56,200 IELTS certificates issued without approval in Vietnam

By Duong Tam   May 8, 2024 | 03:05 pm PT
56,200 IELTS certificates issued without approval in Vietnam
Candidates take the IELTS test on computers in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the British Council
56,200 IELTS certificates issued by IDP in 2022 were done so against regulations, an inspection by the Vietnamese education ministry revealed.

Inspectors of the Ministry of Education and Training on Wednesday announced the result of an investigation into the organization and issuance of foreign language proficiency certificates by IDP Vietnam, which showed that the education firm had organized exams since early 2022, before it was approved to do so by the education ministry starting Nov. 17, 2022.

Specifically, from Jan. 1 to Sept. 9, 2022, the firm had organized 458 exams in over 30 localities, and issued around 46,600 IELTS certificates. From Sept. 10 to Nov. 16, 2022, the firm organized 100 on-site exams and several other online exams in Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang, issuing around 9,600 certificates.

In total, IDP has issued over 56,200 IELTS certificates before the education ministry allowed it to do so. At the time, the exam fee was around VND4.6 million ($180.87). Per existing regulations, these certificates would hold no value in the consideration for graduating high schools or entering universities.

The ministry has requested IDP to recheck all activities regarding the organization of foreign language proficiency exams, and to report the matter back to the Education Quality Management Agency and propose solutions to deal with the certificates issued within the period without approval.

The move came following the suspension of IELTS examination in Vietnam back in November 2022. In accordance with governmental regulations, the issuance of foreign language proficiency certificates needs to be approved by the education ministry. However, not until July 2022 did the ministry issue instructions requiring exam-organizing units to submit documents to the ministry for approval.

As several units failed to provide the documents appropriately, the ministry made them suspend a slew of foreign language proficiency exams, including the IELTS, TOEFL, HSK and TOPIK.

Thousands of students were affected by the decision, as their certificates could not be accepted for the purpose of entering universities or graduating high schools.

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