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Required Levels of English language proficiency for studies in undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered in English

CYQAA highlights that that for admission to programs of study taught in the English language at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at universities and non-university institutions of higher education (colleges), candidate students should provide a certificate of their knowledge of English.

Higher education institutions, students, as well as any other interested parties, are informed that the accurate equivalence of programs of study, both undergraduate and  postgraduate at universities and colleges, and of the institutions themselves, is not automatically obtained by the accreditation of their content by the Agency but also by adherence to the requirements for student admission to the programs as well as by the operation of these programs with academics with the necessary academic qualifications, as ensured by the external evaluation of the programs.

For programs of study at the postgraduate level candidate students are required to have certification for "Very Good Knowledge" of English at level B2-C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). At this level, the users can understand a wide range of demanding, long and complex texts, and recognize implied meanings. The users can express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. They can use the language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, and professional purposes. They can produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts on complex topics, demonstrating controlled use of organizational patterns, connecting elements, and coherence mechanisms.

For undergraduate programs of study, the minimum English language proficiency requirement is the B1-B2 intermediate level, according to which the students can begin their studies while strengthening their knowledge of the language for academic purposes. At this level, users can understand the main ideas of a complex text, both for specific and abstract topics, including discussions on technical issues of their specialization. They can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. They can produce clear, detailed texts on a wide range of topics and explain an opinion on a central issue, providing the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) corresponds to the following specific reference frameworks for international examinations, according to the official pages of the organizations offering these examinations. Indicatively, a score of 5.5 - 6.5 corresponds to knowledge of level B2 (Lower), while score 8.5-9 is level C2 (Proficiency).

TABLE: Matching results of international examinations with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

University of Cambridge Exams IELTS TOEFL(IBT) Common European Framework
CPE Certificate of Proficiency in English 8.5 – 9 88-120 C2
CAE Certificate in Advanced English 7 – 8 70-88 C1
FCE First Certificate in English 5.5 – 6.5 50-70 B2
PET Preliminary English Test 4.0-5.0 10-50 B1
2 July 2020