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Aus: Pearson centres to support regional push

English-language testing provider, Pearson, has extended its reach in Australia, opening five new locations in a move it says will help boost the federal government’s current push to increase the number of overseas students and workers within regional Australia.

Simon Birmingham and David Ridgway at the opening of Pearson's Adelaide centre in 2018. Photo: PearsonSimon Birmingham and David Ridgway at the opening of Pearson's Adelaide centre in 2018. Photo: Pearson

The five new locations boost Pearson's testing centres to 31

The five centres opened in August through October, increase the provider’s total number of testing locations to 31, and are located in the key areas of Geelong (Victoria), Hobart (Tasmania), Darwin (Northern Territory), Cairns (Queensland) and Canberra (ACT).

“This growing demand is from an increase in the number of skilled migrant workers”

According to Sasha Hampson, Pearson’s head of PTE Academic Asia Pacific, the choice of locations comes response to growing demand from international students needing to accessing testing, as well as the Australian government’s focus on boosting regional areas.

“This growing demand is from an increase in the number of skilled migrant workers, as well as the federal government’s Destination Australia program, launched in March this year,” she said.

“The program is a fantastic way to encourage more students and workers to some of the most beautiful parts of Australia, while enjoying a high-quality learning experience.”

The new locations continue a strong period for Pearson, which opened two new centres in 2018 and further expansions planned for Newcastle, in New South Wales, and Townsville, in Queensland.

Hampson said the increased popularity of the Pearson English test was also due to its focus on providing artificial intelligence-driven examinations over a traditional invigilation setting.

“Students have told us that pen and paper exams delivered in large halls with hundreds of students no longer meet their expectations,” she said.

“The market is now seeing the closure of test centres providing that kind of experience whilst the demand for [Pearson] test centres is booming.”

PTE Academic will celebrate ten years of operations in 2019.

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