Bene't Steinberg, Group Director of Public Affairs, speaks to China Daily on Cambridge Assessment's work in China and our plans for the future.
Education provides students with increased access to domestic and international opportunities. A comprehensive understanding of the English language is increasingly important to work in the globalised world and a more mobile and highly educated international community is emerging.
Cambridge Assessment (the brand name of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate and a department of the university) is the world's largest provider of international education programs and qualifications. The group owns and manages Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR), Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment. As the world's oldest exams group (and the only one attached to a university), Cambridge Assessment issues universally recognised qualifications.
"The UK has developed key strengths in delivering academic, vocational and English language learning," said Bene't Steinberg, Cambridge Assessment's group director of public affairs. "The UK's heritage, global reputation and high quality modern education offering is creating growing demand in all spaces." Employing nearly 2,500 people, Cambridge Assessment designs and delivers assessments to over 8 million students in over 170 countries, in the firm belief that education should support local and national values. China, with around 700,000 Cambridge English candidate entries per year (in addition to Cambridge International's 50,000 students takings IGCSEs and A Levels), is a major market and the Group is today the largest overseas English language examinations provider in China. Strong growth is being seen in English Language Testing System, Business English Certificate and Young Learners markets in addition to the private education sector.
Cambridge English examinations are highly regarded across the country"
About 396,000 Chinese students studied overseas in 2012. "We have 160 registered schools and 76 Cambridge English test centers throughout China; each one an ambassador for the brand," said Steinberg. "With 280 different Cambridge English recognising organisations in China, Cambridge English examinations are highly regarded across the country". Cambridge Assessment aims to reach agreements with the Chinese Ministry of Education, the National Education Examinations Authority and provincial-level managers while identifying potential new schools for delivery of IGCSEs and International A Levels. "With our 25 years in China, we have established a long-term commitment to the country's education sector," explained Steinberg. "Through our offices in Beijing and Shanghai, and our new office in Guangzhou, we intend to meet the demands of the 400 million English language students across China and strengthen our activities in the Chinese market."
China Daily, p7
30 July 2014