Miri 12 December 2012 The British Council Malaysia and Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) today sealed an agreement at a Partnership Signing Ceremony under which the British Council is appointing Curtin Sarawak as an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Associate and the official IELTS Test Centre in Miri.
An IELTS Associate is an educational institution which registers candidates on behalf of the British Council and provides its venue to the British Council for delivering the IELTS test.
Signing for Curtin Sarawak was Professor Ian Kerr, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, while Gavin Anderson, Country Director of British Council Malaysia, signed for the British Council.
Present to witness the signing were Curtin Sarawaks Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Inglis, Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Ching, Acting Head of School of Foundation and Continuing Studies Bibi Aminah Abdul Ghani and Acting Head of The Learning Centre Michelle Voon Huey Fen. Country Exam Manager of British Council Malaysia Deep Adhikari and Gabriel Liew, Manager of Education & Examinations of British Council Sarawak were also present.
As an IELTS Associate, Curtin Sarawak will be responsible for the provision of examination administration and related services such as coordinating with the British Council to ensure test dates and question papers are in order, as well as providing a venue that satisfies the requirements of the IELTS test as provisioned by Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).
In his welcoming speech during the ceremony, Professor Kerr said the agreement had many positive implications for both Curtin Sarawak and the British Council in Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak.
He said it was an honour for Curtin Sarawak to be part of the British Councils IELTS Partnership Programme as much of what the British Council does in regards the IELTS mirrors what Curtin Sarawak is trying to achieve in terms of improving English language proficiency.
Professor Kerr commended the British Council for its successful presence in this part of the world, and its extensive experience in delivering UK qualifications both in Malaysia and around the world, as well as its innovative services and professionalism.
He noted that the IELTS is increasingly being used as an entry requirement by universities and other institutions of higher learning, and for professionals who want to study or practice in English-speaking countries. It is accepted by most Australian academic institutions, including Curtin and over 6,000 institutions worldwide, as proof of English language proficiency.
As Curtin Sarawak applies the same English language requirements as Curtin in Australia, IELTS is also critical for students wishing to enrol with us, he said.
According to Professor Kerr, Curtin Sarawak is expecting a continued increase in student numbers, with a target of 5,000 from our current 3,500 in the next 3 to 5 years. Curtin Sarawak remains a popular choice for students for its international outlook, innovative courses, world-class teaching facilities, flexible study options, applied and practical subjects, use of advanced technology, partnerships with industry and government, ideal campus location, and experienced academics and staff. Thus, being an IELTS Associate and test centre could be of great benefit to the university in the processing of new applications.
Anderson, meanwhile, said that the role of an IELTS associate is an important one and he was delighted that Curtin Sarawak has agreed to be a partner in the conducting of the IELTS test in Miri. He hopes the partnership will spur support from students and others in Miri.
Besides Miri, the other IELTS test centres in the region are in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Brunei.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at http://www.curtin.edu.my, or call +60 85 443 939, or e-mail [firstname.lastname@example.org]email@example.com. It can also be found on Facebook (Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia) and on Twitter at twitter.com/curtinsarawak.