British Council suspends language tests in Vietnam needed to emigrate
The decision was imposed by the country’s Ministry of Education and Training. The Council, which provides English language certifications, recently issued a warning about online fraudsters, offering to sell exam answers. For ordinary Vietnamese, preparing for the test is expensive.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – The British Council (BC) today announced the suspension of all English tests until further notice. Its certificates are useful for admission to universities or work visas.
Its website reads: “The situation is beyond our control and affects all foreign language tests.”
Vietnamese newspapers previously warned that Japanese language tests had been blocked, as had Chinese tests at the Confucius Institute in Hanoi.
On Tuesday, Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training asked education departments in all cities and provinces to review how foreign language tests are organised since only institutions that receive ministerial approval can carry out tests.
The decision immediately raised concern among young Vietnamese students and workers because language certificates are essential to move abroad legally.
In mid-October, the British Council and IDP,[*] the only other organisation to offer IELTS[†] tests, warned of online fraudsters offering to sell exam answers.
Students who fell into the trap said they paid millions of dong for “top secret” test papers, which proved useless at exam time.
For ordinary Vietnamese, foreign language certifications are very expensive; the exam itself costs 4.6 million dong or US$ 185 dollars, to which must be added the cost of learning materials and preparatory courses.
In Vietnam, the average salary is around US$ 150, US$ 200 in the larger cities.
Vietnam’s overseas community numbers more than four million, the fifth largest in the world, concentrated mostly in the United States, Cambodia, France, Australia, and Japan.
In 2020, remittances from Vietnamese abroad exceeded US$ 17 billion.
[*] International Development Programme.
[†] International English Language Testing System.