University of Bath taking English language testing to Romania and Poland

The University of Bath is helping European people gain the qualifications they need to work in the UK by hosting English language testing in Romania and Poland.

The University of Bath's English Language Testing (UBELT) offers English proficiency tests for dentists, doctors, nurses and pharmacists who are seeking work with many of the UK's largest private and public sector healthcare employers.

Previously, medical professionals and students had to travel to Bath to take the test, but now UBELT is running the tests at universities in Romania and Poland, making them available to a broader group of people.

This summer UBELT will be testing students in language proficiency at the Vasile Goldis University in Romania, and the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland.

Kevin Renfrew of UBELT said: "The University of Bath is delighted to be extending UBELT to universities in Romania and Poland. It will offer practicing professionals and students in these, and neighbouring countries, the chance to benefit from this international qualification and broaden their career opportunities."

The tests measure the communicative language level of candidates in a professional context. They are often used to identify those candidates whose level of English is good enough for them to work in an English-speaking environment. 

The tests prioritise communicative linguistic competence. Whilst grammatical accuracy and spelling are important factors, UBELT does not test these in isolation but instead focuses on the candidate's ability to use English effectively and appropriately for the given context.

Since the real professional work situation will be a linguistically "live" environment, the test is based on professionally authentic information, topics, and tasks.

The tests will be open to final year students, as well as external candidates, including students from other medical universities, alumni, practising professionals and candidates sponsored by European employers, including UK employers.

Gąsiorowska-Czarnecka, Head of the Department of Foreign Language Tuition at Poznan University of Medical Sciences welcomed the tests.

She said: "UBELT, we believe, is the right English test to certify our students. Mock testing was conducted in January 2009, and we and the students were impressed by the test, the examiners, and the feedback. As a result, we are pleased to be hosting UBELT Tests in June and September, and hope to make the testing a regular event."

Professor Vanda Stan, from Vasile Goldis University added: "In an age of globalization and a fluctuating European Union labour market, there is a surplus of medical doctors, dentists and pharmacists in parts of the Union and shortage in other parts. It is under these circumstances our duty to ensure that the Romanian medical graduates possess the proper linguistic skills and abilities on top of their very good medical expertise."

Staff from the University of Bath will travel to the two universities this summer to administer the tests.

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