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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09537: Ben Macpherson (Edinburgh Northern and Leith)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 31 May 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support refugees who enrol at university to complete an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) qualification during their first year, and whether additional support is provided through summer school places.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 14 June 2017

The Scottish Government recognises that having English language skills is key to enabling full civic participation, including in education, and we that is why we provide funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses via the Scottish Funding Council, the body responsible for funding universities and colleges in Scotland.

Although it is up to individual universities to decide the entry requirements for any course, including language requirements, the Higher ESOL Course which is delivered mainly in colleges and schools across Scotland is recognised by all Scottish universities as one of a list of qualifications which meet general entrance requirements.

Whilst there is currently no specific government funding directed at students undertaking IELTS qualifications, support through programmes like summer school places may be available from individual universities in Scotland.