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Online Registration for Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme for 2006-07

The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (April 18) that students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programmes who expect to graduate at the end of the 2006-07 academic year can register for the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme (CEPAS) from today until 21 October 2006 - and register online!

"To provide more convenience and an additional option to students, the UGC has set up a new online registration service this year. Students can now register online by visiting the CEPAS website (www.ugccepa.com). The dates and availability of each testing session can be obtained from the website," Mr Michael Stone, the Secretary-General, UGC said.

"With the assistance of the institutions, we will arrange a series of testing sessions from July 2006 to May 2007 under the Scheme for all final-year students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programme who will be in their final year in 2006-07 academic year.

"We received a good response from last year's pioneer summer testing session arrangement. The same will continue to be provided this year, from July to October, to facilitate both students and employers. We believe that both job-seekers and employers who need to know CEPAS results at an earlier date will benefit from having this option.

"This year, the registration period is from April 18, 2006 to October 21, 2006. Students who want to register for the testing sessions from July to November 2006 should submit their application forms at least five weeks before the date of each testing session. Students may check these dates by visiting the CEPAS website. Those who wish to register for the testing sessions from December 2006 to May 2007 should register before October 21, 2006. Students are encouraged to register as early as possible as the seats are on a first come first served basis, and some testing sessions may become full during the registration period," Mr Stone added.

As in the past four years, participating 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. The statement only indicates participation; it does not contain the actual score.

"Despite its voluntary nature, more than 9 500 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. In addition, we shall continue to strengthen our efforts in promoting the CEPAS targeting at employers, students, as well as the wider community," Mr Stone said.

For more detailed information, students can visit the CEPAS website, call the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) hotline at 2620 0321 or contact the Registrar's Offices of the eight UGC-funded 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 tertiary students 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.

The UGC announced the adoption of IELTS as the testing instrument for CEPAS in July 2002. IELTS is an internationally validated English testing instrument. In recent years, over 600 000 candidates took the IELTS test annually around the world. 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 subject 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.

UGC Secretariat

Tuesday, April 18, 2006