Given widely acknowledged problems with international students gaining a visa to study (accessing a SELT can be a require part of the process), the news is a welcome sign of operations beginning to resume.
Eleven of these locations will be open to deliver testing immediately, and the remaining nine are to open once individual Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Home Office protocols have now been completed, hence the announcement
The locations opened as of 21 May are: Auckland, New Zealand; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Istanbul,
Turkey; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lahore, Pakistan; Nairobi, Kenya; Varna, Bulgaria; Beijing, China; Guangzhou, China; (2 in) Shanghai, China.
It is expected that all remaining SELT testing locations, including the UK, will become operational in phases during this summer.
Freya Thomas Monk, senior vice president of English assessment at Pearson PTE, said: “I am pleased that we can now offer PTE at some locations for UKVI purposes.
“This means people can start to book, and in some cases take PTE as they continue to get ready to come to study, work or live in the UK.”
Pearson received SELT approval in December from UK immigration authorities, but a spokesperson confirmed that Home Office protocols have now been completed, hence the announcement.
The tests will be delivered through the Pearson VUE test centre network – demand in China is “high”, confirmed the spokesperson.
Gary A Gates, senior vice president at Pearson VUE added: “We are delighted to start providing Secure English Language Tests across our global test centre network.
“The fully digital test employs AI technology to offer an impartial and highly accurate test of the English language proficiency of test takers around the world.”
Pearson’s SELT tests are: PTE Academic (UKVI) – a four skills language test accepted for work and study visas. It tests speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, and PTE Home – a two skills language test accepted for family, settlement, citizenship applications.