Monday, August 8, 2022

Canadian university drops English proficiency requirement for Nigerians

The Athabasca University in Canada has officially added Nigeria to the list of countries that do not require English language proficiency before admission.

• July 22, 2022

The Athabasca University in Canada has officially added Nigeria to the list of countries that do not require English language proficiency before admission. 

The university management, via its websites, included Nigeria on the list of countries exempted from the English language proficiency requirement on June 16, 2022.

Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi, a Nigerian postdoctoral research fellow in Canada, said in a tweet on Monday that Nigeria was added to the list of countries exempted from the English language proficiency requirement at Athabasca University.

“Glad to inform you all that Nigeria and other English-speaking African countries have been added to the List of Countries exempted from the English Language Proficiency Requirement at Athabasca University,” @olumuyiwaayo tweeted.

Mr Igbalajobi said he had written an email to the Canadian University that Nigeria should be exempted from countries that must present proof of their English language proficiency before admission. 

In a mail addressed to the management of Athabasca University in Canada on June 9, 2022, Mr Igbalajobi explained to the university management that Nigeria’s official language is English which is predominately used as a means of communication in schools and workplaces.

“I write to call your attention to a list on your English language proficiency page that does not recognize Nigeria as an English-speaking country,” Mr Igbalajobi stated in the mail. 

He added, “I affirmatively believe that your university attracts applicants from different backgrounds and inclusion is germane to her. It will be greatly appreciated if Nigeria is included in the list of exempted countries similar to that of the University of Calgary, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, and other universities in Canada.”

Recently, Mr Igbalajobi, had written to the University of Alberta in Canada to include all universities in Nigeria among the institutions that were excluded from the language requirement.

Nigerians seeking admission to any English-speaking countries abroad must take (International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) English proficiency tests before getting admission into the university. 

Many Nigerians have kicked against international policy. The test costs between $150 and $250, with a two-year validity period.

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