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Fact sheet

Fact Check: Will the Government's new citizenship test demand a university-level standard of English?

Australian Labor Party Citizenship Language proficiency

As part of an overhaul of Australia's citizenship test to address concerns over national security, the Federal Government proposed a new English language competency test. Tony Burke, the Opposition spokesman for citizenship and multicultural Australia, claimed the new test would demand the same level of English proficiency that is required for university admission ' a standard too stringent for some new migrants. "The Howard government introduced a test, which we supported when they introduced it. It's a test that is in English. You basically need to have conversational-level English to be able to pass it and that is reasonable," he said. "What the Government is now demanding is university-level English. Now, that's ridiculous." But Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, dismissed Mr Burke's assertion as a "red herring". RMIT ABC Fact Check found Mr Burke's claim was correct. According to language testing experts and research by Fact Check, it is clear that applicants sitting the new English language test in order to obtain Australian citizenship would need to meet a standard equivalent to that expected of university entrants.
Verdict: Correct

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