The British Council in Sri Lanka held its IELTS Awards Night on Tuesday, 14 August at Kings Court, Cinnamon Lakeside. Initiated in 2010, this annual awards ceremony is hosted by the country’s leading IELTS test centre, with the intention of recognising and celebrating its partner network across the island.
Globally recognised by universities, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) conforms to the highest international standards of language assessment and is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. The test is recognised by more than 10,000 organisations in over 140 countries including the USA, with over 3 million tests conducted over the world in 2017 alone.
Commenting on the IELTS-British Council success story, Gill Caldicott, Country Manager of the British Council in Sri Lanka and Chief Guest at the ceremony said: “IELTS is a flagship product of the British Council and the interest in taking an IELTS is growing worldwide at a rate of 11% per year. The British Council is proud to be facilitating and supporting an internationally recognized English proficiency test for Sri Lankans who are looking for opportunities around the world to access their further education, boost their careers, and realise their ambitions.”
The IELTS-British Council partnership scheme, ADDvantage, enables individuals and organisations across the country to register IELTS candidates on behalf of the British Council, and in turn offers members a number of benefits, including access to information sessions, promotional material, as well as teacher, brand, and registration system training.
A total of 31 awards were given away to the IELTS registration centre network of the British Council. A key highlight of the event was the performance by a dance troupe of Sunera Foundation, advocating and promoting disability arts in Sri Lanka.
Winners at the ceremony were judged based on innovation, teaching practices, IELTS volume contribution, loyalty, and IELTS ambassadorship displayed throughout the financial year.
Categorised into individual tuition providers, institutions, and corporates, awards were meted out to various migration consultants, international higher educational consultants as well as IELTS teachers – all committed to furthering the cause of providing internationally recognised English language education to candidates in Sri Lanka.
‘National Partner of the Year’ was secured by the International College of Business & Technology Ltd (ICBT). Commenting at the awards, Dr. Sampath Kannangara said “Our association with the British Council is nearly a decade. We are happy to be recognised yet again for our contribution towards IELTS in Sri Lanka and looking forward to working together with the new developments in IELTS and the British Council.
The Test Venue partner of the Year went to Australian College of Business and Technology. Dr. Nayomi Abayasekera accepting the award said, “Associating with the British Council for IELTS test facilitation has been a great partnership. The support we get in terms of IELTS preparation support is very useful for us to help candidates do well in the test. We are geared to work with the British Council with the new changes that are anticipated with IELTS.”
Regional award winners included Headway School of Languages (Eastern Region), Dr. Jayasiri Perera, Nations Victory Campus, ICBT Colombo Campus (Western Region), J W Gnanathilake Jayasekera, Uniwest Educational Services, ICBT Southern Campus (Southern Region), and Nuwan Samaranayake, UNEX Language Academy, ICBT Kandy Campus (Central Region).
Hosting the event, Simon Creasey, Country Examinations Manager of the British Council in Sri Lanka said: “In Sri Lanka, British Council offers the IELTS test a minimum of three times in a month, and in eight locations island-wide. The preparation support we provide for IELTS candidates is unmatched, as we provide access to a range of library facilities, print and online practice material, as well as free-to-attend seminars for registered candidates. There is an additional scholarship programme that supports candidates on overseas study in countries such as the UK, Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand. This award ceremony serves as testament to the fact that our partner network – one that is growing from strength to strength, is an integral part of our work in IELTS in Sri Lanka.”