Cambridge ESOL provides tests for Italian universities initiative

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An agreement between the Italian Ministry of Education and a department of the prestigious Cambridge University will help Italy's universities benefit from the growing internationalisation of the higher education sector.

An agreement between the Italian Ministry of Education and a department of the prestigious Cambridge University will help Italy's universities benefit from the growing internationalisation of the higher education sector.

Under the new arrangements, the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) will provide admissions tests for Italian and overseas students planning to study for degrees in the growing number of Italian universities offering courses taught in English. Italian Minister of Education Professor Francesco Profumo recently told Sole 24 Ore that the move comes at a time when there is a substantial demand for the service with over 100 Italian courses already taught in English – along with the recent decision by the Polytechnic of Milan to run all Masters and PhD courses in English from 2014.

Minister Profumo said ‘A project like this benefits everyone’, and that opening up Italian universities to overseas students is a key priority which builds on work he previously did as rector of the Turin Polytechnic. He also said the initiative will help familiarise foreign graduates will be with Italian culture, whilst encouraging Italian students to get used to a more international environment.

The admissions tests will be available in a range of subjects including medicine, engineering, architecture, economics, basic science, humanities.

Nick Beer, Regional Manager, Italy & Malta at Cambridge ESOL explains how the admissions tests will work: “The tests will assess applicants’ aptitude for their chosen subject, as well as their general readiness for admission to higher education. This combination is really important when matching overseas students to appropriate courses in Italian universities not least because it will provide a fair and internationally available route to studying in Italy.”

The agreement consolidates and extends a long-standing collaboration between Cambridge ESOL and the Italian Ministry of Education, who are working to raise the standard of English language teaching and learning in Italian schools through a programme of assessment, advice and consultancy including a range of internationally recognised language certificates.

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Stuart Giblin