Opening doors for students in education and employment

The Federal Institute of Rio de Janeiro (IFRJ) is a publicly funded university with direct links to the Ministry of Education in Brazil. 

It specialises in professional and technological education, offering courses in biology, human sciences and exact sciences and has around 20,000 students studying across 11 campuses. 

We spoke with Prof. Ms. Rodrigo Lemos, General Coordinator of International Relations at IFRJ. He explained why IFRJ decided to transition to digital English assessments and how students and staff have benefitted since the university became an EnglishScore Approved Partner.

The challenge

IFRJ actively encourages and promotes academic mobility. In Brazil, proficiency in English is increasingly essential for securing post-graduate work or further education. 

But previously, IFRJ relied on test centres to carry out its English proficiency exams. This was inconvenient and costly for students, who had to make their own bookings and travel to the venue. 

Using an external centre for testing was also causing unnecessary bottlenecks, with organising test sittings and marking assessments drawing out the process.

The action

IFRJ began looking for a remote testing solution; one that gave them greater control and provided accurate results, but also minimised the logistical challenges students faced.

Prof. Ms. Lemos and the team at IFRJ chose EnglishScore because students could take the test anywhere and at any time, with results made available in the institution’s online dashboard within 24 hours.

Also, because EnglishScore tests four skills across three tests (Core Skills, Speaking and Writing), students are able to test and certify the skills they need, making it more cost-effective.

“Students can decide to just take the Core Skills test, which will be sufficient for many academic mobility programmes,” explains Prof. Ms. Lemos.

The result

Prof. Ms. Lemos explains that EnglishScore gives students at IFRJ greater flexibility, enabling them to apply to courses they couldn’t before due to time constraints.

“EnglishScore provides fast results compared to other tests. Some courses and graduate job opportunities only provide a 15-day application window. If students didn’t already have a proficiency certificate, they can’t apply. But now, with EnglishScore, they can.”

IFRJ is taking important steps to promote academic mobility and internationalisation while addressing practical challenges that can arise in the process.

By using EnglishScore’s remote testing technology and offering more affordable options for language proficiency certification, the institution is making these opportunities more accessible to a wider range of students.

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