Demand for Pakistani student, spouse, and work visas fuels English exam growth
LanguageCert, 06 May 2022
Growth in visa demand for Pakistani students, people joining spouses already living abroad and work permits has fuelled an increase in accredited English language exams.
Immigration attorneys have seen greater activity over the past two years while some education agents have observed demand increase by 200% in the past 12 months with post-study work visas becoming available in the UK.
LanguageCert – a UK Home Office-accredited provider of SELT exams for UK Visas and Immigration and international ESOL exams – has already exceeded its 2021 exam numbers in the first quarter of 2022, running to thousands of exams. It anticipates gaining a 15% share of the ESOL market in Pakistan by the end of the year. The number of Pakistan-based education agents working with the company has increased from one to 10 in the past 12 months.
Countries where English is the first language were top choices for Pakistani students studying abroad in (pre-Covid) 2019 – UK, Australia and Canada and UK – according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. According to the latest data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Pakistani students totalled 12,975 in UK universities in the academic year 2020-21 – a 98% increase on 2019 – ranking fourth among 32 Asian countries after China, India and Hong Kong.
Shahid Hafeez, Director of UK-based AS Foreign Education Consultants, said it was important for Pakistani students to be able to access English language exams and preparation materials online and obtain their results quickly for their visa application process.
He added: “Our students have found it easy to book a LanguageCert English exam which they can take online anywhere and get their results fast.”
LanguageCert English exams supported applications for nine of the top 10 universities chosen by undergraduate and postgraduate Pakistani students in the UK in 2020-21 – including BPP, the University of Hertfordshire, Coventry University and Brunel University London.
The opportunity for Pakistani students to prolong their stay in the UK after graduation increased with the UK Government introducing the graduate route in 2021. This allows international students to work in the country for two years after finishing their studies, or three years for Doctoral students.
Vivek Joseph, Business Development Head – APAC at LanguageCert, said: “Our exams for students are delivered both online and in test centres. Candidates can take online tests at home and obtain their results more quickly.
“However, for people planning to join family in the UK, we have made physical test centres available for their SELT exams six days per week. This has proven to be more convenient and means they can take the exam soon after completing their language course and while they are at the peak of their readiness.”