The Australian the Department for Immigration and Border Protection recently announced that, starting later this year, it will accept results from both the TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic as proof of English proficiency for a number of its post-graduate visa options. This decision, which goes into effect in November 2014, mirrors a 2011 change to accept these two exams for academic admissions purposes and means that these same exams will be accepted as proof of proficiency for all graduate, skilled, and business visa applicants.
Popularity Has Its Benefits
Not only does the addition of two more test systems give visa applicants a wider choice of English proficiency exams (and with it the opportunity to take the exam best-suited to their needs) it also gives their would-be hosts –that is to say, Australian universities and businesses– access to a larger pool of recruits. After all, the TOEFL iBT alone has been taken by more than more than 27 million people around the world and this ruling means that every one of them could potentially use their TOEFL results for undergraduate admissions and a host of post-graduate options.
While students, administrators, and industrialists have, of course, applauded the decision they are not alone in their approval. Australian economic experts, too, have looked favorably on the ruling because they consider it a positive step toward simplifying what heretofore has been a piecework system of regulations. Many believe that this decision will make it more likely that students who come to study in Australia will, as a result, contribute to economic growth in the country by pursuing further opportunities after they conclude their studies. In this way, they feel, a simple change could be the beginning of a new era of prosperity not only for incoming migrants but also for Australia as a whole.