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Registration for Common English Proficiency Assessment for 2004-05

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (September 20) that final year students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programmes who would graduate in 2004-05 could register for the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme (CEPAS) from today to October 23, 2004.

"With the assistance of the institutions, we will arrange a series of testing sessions under the Scheme for all final-year students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programmes from November this year to May next year," a UGC spokesman said.

"Like the last two years, these students are eligible for reimbursement of the test fee (once only), if they agree to have a statement printed on their transcript indicating that they have participated in the Scheme."

For more detailed information, please visit the CEPAS website (www.ugccepa.com), call the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) hotline at 2620 0321 or contact the Registrar's Offices of the eight UGC-funded institutions. Application forms can be downloaded from the above-mentioned website. Applicants are reminded that applications should be submitted through their respective institutions.

CEPAS is a voluntary assessment scheme intended to encourage students to be more aware of the importance of proficiency in English and to provide a common framework for assessing and documenting graduating students' English proficiency. Through the assessment, the UGC aims to benchmark the English proficiency of local university graduates against a reliable, internationally validated instrument which will serve as useful reference for students when they enter the workforce after they graduate or when they pursue further studies.

"Despite its voluntary nature, over 8,700 final-year students participated in the Scheme last year. This year, we again encourage each and every eligible student to take part in the Scheme," the spokesman said.

"In addition, we shall continue to strengthen our efforts in promoting the CEPAS within the employers sector as well as the wider community," he added.

The UGC announced the adoption of IELTS as the testing instrument for CEPAS in July 2002. IELTS is an internationally validated English testing instrument. Over 475,000 candidates took the IELTS test in 2003 globally. It covers all the four skills in English language, namely listening, reading, writing and speaking. Its results are reported on a band scale from 0 to 9.

An overall band of 6.5 or above with no subtest score below band 6 obtained in one sitting in IELTS is accepted as equivalent to a pass in the Use of English paper of the Hong Kong Government's Common Recruitment Examination within two years from the date of the IELTS test.

Monday, September 20, 2004