Education expert: Regional workforce development depends on improvements to vocational training.

Gulf Education Conference and Exhibition Examines Importance of Vocational Education
Dubai, UAE, 22 March 2015: Delegates at the Gulf Education Conference and Exhibition have heard continued development of the GCC’s workforce depends on improving the quality and accessibility of vocational education in the region.

The Conference, held in Dubai, has brought together Education Ministers from across the region, along with global experts in education. The focus of this year’s event has been on vocational education and employer engagement with education providers – issues of great relevance to governments and educators throughout the region.
Sue Parker, Principal of Saudi Arabia’s Pearson TQ Colleges of Excellence in Buraidah, Mecca and Madinah, led a panel discussion at the Conference, calling for greater emphasis to be placed on vocational education in the development of the region’s education systems. Ms Parker said:
“For years now, employers have complained that new workforce entrants are ill-prepared for the demands of modern, globally orientated workforces. At the heart of the problem is a mismatch between supply and demand – that is, the type of workers education systems are producing, and the type of workers employers need. For too long, vocational education has been neglected in the region, as our young people follow education paths that fail to align with governments’ economic goals or boost productivity in the labour force. There is a clear need for a greater number of vocationally qualified graduates in the workforce, skilled in key industries, from oil and gas to building and construction. The lack of suitably qualified candidates available is in part to blame for the region’s higher than average rates of youth unemployment and underemployment, and is having a detrimental impact on the ability of Arab governments to achieve their long-term economic visions”.
Ms Parker says lessons learnt in other countries act as a useful guide in helping the GCC overcome educational and employment challenges.
“Singapore has one of the best vocational systems in the world, but this has not always been the case. Singapore invested heavily in linking educational programmes with employer needs, and importantly, on raising the status of vocational education amongst the population. Vocational education suffers from an unfortunate stigma, where it is seen as a lesser alternative to university. However, what we are seeing in the GCC is that those students who undertake recognized vocational qualifications often find meaningful work faster than those who have undertaken a university degree, and achieve quicker career progression and report greater job satisfaction”.
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About Pearson:
Pearson is the world’s largest learning company, operating in more than 80 countries around the world, bringing powerful learning solutions to millions of learners every year. Pearson takes learning personally. Our courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Our education imprints combine 150 years of experience and include online support for every learner.  Our innovative and dynamic digital learning products and services are changing the learning landscape all around the globe and our qualifications are positively transforming the futures of learners of all ages and backgrounds.  Pearson can boast a comprehensive English Language offering that consists of engaging content and cutting edge testing solutions. To find out more, visit www.pearson.com.

Pearson to develop PISA 2018 Student Assessment 21st Century Frameworks for OECD.

Dubai, UAE, 15 December 2014: Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, today announces that it has won a competitive tender by the Organisationfor Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)to develop the Frameworksfor PISA 2018.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)is widely recognized as the benchmark for evaluating education systems worldwide by assessing the skills and knowledge 15-year-old students will need in their further academic education or for joining the workforce. 
PISA is administered every three years inaround 70 participating economies world-wide. Representative national samples of 15-year-olds from these countries took the PISA 2012 test totaling about 510 000 students and representing about 28 million 15-year-olds globally. Similar, if not higher, numbers are expected for PISA 2015 and PISA 2018. From 2015 onward most students will take PISA by computer.
The frameworksdefinewhat will be measured in PISA 2018, how this will be reported and which approach will be chosen for the development of tests and questionnaires.  The main tasks will be to:
·        Redefine reading literacy, taking into account how young people are taught to approach the digital environment including how to recognise credible websites and online documents.
·        Review and where necessary adapt the frameworks for mathematics and science.
·        Develop the student questionnaire framework for the collection of contextual information and the measurement of other education outcomes which may have connections with performance
·        Develop a framework for the measurement of global competence which will assess students’ awareness of the interconnected global world we live and work in and their ability to deal effectively with the resulting demands.
Pearson’s chief executive John Fallon said:
“High quality education is vital to a nation’s economic development and social well-being – and PISA is a key tool by which nations can measure their own educational progress and learn from each other.
“We are developing global benchmarks that, by assessing a wider range of skills, willhelp more young people toprosper in the global economy.  We are very pleased to be supporting the OECD and academic colleagues in this crucial work.”
Head of the PISA programme at the OECD Andreas Schleicher said:
“PISA 2018 has the potential to be the start of a new phase of our international assessments. We can now make much smarter use of technology in how we test young people, and we need global competence as governments around the world seek to equip young people with the skills they need for life and employment.”
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Notes to editors
1.      The OECD’s PISA test (www.pisa.oecd.org) is widely recognized as the benchmark for measuring the improvement of education systems worldwide. Between 65 and 74 countries/economies participated in previous cycles of PISA which is run every three years, since 2000.  Representative samples of students are selected at age 15 in each country in order to provide consistency across borders and regions.
The Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development (www.oecd.org) exist to promote policies that improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
2.      Pearson (www.pearson.com) is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials, technologies, assessments and related services to teachers and students of all ages.  From pre-school to higher education and professional education, our curriculum materials, digital learning tools and testing programmes help to educate more than 100 million people worldwide. In addition Pearson provides consultancy services to governments to help them improve their educational systems.
Together with the OECD, Pearson has formed international panels of experts in reading, math’s  and science,global competenceand survey design to define and understand what students should be equipped with towards the end of compulsory education in order to deal with the world of work and further education in the 21st century. Pearson had also been granted the framework development for next year’s PISA 2015 for which they elaborated a new interactive approach to understanding and working with science and addressed students’ abilities and strategies to work collaboratively on solving problems.

3.      For further information, please contact: Pippa Vaux, Director of Media Relations, Pearson pippa.vaux@pearson.com. 

HBMSU Chancellor appointed governing board member of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar becomes first Arab scholar  to join world’s elite educators for his role in promoting smart learning across Arab World
[UAE, September 27, 2014] – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), has announced the appointment of Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), as the newest member of the governing board of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. Dr. Mansoor will be responsible for directing the institute’s efforts and initiatives towards bridging the digital divide in education and the development of knowledge-based societies. He will also be involved in consolidating human resources in the region, particularly through the publication of ePrograms for continuous learning purposes.

Dr. Mansoor will be joining an elite group of the world’s most prominent educators, including 10 officials and dignitaries who have made major contributions in the promotion and dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICT) across the field of education. The HBMSU Chancellor’s appointment is attributed to the pivotal role he has played in the promotion of smart educational resources in the Arab World.
 

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar

This is the first time that an Arab scholar has been nominated for membership to the governing board of UNESCO’s Institute for Information Technologies in Education. The nomination, according to UNESCO senior officials, is in recognition of Dr. Mansoor’s key efforts in spreading a culture of smart learning and disseminating contemporary knowledge to suit the needs of the Arab region.
H.E. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, DeputyChairman of Police and Dubai General Security and Chairman of HBMSU Board of Governors, commented on the election of Dr. Al Awar for this eminent position, “This appointment is attributed to the patronage of our young state’s leaders, along with the efforts of loyal and creative youths in uplifting the UAE among other nations in the most prestigious international events.”
The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education was established as an integral part of UNESCO by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 29th session (November 1997). The institute contributes to the design and implementation of the programmes of the organization with regard to the application of ICT in education.
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Pearson Commits to Improving English Language Learning Outcomes in Arab World.

Uptake of English language and national economic prosperity linked
Dubai, UAE, 17 April 2014:An English language expert from Pearson, the world’s largest learning company, says English language instruction in the Arab world should be measurably improving the learning outcomes of English language students in the region.

Dr John de Jong, Pearson’s Senior Vice President for Standards and Quality and Chair in Language Testing at Amsterdam’s VU University, says that Pearson is publically committed to ensuring all its products and services have a positive impact on advancing the educational results of those that use them. Dr de Jong says that this ‘Efficacy Commitment’ is particularly important for Pearson’s English language portfolio, which is used by millions of learners around the world.
“At present, there are approximately two billion people around the globe who are learning English – that means it is incredibly important that English language products and services are effective in making a real difference to the lives of those that use them. The portion of those two billion people who are using Pearson products and services can be assured that their products and services are being reviewed against rigorous, objective efficacy standards. For example, a recent efficacy review of Pearson’s English language learning programmes has led to more sophisticated data and learning analytics being employed in these programmes, driving far greater personalisation – and ultimately leading to enhanced learning outcomes for those using the programmes”.
Dr de Jong was in Dubai recently presenting at the Global Education Forum. He used the opportunity to illustrate the new Global Scale of English (GSE), a Pearson initiative that fits with the company’s commitment to demonstrably improving learning outcomes. The GSE and the associated measurement instrument, Progress, allow for a more detailed, personalised assessment of an English learners’ level of ability, helping educators to more accurately target their learners’ specific learning needs and areas for improvement. The GSE has been designed to give a more precise portrayal of a learner’s level and progress than other systems that are currently available. Dr de Jong says the aim is to encourage the profiling of learners, rather than classifying them by level.
“Maximising the uptake of English language skills is becoming increasingly important, particularly in countries like the UAE, where school leavers and graduates with strong English abilities are more likely to succeed in the world of work.  It is undoubtedly true that in today’s world being able to use English will open up the world to an individual, helping them (amongst other things) perform well in international business communications”.
Dr de Jong also says that a country’s success in the world economy largely depends on whether that country can improve the overall level of English amongst its student population.
“Those Arab countries that have the fastest growing economies and where international trade and commerce are having the greatest positive effects on the lives of citizens are where English language is being taught effectively throughout all levels of the education system. There is a clear relationship between how many people in a country speak English and how fast that country is moving ahead in economic terms. This is evident in the UAE where people have remarkably high levels of English. The country has decided that it wants to be open to the world but understands that in order to do so a significant percentage of the population must be able to speak the language of the world – English. What Pearson wants to do is help ensure the English learning that is taking place is as effective as possible and is having the greatest possible impact on improving the lives of learners. Pearson is realising this goal by placing greater emphasis on definition of learning outcomes in the English education field – making it easier to measure the impact of the learning taking place and powering data-driven decision making”.
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About Pearson:
Pearson is the world’s largest learning company, operating in more than 80 countries around the world, bringing powerful learning solutions to millions of learners every year. Pearson takes learning personally. Our courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Our education imprints combine 150 years of experience and include online support for every learner.  Our innovative and dynamic digital learning products and services are changing the learning landscape all around the globe and our qualifications are positively transforming the futures of learners of all ages and backgrounds.  Pearson can boast a comprehensive English Language offering that consists of engaging content and cutting edge testing solutions. To find out more, visit www.pearson.com

Prestigious UK Military College Opens its Doors to UAE Students.

International Sixth Form students now being accepted through the Welbeck Private Scheme for Students
Dubai, UAE 19th January 2014: Welbeck, the United Kingdom’s prestigious Defence Sixth Form College (DFSC), is offering a unique opportunity to GCC students to study at the College’s Leicestershire campus in England. For the next 20 years, having already operated for eight years, the College will  been run by TQ, which is part of the world’s largest learning company, Pearson. TQ delivers science and technology based A Level education at the College as well as personal development training, through outdoor and physical instruction.

Welbeck specialises in developing young people for a career in the military or defence civil service. However, under the Welbeck Private Scheme (WPS), students can attend the College and are not be committed to joining the armed forces or civil service. For the first time a limited number of international students will now be accepted to undertake A Levels at the College as part of the WPS.
The College expects a number of high-calibre applications from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, given the institution’s reputation as one of the United Kingdom’s top performing Sixth Form colleges. Over the last five years, 100 percent of Welbeck students have passed their A Level examinations, and in 2012 Welbeck students achieved an average 87 percent pass rate at A and B grades. The College also sends an increasing number of students to Oxford and Cambridge each year. The College anticipates a high demand for placements from international students due to the state-of-the-art facilities, inspirational teaching and a dynamic community which together make Welbeck one of the country’s leading co-educational boarding schools.
Mr Peter Middleton, Principal at DFSC says that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for young GCC nationals wanting to attend one of the world’s best regarded military colleges: “The opening up of the Welbeck Private Scheme to international students will give high school students from the region the chance to attend a college that places strong emphasis on helping all students achieve their potential, whether in an academic, sporting or extra-curricular arena. This is a unique place which aims to provide an outstanding education that enables each student to achieve the academic credentials that will qualify him, or her, to continue to a top university.  Such an education is founded on moral integrity, responsibility, and a genuine sense of service, which together lead to inculcating the core leadership values which are not only strong in our community, but will endure when our students leave.
Through the Welbeck Private Scheme, young people from all around the world are being given the opportunity to become part of a cohort of 175 high calibre young men and women who join each year.  Living and learning with like-minded individuals and under the careful mentoring of skilled and experienced staff, they will benefit from an environment that is geared not only to shaping a successful career in the Armed Forces or Ministry of Defence Civil Service, but one that is equally applicable in the civilian world.  As you would expect, academic studies combine with developing core skills and values, but here at Welbeck, we provide a broader learning environment through our programme of intellectual, personal and physical education to build the essential personal skills which are as important in leadership as they are in making a valuable contribution to the wider community.”
He says that attendance at the College also helps international students progress smoothly into higher education at university in either the UK, or further abroad: “Students who have undertaken the Welbeck Private Scheme have an excellent track-record of securing entry into first-class universities. Students from the Gulf region who obtain their A Levels at Welbeck have the choice of carrying on with their studies at a higher education institution in Britain, or in one of many other countries around the world. The opportunities for further study provided through the scheme are quite unique, and go a long way to helping young people fulfil their educational ambitions”.
Mr Middleton is clear as to the benefits of a ‘Welbeck education’: “When students arrive at the College they enter an exciting new chapter in their lives.  They will join existing students who are focused with clear career aspirations and this creates a constant buzz of enthusiasm, energy and determination to achieve their best.  Students can expect to leave resolute, skilled in communication and with ambitions broadened and significantly extended.  What I, as the Principal, ask of each and every student here, is that they strive to be the best possible version of themselves – so that they leave without regret, having challenged themselves, and having achieved goals and aspirations that they could once only have dreamed of.”

Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College is currently accepting international applications for the September 2014 intake of Welbeck Private Scheme students.

California is most sought-after state among UAE students pursuing higher education in US.

Home to world’s top universities, California exposes UAE students to several quality institutions of higher learning
Dubai, UAE, 18 December 2013: Carian College Advisors, a specialist American education consultancy headquartered in Dubai, has named California as the No. 1 choice of students from the UAE pursuing higher education in the United States, based on the list of clients they served in 2013. Peter Davos, Managing Director, Carian College Advisors, says the choice comes as no surprise to him as California is renowned for the quality of its higher education system, its attractive climate and excellent quality of life. “California is by far our students’ most popular destination; it is home to some of the world’s top universities, such as Stanford University, Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Pomona College and Claremont McKenna College.”

Davos stated “Stanford University has surpassed Harvard University this year as the most difficult university in the US to be accepted to, while Harvey Mudd College graduates earn the highest average salaries of any university in the US.  California Institute of Technology was ranked as the Best University in the World in the 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings in Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences and both Pomona and Claremont McKenna are ranked among the top ten liberal arts schools in the US by US News and World report.”
With over 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the US in 50 states, Carian College Advisors caters to the varied needs and preferences of UAE students. Davos added “the US remains one of the world’s leading destinations for students living in the UAE. Our clients from all over the world continue to choose the US over other countries because of its flexible curriculum, interdisciplinary approach to education and emphasis on holistic development of the individual.  The United States is one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive societies in the world, having welcomed visitors and students from foreign countries for centuries. The most popular majors for UAE students are Business and Management, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.”
Davos’ consultancy offers a range of admission counseling services for UAE students targeting the US for further studies. During 2013, Carian College Advisors’ UAE students secured admission to many leading US universities, such as Georgetown, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Cornell, Yale, Brown, Colorado School of Mines, Columbia, University of California Los Angeles,  and New York University.
Davos emphasized that his firm guides UAE students wishing to pursue a US education. He added, “With plenty of top US universities to choose from, the task of choosing the right one does definitely require immense effort, expertise, and knowledge and students and parents rely on us to guide them. There is an appetite for American education in this region, as well as for quality advice on how to pursue the research and application processes, which has thus far been lacking in the market.”
Davos said that flexibility is one of the key factors why UAE students favor the American education system, as students are encouraged to take a broad array of courses and are only required to declare their major at the end of their second year of study.  American universities encourage these exploration and development processes and view it as an inherent part of an undergraduate education. Students at American universities are allowed to choose a minor, double major, or triple major, as long as they fulfill the stipulated course requirements.

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Pearson offers new qualification to minimise impact on local learners.

Pearson-Edexcel Respond to UK’s A Level Changes with New Qualification
London, UK, Dubai, UAE, 29th May, 2013: Edexcel, part of the world’s leading education company, Pearson, has announced a new qualification which will help minimise any disruption experienced by schools and students in the Gulf region as a result of the UK Government and Ofqual’s A Level changes.

The UK’s Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove has introduced sweeping reforms to A Level courses and exams which lead to the General Certificate of Education. The systemic changes will change the way many A Level students in the GCC undertake their exams, says Mark Andrews, Pearson’s Regional Director of the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Under the changes, the January examination series has been removed, offering reduced re-sit opportunities. Modular assessment, a key feature of A Levels, is being replaced by linear assessment, where examinations will need to be taken at the end of the course.
However, the launch of Pearson’s new Edexcel International Advanced Level qualification will allow schools in the Gulf region to carry on offering both January and June exams, and to continue to offer a modular assessment structure in all the major A Level subjects, except for English.
A Levels,the most common gateway into UK universities and other higher education institutions, are the courses undertaken by students in the final two years of their secondary education, both in the UK, and in many other countries. The qualifications are recognised by universities around the world, making A Levels a popular choice for students in the Gulf region who want an internationally recognised qualification that is valued by universities in both the GCC, the UK and beyond.
Pearson currently offers its Edexcel GCE A Levels in schools throughout the GCC region. A significant number of these schools and their students have voiced concerns over the Secretary of State for Education’sreforms and what the changes will mean for their results.  Pearson is responding by developinga new suite of International Advanced Level qualifications for international customers that closely resembles the structure and format of Edexcel GCE A Levels.
Mr Andrews says that the Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level qualifications are a positive alternative for schools who do not want to introduce the compulsory changes to the GCE A Levels. The quality and substance of the old and new programmes are almost identical, but the new qualification allows schools to continue to offer modular assessment, as well as June and January exams. He says:
“The new qualifications will allow students to continue to sit modular exams twice a year, and to undertake assessments at the end of each of their units. The subject content of the InternationalAdvanced Levels is closely matched to that of the current Edexcel GCE A Level courses, allowing schools to teach the new qualificationsusing their existing resources and reducing the stress usually involved in introducing new qualifications.
“Edexcel International Advanced Level qualifications have been written to the same rigorous standards as Edexcel GCE A levels, ensuring the qualifications are of the highest quality.”
Pearson has consulted the Russell Group, an advisory group of leading UK universities,during the development of the new International Advanced Levels to ensure they are written to the standard required for entry to universities in the UK and overseas.  Studentsachieving a Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level will have a qualification that is recognised as a suitable alternative to the current Edexcel GCE A level and therefore valued by higher education institutions around the world.
Mr Andrews was keen to stress that schools currently offering the Pearson Edexcel GCE A Level can continue to do so, and Pearson will work closely with them to ensure the effects of the compulsory changes are kept to a minimum. Schools have the opportunity to offer both the Pearson Edexcel GCE A Level and the Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level qualification if they wish.
Mr Andrews says: “It’s a question of maximising our partners’ choices.  We want our centres here to know that they can continue to offer the Pearson Edexcel GCE A Levels, and that Pearson is committed to helping them adjust to the linear exam system and the removal of theJanuary examination series. We are communicating with schools regularly and meeting withprincipals, to help them through this transitional periodand to support them in making a decision regarding which qualifications would work best for their school and students”.
The new International Advanced Level qualifications are available from September 2013. For more information on subject specifications, please visit: www.edexcel.com/ial

Global Scale of English will help improve learning outcomes for English language students in Saudi Arabia and wider region.

Conference Discusses Future of English Language Testing in the Arab World
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 25th April 2013: Leading international thinkers in English language teaching and assessment have gathered in Riyadh with local experts to discuss the best methods for improving the standard of English language training in the Arab world.

The “English Language and Translation Forum” hosted by the Prince Sultan University on the 24th and 25th of April was the first English Language Teaching (ELT) forum held by the University, aimed at increasing the quality of English amongst Arab students. The Conference was supported by the British Council and delegates included experts in the field from within the Kingdom and around the world.
The Conference reinforced the importance of equipping Arab learners with excellent English language skills, as the region’s economies become increasingly globalised. Embedding quality English language training into education systems has been a priority of regional governments who understand the link between graduates with strong English skills and the ability of economies to thrive in a competitive, international market place. Improving the English language capabilities of school and university leavers also has wider socio-economic impacts in Arab countries, where graduates with effective English skills are more likely to find meaningful work, and enjoy higher salaries.
As governments in the region pour unprecedented funding into their education systems, many students want to upgrade their educational level and future prospects by learning English.  This calls for English language teaching and assessment methods to stay innovative and responsive, says Professor John De Jong, Senior Vice President of Standards and Quality at the world’s largest education company, Pearson, and Professor of Language Testing at Amsterdam’s VU University.
Professor De Jong was a leading presenter at the English Language and Translation Forum, using the opportunity to explain the benefits of the Global Scale of English (GSE) to delegates. The GSE has been developed by Pearson to provide a comprehensive and robust global benchmark for English proficiency. The scale has been in use for a number of years as a reliable scoring system for Pearson’s trusted English test, PTE Academic™. But Professor De Jong explained the advantages of the GSE across a range of uses.
The GSE offers a standardised, numeric scale from 10 to 90 which can measure English language proficiency more precisely with reference to the widely known and employed Common European Framework of References for Languages, or CEFR. The GSE is a benchmark for English language proficiency that can be related to other English language tests and national examinations as well as a measure of the level of English needed for a range of academic and professional purposes. The GSE has been academically validated, and when linked to instructional content can be used as a benchmark for English language courses offering a truly global and shared understanding of ELT course levels.
 
Professor De Jong is confident the GSE will help improve the quality of English language education in the Middle East as it allows for a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of a learner’s English language ability and progression. He says: “The intention of this scale is to encourage the profiling of learners, rather than merely classifying them by levels, as the CEFR tends to do. The GSE is more useful for students and instructors because it provides them with the information to understand English language proficiency more precisely within a CEFR band, and to monitor learner progress within course levels, as well as allowing them to make informed choices about teaching and learning goals to improve their English”.
Using the scale to determine the English language level of learners will have significant benefits for English language education in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries. Professor De Jong says:
“Pearson is excited to see the changes the Global Scale of English can make to the learning outcomes of English students in the Middle East. Using this scale will mean we can accurately pinpoint the very specific listening, reading, speaking and writing capabilities of a learner, and provide them with a much more accurate and detailed learning plan than ever before. The GSE is less prone to misinterpretation, meaning the course or level the student is studying will be a much more accurate reflection of their learning needs. Ultimately, this should improve the results of English language students in the region, and we all know the far-reaching impacts good English language skills can have on an individual’s future, and the collective benefits this can have on communities”.
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About Pearson:
Pearson is the world’s largest learning company, operating in more than 80 countries around the world, bringing powerful learning solutions to millions of learners every year. Pearson takes learning personally. Our courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Our education imprints combine 150 years of experience and include online support for every learner.  Our innovative and dynamic digital learning products and services are changing the learning landscape all around the globe and our qualifications are positively transforming the futures of learners of all ages and backgrounds.  Pearson can boast a comprehensive English Language offering that consists of engaging content and cutting edge testing solutions, including the internationally acclaimed PTE Academic™. To find out more, visit www.pearson.com

PTE Academic test gives universities increased confidence in the English language skills of new students.


PEARSON’S PTE ACADEMIC TEST ACCEPTED BY THE MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN THE UAE
  

The test also provides assurance to universities that the students they are admitting can effectively communicate in the English language in an academic environment and will have a higher chance of academic success. PTE Academic score reports show the achievements of test takers in the four key communication skills, listening, reading, speaking and writing, as well as the enabling skills of grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary and written discourse. Test takers are provided with information on their performance on each section of the test so that they can improve their skills in specific areas if needed.
PTE Academic has been a popular choice among students around the world who need to take an English language test, because of the test’s fast turnaround times – from booking the test to receiving results – and because it prepares students to use their English skills in an academic setting.
The accreditation of PTE Academic by the MoHESR will allow universities to employ an English language test that streamlines and enhances the admissions process and assists university staff in making faster and better-informed decisions about the students they admit.
Pearson’s PTE Academic test has achieved esteem amongst learning institutions around the world because of its reliability, objectivity, relevance and importantly, its security. Pearson’s state-of-the-art biometrics ensure the security of the entire testing process. Score reports are viewed and downloaded via Pearson’s secure online verification system and only score reports viewed via Pearson’s online website are guaranteed to be authentic. Security features of PTE Academic are the latest available, and include palm vein scanning, the use of electronic signatures and CCTV recording throughout the testing process.
Pearson is known throughout the Gulf region for its commitment to providing the very latest in learning technology that is relevant to the needs of learners in this part of the world. Pearson’s regional president, Ms Christine Ozden said of the MoHESR approval of the test:
“Pearson is delighted that the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has recognised the benefits of PTE Academic. The accreditation of the test will allow hopeful university entrants throughout the UAE to undergo a test that is known around the world for its fairness, ease of use, reliable results and advanced security measures, which are some of the most sophisticated on offer. I am proud to say that the test also has significant advantages for the universities who rely on it to determine who they allow into their institutions. These universities can be confident that they are using a test that has been utilised by some of the world’s most prestigious learning institutions and government agencies”.
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About PTE Academic
PTE Academic is owned and administered by Pearson, the world’s largest learning company, which is made up of some of the globe’s best known and respected education brands including Dorling Kindersley, Penguin, Edexcel and the Financial Times.
PTE Academic is accepted by the UK Border Agency for Tiers 1, 2 and 4 and spouse visa applications and by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for student visa applications. PTE Academic is endorsed by the prestigious Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®). 
Globally, approximately 3,000 renowned colleges, universities, training providers and professional associations accept PTE Academic scores, and the test is recognised by 95 percent of higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. PTE Academic is accepted by the UK Border Agency and by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship
For a full list of institutions recognising Pearson PTE Academic, please visit:
To book a test or for more information visit www.pearsonpte.com, alternatively, you can follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pearsonpte or Facebook at www.facebook.com/pteacademic
About Pearson
At Pearson, we take learning personally. Our courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Our education imprints combine 150 years of experience and include online support for every learner.  We provide education and assessment services in over 75 countries, helping change the lives of millions of people every year. Our innovative and dynamic digital learning products and services are changing the learning landscape all around the globe and our qualifications are positively transforming the futures of learners of all ages and backgrounds. To find out more, visit www.pearson.com

Euronews learning world : Oiling the wheels of education in the Middle East ( Video)

http://www.euronews.com/ Education and developing human capacities lie at the heart of some Gulf countries plans for sustainable, knowledge-oriented economies. But in real terms, how does that translate?

Investing in human resources is at the core of some Gulf countries’ economic strategies. They believe that education is a must in order to develop knowledge-based economies. This week on Learning World, we looked at some higher education and training programmes in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain.

*Abu Dhabi: the Sorbonne moves abroad*

Does getting into an elite university always mean moving far away? In Abu Dhabi the education council acknowledges that domestic universities have poor international rankings – so they’re looking at importing best practice from other universities around the world.

For hundreds of years, Paris has been the only destination for anyone dreaming of studying at the Sorbonne University, one of the world’s most prestigious and ancient institutions. But since 2009, the Sorbonne has also been based in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

A special invitation by the Emirates government, this university is part of a strategic national plan to raise higher education to international standards.

Eric Fouache is the Director of the Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi. “There’s a real wish to form an elite in the UAE to replace working foreigners who currently hold the positions of responsibility”, he told euronews. “Our university, like all the other universities, will form this elite. We’ll do it the French way, which is a little bit different. The second point is that in developing the economy, the UAE wants to create a real platform of access to international education here in the Middle East. So it’s also an economic operation”.

The UAE wants to finance a francophone university in a country dominated mainly by anglophone education and they’ve encouraged the Sorbonne to bring typically the same experience it has back in France. This includes a mixed campus with the same curricula, a French diploma and even teachers, who fly all the way over from Paris to give intensive courses.

Jacob Schmitz is a History professor at the Sorbonne and says there are difficulties on both sides. “We have to teach to a public which is not exactly the same as we have back in France, so that is a challenge which means we must in a certain way find ways to relate to what people here want to hear. And there’s another challenge which people do not really talk about, which is the challenge for us in France. The French education system hasn’t changed much and these new experiences abroad actually bring us a lot of new knowledge, a lot of new blood”.

The Sorbonne in Abu Dhab does not just offer its famous humanities and social studies, law and other subjects in collaboration with Paris’ Descartes University. It has also developed a masters in History of Art and Museum Studies to address the Emirate’s ambition to become a cultural hub. It has also built partnerships with local institutions like the Khalifa University. In turn the Khalifa University is trying to improve their quality of education, but this hasn’t yet raised enough trust among local students, who still favour foreign campuses.

And the students seem to be impressed. “The teachers, the experience, the curriculum and the system they have is by far way more professional, way more experienced than other universities here in this country”, one girl told euronews.

In total, 700 students from 65 different nationalities study at the Sorbonne campus. It’s a reflection of the country itself, which has a big number of expatriates. It’s also a good opportunity for the Sorbonne to implement its motto at the Abu Dhabi campus – “a bridge between civilisations”.

*Qatar researches its way forward*

Branches of foreign universities are also popular in Qatar, which has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming a world leader in scientific research. Qatar is one of the top five countries when it comes to spending on innovation.

Of Qatar’s GDP, 2.8 percent goes toward scientific research and a national research strategy was announced at the end of 2012. The country is doing its best to develop scientific research and human capacity to extend its economy beyond hydrocarbon resources. But to implement its vision, Qatar is working at even lower levels in educational institutions.

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