Nigerian Students Question UPEI’s Requirement for English Proficiency Test


A University of British Columbia researcher from Nigeria says students from Nigeria and other African countries should not be asked to take English proficiency tests to get into universities such as the UPEI.

Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi said on Twitter that the system is unfair, since English is the official language of Nigeria and all education is conducted in English.

Igbalajobi is a postdoctoral researcher currently employed by UBC, who has studied in several different countries around the world.

He was never asked to take an English proficiency test, but he said it is a frustrating requirement for many students who have spent their entire schooling studying in English.

He wrote to many universities, including UPEI, asking them to change their policies requiring language testing.

Emmanuel Ero sees the English proficiency test as “useless” as he took tougher exams in Nigeria. (Laura Meader/CBC)

“If you’re talking about inclusion, make it real, don’t make it a smokescreen,” Igbalajobi said.

Igbalajobi said it didn’t make sense to have the requirement and the tests were expensive – costing around $300 – preventing some students from being able to study abroad.

“They have no chance of getting a quality education if they can’t afford this test,” Igbalajobi said.

The UPEI website lists “Recognized English-speaking countries and institutions exempt from language proficiency testing.

Igbalajobi said many Nigerian universities were not on this list and some institution names were incorrect.

“Who came up with the list themselves? There are 160 or more universities in Nigeria, you’re not telling me that only 35 universities are recognized, so it’s a double standard, it’s biased,” he said. he declares.

UPEI says it is considering changing its admissions requirements to accept all transcripts from schools where the language of instruction has been verified to be English. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Emmanuel Ero, a kinesiology student at UPEI, said all of his schooling was in English, so he doesn’t understand why he had to take a test.

“I was actually surprised, because I came from an international school,” he said. “My exams there are much more difficult than what they gave me for the English test, so I thought it was useless, it was so easy.”

Biology student Iyobosa Igbineweka says exams are a lot to ask of Nigerian students, who have studied in English since pre-school. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Biology student Iyobosa Igbineweka also fails to see why Nigerian students should take the exam.

“In Nigeria, from kindergarten to kindergarten, from primary school to high school, we were taught in English and having to pass this English test when we also speak English is a lot.

Igbalajobi said it was unacceptable and probably just an oversight that had been going on for decades. He plans to continue sending emails to various university offices asking them to change their policies.

He might soon see results.

In a statement to CBC, Donna Sutton, associate vice president of students and registrar at UPEI, said the university “is considering changing its admissions requirements to accept all transcripts from schools where the language of teaching has been verified to be English as proof of English Proficiency.”

“This would include post-secondary institutions in Nigeria,” she said.

“It is expected that any changes will occur before the start of the next recruitment cycle in September. We recognize that our procedures sometimes need to be reviewed and we appreciate that this matter has been brought to our attention.”

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