Education Talking Points | 17/11/2016


In today’s talking points: China education ministry set to establish new English test and scale; Australia’s corporate child care on the rise; Report shows China’s English skills improvements; University of Sydney launches its first major offshore education and research facility in China. 

China education ministry set to establish new English test and scale 

The Education Ministry in China is currently working on a standardised and uniform ability assessment scale and national English test for Chinese people’s English skills. The new assessment scale, which is set to be implemented next year has now been finalised and the related English test will consequently be rolled out by 2020. The scale will conform with established International evaluation systems such as IELTS and TOEFL. Many Chinese learners have over a decade of English language learning experience yet still fall short of China’s demand for fluent English speakers, apparently due to the lack of a structured English education system. China currently has nearly 400 million English learners.

Read more at Asia Times

Australia’s corporate child care on the rise 

Last year saw Australia’s childcare services industry make almost $1 billion in profit, a figure which does not include property owner’s profits. Private childcare is increasingly becoming big business, with half of all childcare services being currently provided by for-profit businesses, leading many to wonder what the billions of dollars in government subsidies for the sector have done. Australian schools are not allowed to run on a for-profit basis and many argue that childcare should be the same, threatening the business. The Australian government remains committed to bringing down childcare costs.

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Report shows China’s English skills improvements 

Ranking of English proficiency of Chinese rose eight places to no. 39 among 72 countries and regions, residents in Shanghai ranked first, then Hong Kong and followed by Beijing residents. According to Sebastian Magnusson, information officer at the Swedish embassy in Beijing, said that China could follow the Swedish model of english-learning – learning english through TV programs, computer games and movies from English-speaking countries (other than textbooks/ courses at school), and could potentially help Chinese learners to improve their English level. He also claimed that improvement of English skills will be a national project, and a “big policy, practice, investment and innovation challenge.”


University of Sydney launches its first major offshore education and research facility in China

Last Friday marked the opening of the University of Sydney Centre at Suzhou Industrial Park in east China’s Jiangsu Province. It aims to increase intellectual and creative exchanges between Chinese and Australian researchers, academics and students. The centre will also facilitate work placements, internships and other learning opportunities for Australian students in China. Representatives from Fudan University, Tsinghua University’s Graduate School in Shenzhen, the Chinese University in Hong Kong and China Construction Bank also attended the launch event.