Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Agreement of Understanding between Umm Al-Qura University Represented by the English Language Center and the University of Oxford

ELC News , Academic ,
- 2019/11/08

On Wednesday, 9 Rabi` Al-Awwal 1441 A.H., His Excellency the owner of the English Language Teaching Initiative for Community Development, Dr. Sami bin Muhammad Ghalib Atarji, His Excellency the Deputy Director of the English Language Center, Dr. Muhammad bin Sulaiman Shushu, His Excellency Deputy Director of the English Language Center for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ahmad bin Ali Al-Asmari, His Excellency the Supervisor of the Testing and Measurement Unit at the English Language Center, and His Excellency the Supervisor of the Public Relations Unit at the English Language Center, met a high-level delegation from the English language sector at the University of Oxford, headed by the International Marketing Supervisor of the Oxford English Test, Mr. Simon Ferdinand, and the representative of Oxford University Press in the Saudi Kingdom, Mr. Zaid bin Hamid.

This meeting came within the framework of ongoing academic cooperation, based on the pillars of the existing agreement of understanding between Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the English Language Center, and Oxford University, represented by Oxford University Press, since 2010, which resulted in the accreditation of the membership of the English Language Center in the University of Oxford Quality Program, and the English Language Teaching for Community Development Initiative being adopted at Umm Al-Qura University as the first center in the Middle East to offer the Oxford International English Test.

During the meeting, the delegation was shown around the initiative's headquarters and the Oxford English test rooms. This was followed by discussing frameworks of cooperation between the two sides, suggesting possible ways to upgrade the testing services, further clarifying the relevance of the Oxford English Test to all segments of society, and specifying what distinguishes it from other known English tests.

The two sides also agreed on the importance of transferring the successful experiences of holding this test around the world, and its keeping pace with the technological development of the twenty-first century. The test package enables applicants to have easy access to the test and all the skills it covers via the Internet, with features that enable the applicant to identify his strengths and weaknesses in English proficiency, and allow the test-taker to separately retest the skill in which he obtained a poor mark, without having to retake the complete test.

It is worth noting that the Oxford University certificate does not have an expiration date. Moreover, the test is offered at very competitive fees compared to other language proficiency tests.

This test has been in use in Spain and elsewhere since its inception in 2016, as thousands of male and female applicants around the world have taken it. Mr. Simon Ferdinand stressed that such an initiative would develop a global measurement instrument accredited by the University of Oxford, from which the local community can benefit, and which can be adopted by state institutions to raise the efficiency of its employees and students alike, and bridge the gap that is always created due to the need to know a foreign language.