-12 IELTS test takers in East Asia with special needs will receive a total of GBP60,000

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 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 GBP60,000, 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 disability to pursue their study dreams, which may, in turn, provide them with life-changing opportunities and 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. James Low Hong Ping, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic muscle-wasting disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), took IELTS in December 2015 and scored 8.5 overall. Armed with determination, Low battled all odds and over time, became an excellent scholar. He was awarded the National University of Singapore (NUS) Graduate Scholarship for Asean nationals and completed his Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law at NUS. He will serve in the Malaysian Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee and assist in WeCareJourney, an NGO that champions care and support for families with SMA and disabilities.

IELTS Dream Big Fund: http://dream-big.ieltsasia.org/en/

For more information, contact Daphne Lui — Director, Exams Marketing, East Asia on +852 2913 5597 or daphne.lui@britishcouncil.org.hk


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