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We have chosen to withdraw Cambridge IGCSE English as a First Language (syllabus 0500 and 0522) and Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language (syllabus 0510 and 0511) from the Home Office/UK Border Agency’s (UKBA’s) list of approved English language tests. The Home Office/UKBA will no longer accept these qualifications as approved tests from 6 April 2014.
We have taken this decision, after much consideration, because the Home Office/UKBA is introducing new mandatory security requirements from April 2014 for test centres offering qualifications on this list. As not all Cambridge schools will be able to implement these requirements, we would need to introduce a different code of practice for schools who wished to remain UKBA-compliant. This would lead to an unmanageable level of complexity for schools and a confusing situation for students and universities.
Cambridge IGCSE English as a First Language and Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language are highly successful and popular school-based curricula with wide ranging objectives in developing students’ ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively. The assessment methods were designed to match these learning outcomes and were not developed to meet UKBA requirements. We will continue to offer these qualifications to schools and their content is not affected in any way by our decision to withdraw them from the Home Office/UKBA’s list of approved list.
UK universities maintain the right to set their own entry requirements with regard to acceptable English language tests. Students applying to study at degree level or above at a UK higher education institution must check the English language requirements of their selected universities prior to making any applications.
We will continue to work with UK universities on the continued acceptance of Cambridge IGCSE English Language qualifications as evidence of English language proficiency.
Support for students
A significant number of UK higher education institutions will continue to accept Cambridge IGCSE English Language qualifications as evidence of English language competency for university study; however, students may be required to show evidence of their proficiency in all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). If students need to provide this evidence, we can help. To learn more, go to the Cambridge IGCSE recognition section.
If you have a query about the evidence Cambridge IGCSE English Language students need to provide to UKBA when applying for a visa (until 6 April 2014), go to the Help section and search for ‘UKBA’.