Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TOEFL not much better: Charging Australia 25% more than other nations

Following on from our IELTS Ripp-Off testing espose (It has produced nearly as many hits than the Snedden 15 year old bikini model issue). We are pleased to announce that the Australian Labor Government has acted to recognise TEOFL (The American based English language testing system) as an alternative test in terms of foreign students visiting Australia or immigration. Although some assessing authorities such as CPA are slow to adopt competition.

The TOEFL test costs Australia $200 per test and is some $117 dollars cheaper the the IELTS, which currently ripps off Australia by charging $317. (The cost of the same IELTS test in other nations such as the US, UK or Thailand is much cheaper costing around $180).

TOEFL is not better in the comparison stakes.

Whilst overall cheaper then IELTS, TOEFL charges Australia 25% more than does in other countries. For example in the UK, Ireland, Thailand and the US the TOEFL test is around $160-$165.

Why is the cost of both tests so much more expensive in Australia than in other Countries?

The Answer is because there is no real competition and Australia has not questioned the costs charged overall. It costs more to leave Australia then it does to pay the overpriced and inflated test fees.

Why is it important you may ask?

Well Australia, Melbourne in particular, has become dependent to the Overseas student market.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported, back in February 2011, that "Student visa applications from outside Australia fell 32 per cent in the last six months of last year compared with those of the same period in 2009, which in turn had fallen 22 per cent compared with the same period in 2008. The drop is frightening for universities because they have become dependent on fee income from foreign students to subsidise domestic students as the real value of government funding has declined."

We have been milking the student migration system for a decade ripping off students. Its not small bikies either. With hundreds of thousands of people sitting English languate testing in Australia each year it is big business a 100 million a dollars a year industry. It not just the test ot is the support, pre-testing and training that adds to the profit margin. It is surprising the media have not picked up on the excessive dispartity charges, but then they also have a stake in the pie though sponsorships, endorsements and advertsing as do politicans, political parties and the like., Foreign students do not have a vote but they do vote with their feet and their wallets.

The English threshold level has been set much higher, making it that much harder for migrant applications to succeed.

With the slowdown in Immigration and the tightening up of the skill assessment, English testing has become a means of discriminating against foreign students wishing to migrate to Australia.

Students are very much aware of the price comparisons between Australia and overseas. They are foriegn students after all. The fact that it is more expensive to sit the same test in Australia then else where sends the wrong message about Australia. It leaves a sour taste and ever lasting impression on the foriegn student experiance of living in Australia a message that is being projected beyond our shores.


Anonymous said...

it's not only a the sour taste it leaves. most important: I and others will do the test outside of Australia, so even economically it doesn't make sense either.

Jorge Fallas said...

The reason the test is more expensive in Australia is not lack of competition. Rather, is the reason most things are more expensive in Australia: Higher cost of labour and other things

After all, whereas TOEFL is cheaper than IELTS, both are more expensive in Australia with respect to other countries. In Costa Rica for example the TOEFL test costs only US$180, compared to US$240 here.

But more expensive than Australia is Switzerland. There TOEFL costs US$250.

And why is that? Well, the TOEFL has an important "human" component: no matter how technology advances, we still need people to read and listen to the writing and speaking section, and mark those sections. The wage per hour in Australia is much higher than in other ocuntries. hence the higher costs.

MelbCity said...

That is not the case. It it cheaper in the UK, Sweden and the US. The price was set back when the Australian Dollar was Low and has remained at the high rate ever since. The lack off competition is another driving factor. IELTS has a legislated monopoly. IELTS is big business and it is estimated to generate over 1 billion dollars a year.

Other accredited testing providers should also be recognised and allowed as an alternative to IELTS

Australia should develop its own English testing. A test that is open to independent scrutiny.

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