graduate Research (for Research variations); and
  3. the Director, International Enrolments and Partnerships.

(15) Adjustments to the Standard for specific programs may be approved, by the relevant DVC, with the support of the relevant Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor.

(16) Requests for any variations must be lodged with the relevant DVC by the relevant Faculty, using the approved form.

(17) Any additions or adjustments will be reported to the Academic Senate by the Academic Registrar and made publicly available.

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Section 7 - Review

(18) A three yearly review of the efficacy of the University's process for ensuring English Language Proficiency Standards will be undertaken by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching and reported for noting to the Academic Senate.

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Section 8 - Roles and Responsibilities

(19) Admissions officers may request an exemption or variation in accordance with the Policy and this Procedure.

(20) Academic Registrar will maintain a register of recognised qualifications.

(21) Relevant DVCS are responsible to approve requests for an exemption or variation in accordance with the Policy and this Procedure, as well as approving any forms for exemptions.

(22) Relevant PVCS are responsible for seeking adjustments to the Standard for specific programs for approval by the relevant DVC.

(23) Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching will be responsible for conducting a review of the efficacy of the University's process for ensuring English Language Proficiency Standards every three years and will report outcomes to Academic Senate via the Teaching and Learning Committee.

(24) Manager, Academic Policy, UoN Students will prepare a combined report for Academic Senate annually on behalf of the DVCS.