The UK Home Office announced new English testing requirements for migrants in January, but misspelled ‘language’ in the press release, the Guardian reported. Red-faced officials were forced to correct the error – they’d spelt the word ‘langauge’ in a headline for the online announcement of new language requirements for the Tier 2 visa. Even a BBC Radio 4 presenter called it ‘beyond parody’ that the Home Office could misspell a word announcing a requirement for migrants to learn English.
Faced with plummeting oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education has put restrictions on eligibility for its $6 billion King Abdullah Scholarship Programme (Kasp), which since 2005 has sent hundreds of thousands of Saudi students abroad, the majority of them to the US. A higher education fair in Saudi Arabia has apparently been cancelled, and US university intensive English programmes already report fewer enrolments and applications from Saudis.
FIRST STEPS Bielefeld University in Germany is using robots to teach refugee children (Courtesy CITEC / Bielefeld University)
Four years into the Syrian conflict, English language departments of the world’s universities continue to devise new initiatives to teach English to Syrian refugees and refugees in general.
Stricter regulation of Ireland’s ELT and higher education providers came into effect in January with the publication of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’s (INIS) new Interim List of Eligible Programmes (Ilep). Students from non-EU visa-eligible countries will only be admitted if their course is on the Ilep. More language schools are predicted to close as a result.