Elgazette Logo newtrans  The magazine for English language teaching and English medium education

CsF: UK sees 2,700 students

Vikki Chalon of the UK HE International Unit updates Matt Salusbury about how Brazil’s Ciencia sem Fronteiras (CsF) programme is working


The most recent report we could find on CsF and the UK was from late April last year, shortly after UK business secretary Vince Cable went to Brazil. Are there any updates since then about take-up or possible expansion?

We have completed the placement of the fifth CsF UK undergraduate cohort, which will start in September 2014. The numbers have grown from 519 in September 2012 to over 2,700 students just placed. Of these, just over 900 will be undertaking pre-sessional English courses of either three or six months. This brings the total number of CsF students who will have studied in the UK to over 8,500 including PhDs and post-docs. The UK is the second most popular destination of the 36 countries taking part.

Over 85 universities regularly participate in the scheme. Because of the forthcoming elections in Brazil, the Brazilian funding agencies have not yet confirmed whether further calls will take place this year. However, given how high profile the programme is in Brazil and how successful it has been we anticipate that the programme will continue, although the model could be different in the future.

Are these pre-sessional courses fully funded?

They are fully funded by the Brazilian government. These courses have helped increase the number of Brazilian students who have been able to participate in the CsF UK programme. Of the 2,700 students placed in this last call over 900 will be undertaking pre-sessional English language courses of three or six months.

Read more ...

Language limits Brazil’s Science without Borders

Tony Goncalves writes

Last April the Brazilian government told 110 students who had been granted scholarships to pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Canada and Australia to return to Brazil as they had not achieved the level of English required to be accepted at university. These Portuguese-speaking students had been doing six-month intensive English courses in these countries with the expectation of passing an international English language proficiency exam, which they failed. As reported by THE, university in Canada or Australia was the second choice for these students. Their first choice had been Portugal, which doesn’t have the high English language requirements of English-speaking Canada or Australia. Each student had already cost Brazilian taxpayers $12,000 plus air fare and health insurance.

The Brazilian government launched the Ciencia sem Fronteiras (CsF) or, in English, Sciences without Borders programme in 2011, pledging to pay for the education abroad of a total of 101,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students up to the end of academic year 2014.

Read more ...

The Standem standard

Matt Salusbury describes a pan-European project to develop a suite of exams testing medical English linked to the CEFR

An ambitious pan-European project funded by the European Commission is currently in development, with the aim of developing a ‘Standardised Language Certificate for Medical Purposes’ – Standem for short – for use throughout the EU and beyond. This is a response to the everincreasing international mobility of medical professionals, and not just into countries where English is the official language.

Standem’s ultimate aim is to produce a suite of ‘detailed descriptors of linguistic competence for the medical domain’, with tests providing ‘sound information about ... English language proficiency in a professional context’. There will be medical English tests at three levels – ten sets of exams at CEFR level C1, ten sets of exams at B2 and four at B1, in all the four skills. Being a Commission-supported project, it’s closely linked to the CEFR. (There’s a glossary here.)

Iwona Misztal, Standem’s coordinator, told the Gazette that while the reading and listening elements will be ‘the same for all healthcare professionals’, the remaining papers – speaking and writing – each have at least one task ‘profiled especially to meet the requirement of each of these three main target groups ... doctors, nurses and pharmacists (professionals and students)’.

The Standem writing paper has two tasks – letter writing and

Read more ...

EU commits billions to Erasmus+ programmes

Matt Salusbury looks at the EU’s revamped mobility programmes as the official guide is published

A vote of the European Parliament in November gave the green light for the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme of grant funding for educational exchanges, and Erasmus+ cleared its final hurdle at the beginning of December when it was adopted by the Council of Ministers. The day before we went to press, the Commission published its Call for Proposals for the Erasmus+ programme and its Programme Guide for applicants – all 263 pages of it. We include in the box on this page the Programme Guide’s key points – application deadlines, criteria and eligibility.

Erasmus+, with a total budget of €14.7 billion, will start in January 2014 and last until 2020. It brings together a total of seven EU education programmes, including the ‘mobility’ programmes currently known as Comenius (for school teachers), Grundtvig (for adult education), Erasmus (for higher education) and Leonardo (vocational training).

The 2014–20 Erasmus+ programme will, according to the Commission’s Erasmus+ official website, be ‘easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules’.

Grants for individuals, especially for

Read more ...

Erasmus+ takes centre stage

By Matt Salusbury and Rafaela Peteanu

Previously known as Erasmus for All, Erasmus+ will replace the numerous European Commission grant funding programmes such as Erasmus, Leonardo, Comenius and Grundtvig, and Youth in Action – all existing components of the Lifelong Learning Programme – and merge them into one streamlined super-programme.

Added to Erasmus+ will be the international cooperation programmes currently outside the Lifelong Learning Programme. These include Erasmus Mundus, Tempus (for the modernisation of higher education in eastern Europe, central Asia, the western Balkans and the Mediterranean) and the various EU educational exchanges with industrialised countries. Also added to the mix will be two new strands currently funded from different sources, youth and sport.

Erasmus+ will be available to all learners and trainers through

Read more ...