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Cambridge English Qualifications Recognized In The Netherlands Vocational Education Sector

Selected Cambridge English Qualifications, developed by a department of Cambridge University, have been officially recognised as proof of English language ability in the vocational education sector in The Netherlands.

The decision means that vocational institutions can now apply for an exemption from the institutional examinations for generic English, for those students holding a Cambridge English Qualification. It is set to benefit thousands of students in the Netherlands every year who are working towards a place at higher education or entering the workplace.

Experts from Cambridge say the move will make life easier for institutions and schools, as Cambridge English Qualifications are often offered as an additional discipline within the curricula. The decision will also benefit students as they will get more opportunities to take a globally recognised Cambridge English Qualification. The exams recognised are Cambridge English A2 Key, B1 Preliminary and B2 First (general, for Schools and business).

‘We’re delighted to be involved in vocational education in The Netherlands which is such an important sector in the country,’ commented Marleen Soto, Country Manager Benelux at Cambridge Assessment English.

She continued: ‘The Cambridge English Qualifications are designed to test real-life communication skills, which will give a skill boost to thousands of ambitious Dutch students. It will also make life much easier for institutions and teachers as many of their students will already have Cambridge English Qualifications. We’re now working closely with schools to help them become part of the Cambridge network of Official Preparation Centres that help students learn English and prove their skills to the world.’

Every year thousands of students study at vocational institutions in The Netherlands and work their way up to four levels with the aim of going onto higher education or the workplace. The recognition of Cambridge English Qualifications is set to benefit all vocational institutions.

In 2021 there were 290,000 students at level 4 where English is compulsory on the exit at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for generic English and an optional B2 level for those who want a greater challenge. Students who are successful at level 4 will have the opportunity to apply to university for applied sciences.

The project is the result of a collaboration between the organisations Hobéon and KIWA, who are both assessment partners of the Ministry of Education and VEMBO, the national Foundation for Validation of Exams Vocational Levels. At the beginning of this academic year, Hobéon and KIWA worked with experts at Cambridge Assessment English to carry out an audit to make sure the Cambridge English Qualifications met the strict criteria on English language examinations.

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