View Document

Admissions - English Language Admission Requirements Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this document via the 'Feedback' tab above.

Section 1 - Summary

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to provide direction on the formulation, amendment and approval of English language requirements for admission to Victoria University (VU) courses.

Top of Page

Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF Standard: 1.1.1 Admission.

(3) ESOS (National Code 2018): Standard: 2.2 Recruitment of an Overseas Student.

(4) This Procedure also demonstrates VU's compliance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 and the Skills First Dual Sector VET Funding Contract which has language, literacy and numeracy requirements.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Procedure applies to the approval and amendment of English Language Admission Requirements for:

  1. domestic students;
  2. onshore international students;
  3. offshore students.

(6) This Procedure applies to admission requirements for the following:

  1. Vocational Education (VE) award courses;
  2. Higher Education award courses;
  3. VE non-award courses that have accredited units;
  4. International Foundations courses.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Definitions

(7) College

(8) Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) – Part of the Pre-Training Review process to assess LLN levels to determine suitability for admission to VE Courses.

(9) Skills First Dual Sector VET Funding Contract – Contract between Department of Education and Training and VU.

(10) Pre-Training Review – Process undertaken by all VE applicants to determine suitability.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(11) Admissions Policy

Top of Page

Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students via Course Approval process Establish General Minimum Standards for English Language Proficiency Levels
Academic Board (Courses Committee) Endorse course-specific higher English Language Proficiency Levels
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students via Course Approval process Approve English Language Proficiency Levels for all courses
Senior Manager International Admissions Maintain a full listing of all international qualifications and educational levels that are accepted as indicating that an applicant has an appropriate level of English language proficiency and does not need to undertake testing
Senior Vice-President, Future Students and Planning, with advice from the General Manager, VU English and the Director, Academic Quality and Standards. Approve any amendments to the international qualifications equivalences list (above)
VU International in conjunction with the General Manager, VU English Assess and recommend whether applicants with unique cases (qualifications not appearing on the list of international qualifications equivalences) can be accepted as having sufficiently demonstrated English language proficiency 
Senior Vice-President, Future Students and Planning, with advice from the General Manager, VU English, the Director, VU International and the Director, Academic Quality and Standards Approve the acceptance of equivalence for English language proficiency purposes of unique cases and, if appropriate, the addition of the qualification to the international qualifications equivalences list
VU Polytechnic Courses Advisory Committee  Approve the vocational education literacy and numeracy Australian Core Skills Framework exit levels for admission to VE courses (Certificate I to Advanced Diploma)

Part B - General Requirements

(12) The University sets minimum English language proficiency standards to ensure that all students can fully participate in their chosen studies and have a reasonable chance of success.

(13) For selection into a University course, all applicants, whether domestic or international, must meet the minimum English language admission criteria for the relevant course.

(14) All VE (Cert 1 - Adv Diploma) applicants must sit a literacy and numeracy assessment as part of the pre-training review in compliance with the Skills First Dual Sector VET Funding Contract.

(15) International applicants must satisfy the Department of Home Affairs English language criteria in order to obtain a student visa to study in Australia. This requirement is in addition to the applicant meeting the University’s English language admission criteria. (NB: Meeting the requirement for a student visa does not mean that an applicant has automatically met the University's English language admission requirements.)

(16) Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency by providing evidence of:

  1. successful completion of Australian Senior Secondary School Certificate with a study score in the English subjects at or above the level specified in the course admission criteria; or
  2. successful completion of VU English programs or other recognised English language learning programs; or
  3. ongoing study, residence or employment in an English speaking country in accordance with Part C; or
  4. in accordance with Part D – International Equivalences for English Language Proficiency:
    1. a recognised English language proficiency test, completed no more than two years prior to enrolment at VU unless otherwise specified; or
    2. an eligible qualification, completed no more than five years prior to enrolment at VU unless otherwise specified.

(17) Multiple tests, qualifications and residency and employment cannot be combined to meet criteria. Only a single source of evidence will be accepted.

(18) Where an applicant has more than one test or qualification relevant to English language proficiency, only the most recent wil be considered.

(19) The University will not approve any waivers in relation to this Procedure.

(20) The general minimum standards for English language proficiency are established in Table A below.

(21) Minimum standards for literacy and numeracy for Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses are established in reference to the Training Package, Accredited Curriculum, or by the teaching area manager in consideration of industry standards, market analysis and if available, mapping to the Australian Core Skills Framework (for domestic students) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for international students, which establishes required International English Language Testing System (IELTS)levels for entry to VET study.

(22) If the student has undertaken an English language proficiency test as a requirement of obtaining a student visa, providers are required to report the name of the English language test, the date the student took the test and the score the student received to the Australian Government.

(23) Students enrolling to undertake Study Abroad / Exchange programs may be set different English language requirements. The details of required English proficiency for these programs will be established in the governance documentation associated with the program.

(24) Particular courses may establish higher English language proficiency requirements if justified by the demands of the course of study or the Australian professional requirements of the occupation the course is likely to qualify a graduate to enter in Australia. At VU, these higher level requirements are detailed in Table B.

(25) Where an Australian professional accreditation body requires that English language proficiency is demonstrated before professional registration to practice in Australia, and imposes a currency requirement on testing results, VU will:

  1. ensure that applicants are informed that they may be required to take a test, or another test, before they are able to be registered and practice in the profession for which their studies have qualified them; and
  2. ensure that applicants are informed if the relevant professional body has imposed restrictions on which tests may be accepted for demonstration of English proficiency.

Table A: Minimum English Language Standards 

Evidence Method International Foundations (Extended) Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma. International Foundations Associate and Bachelor Degree Postgraduate coursework degree and Higher Degree by Research
IELTS (Academic Module) (no band less than) 5.0 (no band less than 5.0) 5.5 (no band less than 5.0) 6.0 (6.0) 6.5 (6.0)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet (no section score less than) 45 (Listening 6, speaking 15, Reading 7. Writing 17) 55 (Listening 9, Speaking 16, Reading 10, Writing 18)  67 (Listening 12, Speaking 18, Reading 15, Writing 21) 79 (Listening 19, Speaking 19, Reading 18, Writing 22)
VU English EAP 4 EAP 4 EAP 5 EAP 6
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Overall score (no section score less than) 36 (36) 42 (40) 50 (50) 58 (50)
C1 Advanced (formerly Cambridge English: Advanced CAE): Overall score (no band less than) 154 (154) 162 (154) 169 (169) 176 (169)
B2 First (formerly Cambridge English: First (FCE)): Overall score (no band less than) 154 (154) 162(154) 169 (169) n/a

Table B: Course Specific Higher English Language Standards

Course Code IELTS level Listening Reading Writing Speaking VU English
Diploma of Education Studies EDES 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 EAP 5
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education EBEC 6.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 EAP 6
Bachelor of Osteopathy HBSO 6.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 EAP 6
Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education EGEC 7.0 7.5 6.5 6.5 7.5 N/A
Bachelor of Psychological Studies (Honours) AHPA 6.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 EAP 6
Master of Counselling AMPE 7.5 7.5 6.5 6.5 7.5 EAP 6 with score 70% or above
Bachelor of Education (P-12) EBED 7.0 7.5 6.5 6.5 7.5 EAP 6 with score 70% or above
Master of Teaching (Primary Education) EMPE 7.0 7.5 6.5 6.5 7.5 EAP 6 with score 70% or above
Master of Teaching (Secondary Education) EMES 7.0 7.5 6.5 6.5 7.5 EAP 6 with score 70% or above
Bachelor of Biomedicine HBBM 7.0 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 EAP 6 with score 70% or above
Diploma of Nursing HLT54115 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 N/A
Bachelor of Nursing HBNB 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 N/A
Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry) BLGE 6.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 EAP 6
Bachelor of Laws BLAW 6.5 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 EAP 6
Master of Clinical Exercise Science and Rehabilitation AMEP 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 EAP 6 with VNUEAP6 score 70% or above

Part C - Study in English or Residence / Employment in an English-speaking Country as Evidence of English Language Proficiency

(26) Applicants may demonstrate they meet the English language proficiency criteria by providing evidence of study in the medium of English as described in Table C below.

Table C: General Rules – Study equivalence for English Language proficiency demonstration

Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas
General Certificate of Education (GCE A Levels) A grade of C (or better) in the subject: English Language.
International Baccalaureate  A minimum of 3 in English (Standard Level).
Australian University Foundation Program  Completion of a recognised foundation program where English is the medium of instruction and assessment (with a pass in approved English subjects), and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Secondary Schooling or tertiary studies  Satisfactory completion of two years’ (full-time) academic study (completed in the standard duration excluding approved  intermission) in an accredited institution where English was the medium of instruction and assessment for the whole institution, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Australian Qualifications Framework qualification (AQF)  Satisfactory completion of one year full-time academic study in an AQF qualification (completed in the standard duration excluding approved intermission) and having completed these studies not more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Senior Secondary School Certificate  Australian Year 12 Certificate, Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Units 3 and 4 in English with a study score of 20 or EAL with a study score of 25 (or interstate equivalent) or completion of Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
Bachelors
General Certificate of Education (GCE A Levels)  A grade of C in the following: 
• AS Level subjects: General Paper, English Language; or 
• A Level subject: English Language.
 
International Baccalaureate  A minimum of 4 in English (Standard Level) or a minimum of 3 in English (Higher Level).
Australian University Foundation Program  Completion of a recognised foundation program where English is the medium of instruction and assessment (with a minimum grade of 60% in all English subjects).
Australian Qualifications Framework qualification (AQF)  Satisfactory completion of one year of full-time study (Certificate IV or higher)  completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Senior Secondary School Certificate  Australian Senior Secondary School Certificate, Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Units 3 and 4 in English with a study score of 20 or EAL with a study score of 25 (or interstate equivalent) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning - senior (VCAL).
Secondary Schooling or tertiary studies in an English-speaking country (overseas) Satisfactory completion of two years’ senior secondary schooling OR two years' (full-time) academic study in a tertiary institution in an English-speaking country where English was the language of instruction and assessment for the whole institution, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.

Where studies were completed more than two but less than five years prior to application, the applicant will be eligible to have their language proficiency accepted without testing if they completed their entire secondary schooling OR two years' (full-time) academic study in a tertiary institution in the English-speaking country where English was the language of instruction and assessment for the whole institution.
Secondary Schooling or tertiary studies in a non-English-speaking country (overseas) Satisfactory completion of the candidate's entire secondary schooling OR two years’ (full-time) academic study, completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission, in an accredited tertiary institution in an non-English-speaking country where English was the medium of instruction and assessment for the whole school / institution, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.

Where studies were completed more than two years' prior to application, the applicant will be required to present evidence of a current and valid English language proficiency test result.
Postgraduate studies
Postgraduate Australian Qualifications Framework qualification (AQF)  Successful completion of at least one year of full-time academic study completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission,  and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Undergraduate Australian Qualifications Framework qualification (AQF)  Successful completion of at least two years of full-time academic study completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Study at an accredited institution in an English speaking country where English is the language of instruction, completed no more than two years prior to enrolment at VU. Successful completion of at least two years' full-time academic study (at Bachelor degree level) completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.

Successful completion of at least one years' full-time academic study (at Masters degree level or higher) completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU.
Study at an institution within a non-English speaking country, but where English is the medium of instruction and assessment for the whole institution, completed no more than two years prior to enrolment at VU. Successful completion of at least two years' full-time academic study (at Bachelor degree level or higher) completed in the standard duration, excluding approved intermission, and having completed these studies no more than two years prior to commencing studies at VU. 

(27) Applicants may also demonstrate they meet the English language proficiency criteria by providing evidence of ongoing residence and employment for a period of not less than five years within Australia, or one of the following specified English speaking countries (in an occupation requiring proficient written and verbal communication in English, which ended no more than five years previously):

  1. Canada (excluding Quebec)
  2. Fiji
  3. Republic of Ireland
  4. Kenya
  5. New Zealand
  6. Papua New Guinea
  7. Samoa
  8. Singapore
  9. Solomon Islands
  10. South Africa
  11. United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)
  12. United States of America (excluding Puerto Rico)
  13. Zambia

(28) Sufficient evidence of residency and employment is a passport and residency/citizenship documentation and certified supporting statements from employers with  details of duties, responsibilities and company profile to allow verification.

Part D - International equivalences for English language proficiency

(29) Some international qualifications or certifications may be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency for course admission purposes. The general rules covering study equivalence are contained in Table C, but specific qualifications may have different outcomes, and reference should be made to the approved list (see below).

(30) Victoria University International will maintain a full listing of all international qualifications and educational levels that are accepted as indicating that an applicant has an appropriate level of English language proficiency and does not need to undertake testing.

(31) International qualifications, including secondary schooling, will be verified  every two years by the International Admissions team to ensure that curriculum, English language content, and assessment methods for those qualifications are still at a sufficient level to promote the required level of English language proficiency. In particular, information available for offshore admissions will be considered as part of an assessment of the equivalence table's currency and validity. Any changes arising from this process will be submitted to the authorities listed in clause 33 for approval.

(32) The listing will be maintained by the Senior Manager International Admissions, who will make amendments to the listing only if approved by the authorities in clause (33).

(33) Amendments to the listing, including the addition or deletion of particular qualifications, must be approved by the Senior Vice-President, Future Students and Planning, with advice from the Director, VU International; General Manager, VU English; and the Director, Academic Quality and Standards.

(34) Some applicants are exempt from taking an English language test for visa purposes under the Migration Regulations 1994. Where an applicant is exempt on this basis, VU must report the relevant class the applicant is. The relevant classes are:

  1. an applicant who is a citizen of, and who holds a valid passport issued by:
    1. the United Kingdom;
    2. the United States of America;
    3. Canada;
    4. New Zealand; or
    5. the Republic of Ireland
  2. an applicant who is enrolled in a principal course of study that is:
    1. registered to be delivered in a language other than English;
    2. a registered ELICOS course;
    3. a registered school course; or
    4. a registered post-graduate research course
  3. an applicant who is a:
    1. Foreign Affairs student;
    2. Defence Student; or
    3. Secondary exchange student
  4. an applicant, who, in the 2 years before applying for a Subclass 500 (Student) visa, has successfully completed:
    1. the requirements for a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, in a course that was conducted in Australia and in English; or
    2. a substantial component of a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV level or higher that was conducted in Australia and in English, while the applicant was holding a student visa.
  5. an applicant who has successfully completed a minimum of 5 years of study in English undertaken in one or more of the following countries:
    1. Australia;
    2. Canada
    3. New Zealand;
    4. South Africa;
    5. United Kingdom;
    6. United States of America; or
    7. Republic of Ireland.

(35) The current Schedule of international equivalences is available as Schedule A to this Procedure.

Part E - Approving Standards and Special Cases

Standard English Language Admission Levels

(36) English language admission levels are established for each course of study:

  1. as part of the Course Approval process (for Higher Education courses), and
  2. established in reference to the Training Package, Accredited Curriculum, or by the teaching area manager in consideration of industry standards, market analysis and if available, mapping to the  Australian Core Skills Framework (for domestic students) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for international students, which establishes required IELTS levels for entry to VET study.

(37) Where a course proponent wishes to establish or alter a higher English language admission requirement than the general minimum standards set at Table A, they must provide evidence in their course proposal of:

  1. a professional accreditation or registration body requirement for a higher English language proficiency level; or
  2. an evidence-based need for higher English language proficiency to successfully complete the requirements of the course or practice in Australia in the profession that the course qualifies graduates to enter

(38) Where a professional accrediting body responsible for mandatory professional registration sets English Language admission requirements that differ from the parameters of this Procedure, these requirements will be verified by the Academic Board's Courses Committee and built into the admissions requirements for relevant courses. This includes:

  1. English language proficiency levels
  2. Accepted testing methods
  3. Methods other than testing that are acceptable for demonstrating English language proficiency (eg residence and employment, study); and
  4. Currency requirements for test results.

(39) Under no circumstances will a course be approved with a lower English language admission requirement than the general standards set at Table A.

(40) The approval authority for setting and amending English language admission levels for Higher Education courses is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students, via a course proposal endorsed by the Academic Board's Courses Committee (see Courses Lifecycle Procedures). The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students may also consider input regarding English language standards and market conditions from:

  1. Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students)
  2. Director, Student Administration
  3. VU English
  4. VU International
  5. Partnerships

Unique Cases

(41) In all HE cases, VU reserves the right to require an applicant to sit an English language proficiency test before confirming an offer of admission.

(42) Where an applicant, or a College on behalf of an applicant, wishes to have a qualification which is not included on VU's list accepted as demonstrating English language proficiency without having completed a recognised test, they may request an assessment of the case using the English Language Proficiency Assessment Form.

(43) An initial review of the case will be performed by VU International in conjunction with VU English, who, if satisfied, will recommend that:

  1. the applicant can be accepted as having demonstrated English language proficiency sufficient to satisfy the admission requirements; and
  2. if appropriate, the qualification should be added to the list of recognised equivalences for English language proficiency.

(44)  Approval of unique cases will be done by the Senior Vice-President, Future Students and Planning, acting on advice from the Director, VU International; the General Manager, VU English; and the Director, Academic Quality and Standards.

(45) Where equivalence is not established, the applicant will be given the opportunity to sit an approved English language test to establish their level of proficiency.