Bad Experience with University of Sydney

Just want to share my experience with University of Sydney.

I applied for Master of Commerce back in March. I already hold another Master Degree from UNSW that was completed in 2008.

University of Sydney is asking for English proficiency evidence as my other local degree was obtained more than 5 years ago WTF!! I told them they could see from my transcript that I passed this degree with Distinction average which would have required high proficiency in English. I have also been working in financial services sector for last 9 years and currently work as Senior Analyst for global organisation which has operations in 35 countries. I have provided them letter signed by Head of HR which clearly states that I manage APAC countries and liaise with stakeholders at all management levels in my current level and my role requires high level of English proficiency.

The Director of faculty is apparently still not willing to accept this letter. I am shocked how it is justified to not accept local degree and experience.

Anyone else experienced similar situation?

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  • +5 votes

    Don't take it personally, they have processes in place and I imagine it would be quite a lot of work to deal with each applicant on a case by case basis.

    • +3 votes

      I agree with this. It's largely outside the Dean's authority to grant admission exceptions, as this is an institution wide admission policy. These admission requirements are often strictly followed to ensure each applicant is assessed under the same criteria. The specific requirements are located here.

      If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of minimum English language proficiency through one of the following methods.

      1. Complete tertiary studies taught in English.
      2. Take an English proficiency test.

      You need to show that you successfully completed tertiary studies in which the language of the institution and of instruction, examination and assessment was English. The studies need to have been undertaken no more than five years before the date of application.

      •  

        This makes perfect sense. That international students come to Australia to study is not exactly a secret, and it's wholly reasonable to think that someone who came here, lived and studied for 2-3 years in a tertiary program and then could have returned home, may have atrophied English skills.

  •  

    What are they asking for as proof?

    They've got a process in place and you've tried but they won't allow you to bypass that process. Why don't you just give them what they want and save the anger and frustration for something more worthwhile?

    • -1 vote

      They want me to do either IELTS or TOFL.

      Why I am supposed to fork out so much money on these stupid certificates when I have required skills.

      Off course I can move on and apply with another University but they have very stupid criteria.

      • +4 votes

        Correct. You know you have required skills but uni doesn't know it hence asking you to produce IELTS or TOEFL results..win win…

      • +10 votes

        IELTS cert costs $330. And if you do not have that money after

        working in financial services sector for last 9 years and currently work as Senior Analyst for global organisation which has operations in 35 countries."

        Don't think it's the University's fault.

        ps: Avoid University of Sydney. Their parking meter doesn't give change.

        • -1 vote

          I need a valid rational from a university re why are they not willing to accept letter from Head of HR and local degree with Distinction average which they are unable to provide despite of repeated requests.

        • +14 votes

          @Sshanaz: rationale

        • +11 votes

          @Xyzzy:

          there goes band 7 on IELTS

        • -1 vote

          @phunkydude: I hope you know spelling of every single word in dictionary and never use auto correction function in Word and Outlook.

        • +7 votes

          @Sshanaz:

          Why do you think they should give you privilege? They need a academic level of IELTS. Being able to work in an industry doesn't make you capable of meeting their requirement. If all applicants did the same, do you think they are going to spend time verifying what everyone did before?

          They have the system in place to avoid treating applicants unfairly. Why do they need to open the floodgate for you?

        • +3 votes

          @Xyzzy: Ha! OP got busted!

        •  

          @Sshanaz: "Rational" and "ratonale" are not difficult or long words. You should stop digging.

        •  

          @HighAndDry: It could be typo because someone was typing quickly. You should stop trolling.

        • +5 votes

          @Sshanaz:Your writing is littered with spelling and grammatical errors. I'd say they (USYD) are doing the right thing.

        • +2 votes

          @Sshanaz: It could be, but the rest of your writing, post and comments, make me think otherwise.

        •  

          @Sshanaz: They've told you why - your degree was obtained more than five years ago, and they need current proof.

      •  

        You can work out if someone is proficient in English- written and spoken- with a 5 minute conversation and a 1 page test. Bureaucracy gone mad!

        •  

          Can you imagine how much time that would total if the University had to do this with all their Masters (not PhD) applicants? Just to test for English proficiency?

      •  

        The only reason I can think of is a high proportion of Masters students could be international students who want further education because they see the bachelors qualification as the minimum standard - which it usually is in the countries they come from.

        Immigration is a little more sensible in that migrants from English speaking countries such as UK and USA don't have to sit the IELTS (where it is normally required for residents of non-English speaking countries) to prove their English proficiency.

        Look on the bright side… the fee for the IELTS is tiny compared to the fees you'll be paying for the whole course.

      • +3 votes

        Off course I can move on

        Hahahahahaha… I think the Uni has the right policies in place.

        •  

          LOL! I just cracked up at my desk!

  • +1 vote

    This is because immigrants, unlike the locals, 'forget' English after they've learnt it…..even when they live and work in Australia.

    •  

      Nothing was said about whether OP is an immigrant or not.

      • +7 votes

        They clearly are because it’s unlikely the University would ask someone born here to do so.

        •  

          You think that but maybe it's just standard policy for all.

        • +2 votes

          @greenpossum:

          https://sydney.edu.au/study/admissions/apply/admission-crite...

          Their website is very clear not saying it’s fair but they are the rules and clearly they don’t make exceptions for anyone.

        • +2 votes

          @knick007: But an immigrant who came here at age 5 and went through the local schools system would not have this requirement. So it's not about being an immigrant per se.

        •  

          @greenpossum:

          Alright maybe recent immigrants only then… Someone who isn’t a citizen of a country that has English as their first language.

          Again not saying it’s fair but it’s understandable they have a “this are the requirements no exceptions at all” approach otherwise everyone with a small grasp of English would argue they shouldn’t have to sit the test.

          If the OP is eligible for citizenship they might be able to avoid this requirement by taking up Australian citizenship.

          Otherwise if their work place is paying for their new masters which it sounds like they are or at least supporting, they should be able to claim the English test as well.

        •  

          @knick007: See, that's the peril of using a shorthand word like immigrant, because it comes with different sets of mental images for various people.

        •  

          @knick007: I am citizen…..

        •  

          @Sshanaz: "Citizen" also has no bearing on English competency.

        •  

          I am citizen

          Maybe you do need IELTS..

      •  

        Yeah, uni's will accept high school transcripts from an Australian high school in lieu of a IELTS/TOEFL test if you completed HS in Australia.

      •  

        The IELTS/TOEFL requirement is only for people who have not done HSC/ high school in English

        •  

          But some immigrants have done HS in English so maybe you should correct that word immigrants to "people who have not done HS in English" which is a mouthful, so we all want to simplify, right?

        •  

          @greenpossum: Simplify? Or deliberately mislead? I think we all know what amaris-aiya was doing.

  • +3 votes

    I am sympathetic, but consider that we have all worked or studied with very bright people with terrible English. It makes the task harder for all involved, so it is reasonable to demand minimum proficiency.

    It is often the global orgs that transfer somebody here who has starred in their home country after the HR admin in Paris or somewhere decides they must have adequate English because everyone in Singapore speaks English (for example).

    The uni policy is to give clear guidelines, rather than subjective decisions. Although I agree it is unreasonable.

    Finally, remember if you were one of those people who has bad English, you would be strenuously demanding they accept other qualifications and experience so you could avoid doing the IELTS or whatever…

    • -1 vote

      Thanks for your valuable feedback.

      I am frustrated because I have asked them time and again why they are not willing to accept my local experience and HR letter but they can't provide any answer.

      •  

        Every applicant with conversational grasp of the language will be arguing for an exemption.

        Sometimes strict due process is required and you are volunteerily entering into this arrangement.

      •  

        I'm pretty sure they've provided an answer and you just don't like the answer. And I imagine their answer is: "Because it's our standard policy that applies to everyone."

  • +6 votes

    Hi OP. Unfortunately the truth is there is still a little way to go with your English :(. In this thread there are about 10 mistakes or small missing words.

  •  

    Cant comment directly on Sydney University's admission policy. But in the Vocational Sector, demonstration of Language, Literacy & Numeracy has become a requirement for all courses, as learners after enrolment find themselves without the necessary LLN skills to attend or complete the course. In the past it was tough luck, you enrolled so still got to pay etc.

    Now it has become the Training organisation's obligation to test and be satisfied that the learner has the proficiency to complete the course otherwise the learner will be entitled to a refund even after enrolment or course commencement.

    Perhaps a similar policy has been adopted by the university.

    Above is purely my speculation.

  •  

    What is the Masters degree at UNSW you earned without English proficiency?

  •  

    As far as I know Usyd (and I think a lot of unis) have a required English level to get into specific subjects, sure, you know your English is fine, but that doesn't mean the university or anyone knows. I have friends that have lived in Aus for not even 12 months and they speak English beautifully, and i have other friends that have been here for 5 years and I still have trouble understanding them.

    Typically its based on course as far as I know, take a masters in elec engineering has a IELTS of 6.5 avg and 6 min (https://sydney.edu.au/courses/courses/pc/master-of-engineeri...)

    While a masters of business law has an IELTS of 7 overall with a 6 min
    (https://sydney.edu.au/courses/courses/pc/master-of-business-...)

    It all depends the level of required need for the subject (engineering for example usually less as its more mathey then say law which is more understanding).

    Checking the UNSW for international students, it seems they have similar requirements http://www.international.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/ori...

  • +1 vote

    I think we're being trolled. Either that, or OP seems to be utterly ignorant of the need to use the indefinite and definite articles of "a", "an" and "the" (and plenty of other issues) - I think if they're not trolling, they're proving the need for USYD's policies. Just from the post:

    Just wanted to share my experience with the University of Sydney.

    I applied for a Master of Commerce back in March. I already hold another Master Degree from UNSW that was completed in 2008.

    The University of Sydney is asking for English proficiency evidence as my other local degree was obtained more than 5 years ago WTF!! I told them they could see from my transcript that I passed this degree with a Distinction average which would have required a high proficiency in English. I have also been working in the financial services sector for the last 9 years and currently work as a Senior Analyst for a global organisation which has operations in 35 countries. I have provided them a letter signed by the Head of HR which clearly states that I manage APAC countries and liaise with stakeholders at all management levels in my current level and my role requires a high level of English proficiency.

    The Director of faculty is apparently still not willing to accept this letter. I am shocked how it is justified to not accept local degree and experience. (this whole sentence is… syntactically curious)

    Anyone else experienced a similar situation?

    •  

      i don't think we are being trolled, unfortunately

      •  

        It actually sounds better if I read it with a Russian accent…

  •  

    In your application, at the drop down box that asks you to declare your place of birth with no possible way of their checking it, why don't you just put Australia?

    •  

      That would get OP into the program, pay all the course fees, and then promptly kicked out without the degree being awarded.

  •  

    At what stage in the process does the university decide that an applicant with a Masters from an australian uni needs to prove English proficiency? This has to be bogus.

    •  

      The application process. According to OP anyway - maybe they read it wrong?

  •  

    It is frustrating how policies can mess with your mind ("too experienced", "not enough experience outside university", "too long since university").

    This is a good experience to catch up on any common mistakes. Despite being a native English speaker I'm not very knowledgeable of all the rules of English (I used to blame the Australian educational system, but even as an adult I haven't done my part to get things right).

    As mentioned above, you often omit articles in your sentences (the, a, an). This is common to people whose first language is Russian or Hindi, for example, since articles simply don't exist AFAIK. I'm happy I haven't been forced to learn a foreign language properly since I get lazy once I'm "good enough".

    •  

      Also very common with Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenians etc. Similar to the Russian speakers, articles don't exist.

  •  

    I have decided to withdraw my application.

    Thread Closed.

    •  

      All because of $330 for the IELTS? Or because you're worried your English might actually not meet the standards?

  • Thread closed per OP request