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IELTS Dream Big Fund to help special needs candidates realise their study dreams

2017-09-18 12:00
-12 IELTS test takers in East Asia with special needs will receive a total of GBP 60,000

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In July 2017, British Council launched a digital campaign aiming to inspire special needs candidates. The campaign invited past IELTS test takers worldwide to share how IELTS has changed their lives by enabling further studies, career development and life as a global citizen. After receiving thousands of positive responses from past IELTS test takers, British Council hereby announces the launch of the IELTS Dream Big Fund. This fund provides a financial incentive to special needs candidates who wish to pursue their dream of studying abroad.

The IELTS Dream Big Fund, totalling GBP 60,000, will support up to twelve special needs students in the East Asia region who plan to start their undergraduate or postgraduate studies overseas in 2018.  To be eligible, the student needs to take IELTS with British Council and then use their score to apply for a programme in a higher education institution. Entries will be judged on the merit of a personal statement which individuals will need to submit as part of their application.    

Steve Adams, Director Examinations, East Asia explains that, "Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of British Council's corporate culture. In the past two decades, over 1,200 special needs candidates in East Asia have realised their dreams by taking IELTS. With the IELTS Dream Big Fund, we hope to encourage and support candidates with a disability to pursue their study dreams, which may, in turn, provide them with life-changing opportunities that could lead to greater things in life."

In 2016, more than 3 million IELTS tests were taken globally. At British Council, personalised test arrangements are provided to IELTS candidates with a range of special needs, including visual, hearing, speech or mobility impairment; writing difficulties; spinal, neurological and mental illnesses; and several other disabilities which require special accommodations.

British Council aims to provide maximum convenience for candidates, with a current offering of 274 test venues across 12 countries in East Asia. According to recent statistics, IELTS has provided customised test services for 1,276 special needs candidates. Among them, 165 were visually impaired, 640 were hearing impaired, 97 were with physical disabilities, and 374 were with other special needs.

Many of those special needs test takers have subsequently realised their academic dreams. Lily Chen, winner of the third prize of the 2016/17 IELTS Regional Prize, embarked on her graduate studies in the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Her efforts in promoting disability rights and awareness resonate with the goals of the British Council and have made her the first Taiwanese to receive the IELTS Regional Prize. Growing up with cerebral palsy, she has defied all odds and has realised her dream to study in the US through her unwavering dedication to her studies. 

IELTS Dream Big Fund:

For more information, contact Daphne Lui -- Director, Exams Marketing, East Asia on +852 2913 5597 or 

Notes to Editors:

About the British Council IELTS

British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunity and cultural relations and is represented in 107 countries worldwide. British Council connects people worldwide with the learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK and builds lasting relationships between the UK and other countries.

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world's proven English language test. IELTS was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 25 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today. It is trusted and accepted by more than 10,000 institutions worldwide.

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. 

Source: British Council (IELTS)

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