CONIF (The National Council for the Federal Network of Vocational, Scientific, and Technological Education) has joined British Council EnglishScore’s Approved Partner Programme to offer students from the Institutos Federais the opportunity to enter into the world of work with a recognised English certificate.
CONIF provides fundamental support to the high-performing education institutions within its network. One of its objectives is to strengthen and consolidate its associated institutions and it recognises the importance of language policies in achieving this.
As part of this commitment, CONIF has been supporting projects that improve the development of curricula, employability, internationalisation and language courses.
CONIF partnered with EnglishScore in 2022 and has been rolling out its mobile English test to a number of institutions within its network, including Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Instituto Federal de Rondônia.
Before partnering with EnglishScore, CONIF used an internally-created English assessment.
The key limitation of this test was that students could not use the results as proof of English proficiency outside of the university, either for further studies or work.
CONIF believes that internationalisation and employability enhance institutional development and prepare students for a ‘knowledge-based world dynamic’ in which students are able to compete freely in the international job market.
Prof. Ms. Rodrigo Lemos, General Coordinator of International Relations at the Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro reinforces this point, stating that “one of the main benefits of internationalisation is employability”.
Their internally-created test was designed to assess students’ English proficiency and place them into the appropriate English course for their level. However, the creation of the test as well as marking and results processing was costing the faculty time and money each semester.
CONIF joined British Council EnglishScore’s Approved Partner Programme, which grants higher education institutions the authority to test students and issue co-branded certificates. This means that Institutos Federais can accurately assess thousands of students and provide them with a globally recognised certificate to support their transition from studies to employment.
“‘Opportunity’ is my favourite word when it comes to English language education,” explains Prof. Ms. Diana Ketlem, Language Center Coordinator and English Language Teacher at Instituto Federal de Rondônia. “My English skills opened doors for me and I want the same for the students of our language centre. Our students should have the opportunity to access mobility programmes and better employment opportunities.”
Being able to assess students at scale and receive all test results in their online dashboard has also helped the institutos minimise the administrative costs associated with its internally-created test.
Ana Carolina Oliveira, International Affairs Advisor of CONIF, explains, “British Council EnglishScore constitutes an important partner as it enables students and employees of the network to access recognised and validated English certificates. This may facilitate the participation of the academic community in public notices and better employment opportunities.”
Diana explains that EnglishScore is also having a positive impact on a university level:
“Having a test and certificate like EnglishScore that is accessible, convenient and affordable will help increase the number of students who can look internationally for studies and work.”
Lisandro Terenzi, Regional Director for Latin America, added, “our partnership with CONIF has opened the door for many highly attended institutions to standardise their English assessments and raise the academic and employment expectations of their students. Additionally, it goes one step further by adding an external, objective and reputable exam and certificate that endorses these programmes. We are extremely happy and honoured to have them as an Approved Partner.”